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Brian Rose, London Mayor Candidate, and COVID.

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johnnychips

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I don’t live in London, but I have seen today a couple of adverts for this candidate: on this forum and a childish meme channel I subscribe to. The adverts are highly critical of Khan’s approach to COVID, and especially the introduction of traffic-restricted zones which he claims increase pollution and further destroy business. He posited that only a narrow range of science had been listened to during the crisis.

He has made innumerable videos on YouTube over the years, but almost got banned like Talk Radio. He interviewed David Icke.

If I lived in London I might be tempted to vote for him. What do you think, especially if you live in the capital?

Here is a Wikipedia link, usual caveats:

 
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brad465

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There are bookmakers that have him as the second favourite (although still a long way behind Khan who's runaway favourite), although at similar odds to Bailey. However opinion polls don't seem to single him out in their values, suggesting his vote share is incorporated into "other", that typically has sat around 3-5%.
 

Gloster

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Even though I don’t have a particularly great web presence (if that is the right word) I keep coming across adverts - often simplistic but snappy - all over the place, even on a Norwegian web cam. If I still lived in London I would not vote for him because (although I may be wrong) this all makes me feel he is one of two things. Either a self-opinionated and vain character who thinks that he has the answers for everything and would run London the way he wants, with no regard to the interests of others (although he might think he was). Alternatively, he is being pushed by others to act as a stalking horse to damage Khan while leaving another candidate untainted: all his publicity must be funded somehow. Or it could be a combination of the two.
 

birchesgreen

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If I was a Londoner and was going to vote for a joke candidate I'd vote for the hilariously named Ukip candidate Peter Gammons.
 
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Saddiq Khant will absolutely walk it, I honestly can't see there ever being a non Labour Mayor again. It's Saddiqs job for as long as he wants it which is not a good situation.

I won't be voting
 

kristiang85

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It is amazing how someone as incompetent and divisive as Khan can be so certain to win it. As with the tories' huge lead in the national polls despite taking the country to the point of ruin, it just shows how broken our party political system is.
 

MikeWM

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Well, the Tory candidate is totally useless, and I don't know who the other parties are putting up.

The anti-lockdown vote is doomed to split between Rose, Laurence Fox and David Kurten. If I lived in London I'd probably vote for one of those, but I'm not sure which.
 

WelshBluebird

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Seriously people are willing to vote for this guy?
Have a read - https://www.vice.com/en/article/bv8x5a/london-real-brian-rose-digital-freedom-coronavirus.

The TLDR is:
Brian Rose has raised nearly £1 million to fund a "free speech" platform where he'll host video interviews with conspiracy theorists and other guests. But some followers have questioned how the money will really be used.

He is literally scamming his supporters - in the same way people like Robinson and Trump are (crowdfunding and then likely using a lot of the money for themselves).
He really doesn't seem like the kind of person you want to vote for, even if you totally oppose how the country has dealt with COVID-19.
If you want to vote for someone who has been anti lockdown etc - then maybe find a candidate who isn't wrapped up in conspiracy theories and right wing free speech crowdfunding scams.

He interviewed David Icke.
And refused to shut Icke up when he rattled on about 5G causing COVID
 
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MikeWM

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Isn't Rory Stewart still standing?

I thought he'd decided not to, but he may have changed his mind again.

I've just remembered that Piers Corbyn said he'd be standing too, which will no doubt split the anti-lockdown vote still further.

At the moment, I think I'd probably vote for Kurten. I disagree with a lot of his other 'social conversative' positions, but he's been a stalwart opposing lockdown, and like Corbyn has often been on the front-line in opposition.
 

kristiang85

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Pulled out last year.

Ah OK, I must have missed that. Thanks!
At the moment, I think I'd probably vote for Kurten. I disagree with a lot of his other 'social conversative' positions, but he's been a stalwart opposing lockdown, and like Corbyn has often been on the front-line in opposition.

If I was in London still, I'd vote for Kurten. He's by no means perfect, and his past association with UKIP grates a bit, but his commentary on lockdown has been quite rational and sensible. And this is probably the biggest issue facing peoples' lives right now.

Also his destruction of Khan in a discussion about selective policing last summer was a joy to watch:
 

WelshBluebird

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To those who are talking about Kurten, do you know what his party actually stands for?
Things like restricting abortions and restrictions on LGBT rights and support.
Things like opposing renewable energy and opposing attempts to limit climate change.
Is that really what you all want to support (which is what voting for him would be doing)?
 

MikeWM

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To those who are talking about Kurten, do you know what his party actually stands for?
Things like restricting abortions and restrictions on LGBT rights and support.
Things like opposing renewable energy and opposing attempts to limit climate change.
Is that really what you all want to support (which is what voting for him would be doing)?

As I said a few posts up, I disagree with a lot of his other 'social conversative' positions.

But the current situation is, in my opinion, more important than all that, even though the issues you mention are of course important. He is totally opposed to lockdowns and totally opposed to vaccine passports. Right now, those things utterly outweigh everything else.

I'd far rather there was a credible candidate *on the left* who was totally opposed to lockdowns and totally opposed to vaccine passports, but there isn't.
 

yorkie

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My view is that I would not be able to support any political candidate in any election that supports lockdowns

Of course I am opposed to many other policies but if all other candidates were unelectable I would not vote.

The idea that anyone can support more lockdowns now that we have highly effective vaccines and also know how damaging lockdowns are, is utterly absurd.

It is amazing how someone as incompetent and divisive as Khan can be so certain to win it. As with the tories' huge lead in the national polls despite taking the country to the point of ruin, it just shows how broken our party political system is.
I had no idea how bad and divisive Khan was until the pandemic. I now find him utterly repulsive.
 

WelshBluebird

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...any suggestions?

If you can't find an anti lockdown candidate that isn't wrapped up in all that unsavory stuff - doesn't that maybe say something?
Surely there must be someone who is actually a decent person who also supports your stance on lockdowns?

As I said a few posts up, I disagree with a lot of his other 'social conversative' positions.

But the current situation is, in my opinion, more important than all that, even though the issues you mention are of course important. He is totally opposed to lockdowns and totally opposed to vaccine passports. Right now, those things utterly outweigh everything else.

I'd far rather there was a credible candidate *on the left* who was totally opposed to lockdowns and totally opposed to vaccine passports, but there isn't.

But by voting for him - you are specifically supporting his parties policies. You can't say you disagree with them but then in same breath say you'd vote for them.
All you are saying is that either you support those policies, or at the very best that you don't care about them.
Do you think that if he does somehow win the mayorship he is going to just take that as a vote of confidence for only his anti lockdown stance? Of course not - he will see it as a win for his entire stance, including the ugly bits.
 

MikeWM

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But by voting for him - you are specifically supporting his parties policies. You can't say you disagree with them but then in same breath say you'd vote for them.
Do you think that if he does somehow win the mayorship he is going to just take that as a vote of confidence for only his anti lockdown stance? Of course not - he will see it as a win for his entire stance, including the ugly bits.

That's how voting works though, its an ugly business that inevitably involves compromise, but we don't have a better system available.

I don't think I've ever cast a vote for anyone without having reservations about some of their policies, even Labour in 2017, which is probably the most enthusiastic I've been about voting.
 

Domh245

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But the current situation is, in my opinion, more important than all that, even though the issues you mention are of course important. He is totally opposed to lockdowns and totally opposed to vaccine passports. Right now, those things utterly outweigh everything else.

A reminder that whoever Londoners return in May will be in position until 2024. Electing someone on the basis of their covid policy, which will be a non-issue past January 2022 if the goverment have got things right on their easing plan (which given the pretty hesitant approach in the first place, and their refusal to move earlier seems likely) is a very odd one IMO. It's clear that you've got strong principles around the covid response, but with it being as time limited as it is, just seems an odd decision to me (as was the decision by many people in 2019 voting to "get brexit done")

The idea that anyone can support more lockdowns now that we have highly effective vaccines and also know how damaging lockdowns are, is utterly absurd.

Does Khan support more lockdowns though? Certainly doesn't seem so based on this article?

Lockdown Roadmap: Sadiq Khan says 'this must be the final lockdown'​

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the Government’s roadmap to the gradual easing of restrictions but has stressed “this must be the final lockdown”.

Following the announcement that some businesses can begin to reopen from April 12, the Mayor said, “the health of individuals and the health of our businesses is intertwined” and pushed for certainty over the extension of the furlough scheme and business rates holiday.

Mr Khan said: “The Government’s focus on fully reopening schools safely and then allowing people to meet outside is the right one, but there is still more they must do to ensure this roadmap is a success.

“Parents, teachers, support staff and employers still need more clarity and support on the roll out of widespread testing. Statutory sick pay and eligibility for self-isolation payments must be increased as a matter of urgency.

“It is also deeply frustrating that the Prime Minister outlined a roadmap today, but didn’t give businesses the certainty they desperately need that the business rates holiday, VAT relief and furlough scheme will be extended. It’s disgraceful that the three million people excluded from any financial support continue to be ignored.”


He added: “This must be the final lockdown that Londoners and people across the UK have to endure. We simply cannot risk completely lifting restrictions too early, leading to a surge in cases and further mutations in the virus which would put the whole roadmap and our economic recovery at risk.”

Under the plans announced today, businesses such as shops, hairdressers and gyms can reopen from April 12 provided the vaccination programme continues to be successful, infections do not spike, and new variants do not increase the risk of keeping these businesses open.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also welcomed the roadmap but called for further support for businesses until they can reopen safely.


Mr Burge said: “Businesses will welcome the clarity provided today by the Prime Minister and now have respective dates for which to plan.

“Whilst I’m sure some businesses will be frustrated they cannot yet open or fully function, the past has proven that caution is required, and if this approach protects the vaccination programme and brings an end to this crisis then no one should argue with the process.

“The key now is for the Government to continue to support businesses so that they can survive and be the bedrock of our recovery. It’s clear that footfall, commuting, business travel, domestic and international tourism will stay supressed for some months to come. Across the country, but in London particularly, this will bring detrimental economic impact. So we need to urgently hear what support the Government will continue to provide and over what time period.”

In a boost to businesses, all remaining social distancing measures could be lifted as soon as June 21 if the key conditions around vaccinations and infection numbers continue to be met.


As for Rose myself - I certainly won't be voting for him. His ads (which I've been unable to escape from without adblockers!) have given me a particularly poor impression of the man, even before finding out he's a bit of a fringe-type
 

WelshBluebird

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That's how voting works though, its an ugly business that inevitably involves compromise, but we don't have a better system available.

I don't think I've ever cast a vote for anyone without having reservations about some of their policies, even Labour in 2017, which is probably the most enthusiastic I've been about voting.

I'm not disagreeing about that general principle, I just think that some things are so line in the sand that you do not cross that I am surprised people in a modern UK will accept that compromise. For some people in this thread it sounds like supporting lockdowns is that line. But I am surprised supporting anti LGBT policies, or supporting anti abortion policies, or supporting conspiracy theorists (e.g. giving a platform to someone who claims that 5G causes covid and not challenging them on that point) are not lines in the sand too.
 

MikeWM

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A reminder that whoever Londoners return in May will be in position until 2024. Electing someone on the basis of their covid policy, which will be a non-issue past January 2022 if the goverment have got things right on their easing plan (which given the pretty hesitant approach in the first place, and their refusal to move earlier seems likely) is a very odd one IMO. It's clear that you've got strong principles around the covid response, but with it being as time limited as it is, just seems an odd decision to me (as was the decision by many people in 2019 voting to "get brexit done")

That's a problem with voting occurring so infrequently though (not that I think more regular elections are necessarily a solution to that - see eg. the House of Representatives in the USA, where 2-year terms create a whole set of other issues).

If eg. you thought Brexit was by far the most important issue, then I think it makes perfect sense to have voted for a party that is going to deal with that in the way you hope, even if you disagree with a lot of their other stuff.

What's the alternative? Vote for someone that argues something you utterly disagree with, because they have the right opinions on issues that you think are less important?

Does Khan support more lockdowns though? Certainly doesn't seem so based on this article?

He's just a contrarian, oppositon for the sake of opposition. He keeps asking the Government to do thing X, then when they do it he starts arguing against it (in the case of what Tier London should be in last Autumn) or that they're not doing enough of it (in the case of masks).
 
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nlogax

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I'll vote for Kahn again. Genuinely couldn't give a tinker's damn about the candidates' Covid approaches, their attitudes to other matters are way more important over the next four years. Covid will cease to be a top line issue from the second half of this year for London and for everywhere else, certainly not in the way it's dominated public life over the previous twelve months.

And yes, I've suffered through the Brian Rose ads like everyone else. Bored of him.
 

AlterEgo

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I’ll be spoiling my ballot. Can’t endorse Khan because he’s a terrible mayor with some divisive ideas, and all the other candidates are even worse. Khan will win by a distance, but I’d rather not extend his landslide by another vote.
 

WelshBluebird

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He's just a contrarian, oppositon for the sake of opposition. He keeps asking the Government to do thing X, then when they do it he starts arguing against it (in the case of what Tier London should be in last Autumn) or that they're not doing enough of it (in the case of masks).
Isn't that pretty much every politician?
And people like Rose or Kurten are no different.
They will support whatever benefits them personally or makes them look good to their supporters.

What's the alternative? Vote for someone that argues something you utterly disagree with, because they have the right opinions on issues that you think are less important?
Are the right to have safe abortions, or LGBT rights in general, or the need to do something to restrict climate change less important than COVID restrictions that will be gone within the year? I'd argue those things are much more important given they will influence what our country and indeed world is like for years to come. Letting anti abortion / LGBT people into office now just because they are anti lockdown is going to do much more harm longer term than having pro lockdown politicians around whilst COVID restrictions are still a thing for the relatively short period of time they will be.
 
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Domh245

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If eg. you thought Brexit was by far the most important issue, then I think it makes perfect sense to have voted for a party that is going to deal with that in the way you hope, even if you disagree with a lot of their other stuff.

What's the alternative? Vote for someone that argues something you utterly disagree with, because they have the right opinions on issues that you think are less important?

As others have suggested, spoiling the ballot or abstaining. Not a great situation to find yourself in, but when asked to pick the least worst amongst a bunch of terribles, it's sometimes better to do nothing than be seen to endorse someone that you agree with in one area and wildly oppose in most others.

I suppose the thing I find odd about it is the way in which people prioritise different issues that they use to decide who to vote for, and the apparent situation where people are so wedded to one particular cause that they're willing to turn against their principles on a whole raft of other issues (that are far more likely to impact their day to day life!) for that single issue - though I appreciate your concerns in this case about the longevity of the papers-please society, I just don't don't agree that it's as likely as you fear
 

Cdd89

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Letting anti abortion / LGBT people into office now just because they are anti lockdown is going to do much more harm longer term than having pro lockdown politicians around whilst COVID restrictions are still a thing for the relatively short period of time they will be
If it were just a mere difference of opinion I would be inclined to agree, but Khan has not grasped that the link between cases and hospitalisations has been broken (or is even beginning to be broken). His latest tweets show no understanding whatsoever of the balance involved in Covid risks and other risks. Without a change of opinion it is therefore likely that he will be pushing for more restrictions this Winter, or next year. He may indeed well change his opinion, when he realises there is no more mileage in this for him, but I am not prepared to bet on that hope.

And yes, I absolutely am saying that lockdowns are more important than every other issue. Which, if you knew about my personal circumstances, is a more significant statement than you might imagine! Unnecessary lockdowns kill young people and ruin lives. Every day lockdowns continue without an obvious 'lives saved' figure on the other side of the scales results in huge amounts of net death. I am willing to accept regression on otherwise massively important (and personally-significant) issues in order to stand against that in an unambiguous way.
 

MikeWM

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If it were just a mere difference of opinion I would be inclined to agree, but Khan has not grasped that the link between cases and hospitalisations has been broken (or is even beginning to be broken). His latest tweets show no understanding whatsoever of the balance involved in Covid risks and other risks. Without a change of opinion it is therefore likely that he will be pushing for more restrictions this Winter, or next year. He may indeed well change his opinion, when he realises there is no more mileage in this for him, but I am not prepared to bet on that hope.

At some point there will be an enquiry into the government handling of Covid. The result seems inevitable to me - it will report that lockdown was too late and should have happened earlier as a 'precautionary measure'.

We will then be on course for locking down multiple times as the default, every decade, for every new nasty-looking virus that emerges. There have been at least 6 I can think of in the last 20 years.

If we ever get out of the current situation, it seems likely that 'lockdown until a vaccine' will become the accepted response to future potential pandemics. That absolutely cannot be allowed to happen, we need to fight it now as hard as we can.
 

bramling

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My view is that I would not be able to support any political candidate in any election that supports lockdowns

Of course I am opposed to many other policies but if all other candidates were unelectable I would not vote.

The idea that anyone can support more lockdowns now that we have highly effective vaccines and also know how damaging lockdowns are, is utterly absurd.


I had no idea how bad and divisive Khan was until the pandemic. I now find him utterly repulsive.

The London mayor role seems to attract dubious candidates, for some reason it seems to have de-facto become part of the job description. All I have seen the role do is create division between London and the rest of the country.

Being cynical it’s clear Blair created the role having done some calculations suggesting it would be a likely Labour stronghold, this got derailed when Ken stood of course, and then there was Boris but I think that was a bit of a one-off which won’t be repeated.

Same with Scottish devolution, at the time Scotland was dominated by Labour so Blair calculated that it would be a shoe-in for them. The SNP surge certainly wasn’t envisaged.

Khan has his own agenda, that’s quite clear. I find him extremely seedy and under-hand.

At some point there will be an enquiry into the government handling of Covid. The result seems inevitable to me - it will report that lockdown was too late and should have happened earlier as a 'precautionary measure'.

We will then be on course for locking down multiple times as the default, every decade, for every new nasty-looking virus that emerges. There have been at least 6 I can think of in the last 20 years.

If we ever get out of the current situation, it seems likely that 'lockdown until a vaccine' will become the accepted response to future potential pandemics. That absolutely cannot be allowed to happen, we need to fight it now as hard as we can.

Yes I think it’s essentially inevitable that any inquiry will say lockdown should have happened sooner.

I’m not sure this necessarily means it’s an inevitability though, just that if you’re going to do it then it’s pointless dithering and delaying as it will then just make it politically harder to escape from, as we have found.

100% agree the acceptability of lockdowns needs to be challenged. I’m not sure it’s going to happen though - places like Facebook are an utterly depressing read, even now there’s plenty of people who seem to feel more restrictions are vital.

Until the link between lockdown and furlough/WFH is destroyed I don’t think we’re ever going to make any progress on this. Even if there’s a bloodbath of job losses people will just say furlough should have been extended even further.
 
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DB

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Yes I think it’s essentially inevitable that any inquiry will say lockdown should have happened sooner.

I’m not sure this necessarily means it’s an inevitability though, just that if you’re going to do it then it’s pointless dithering and delaying as it will then just make it politically harder to escape from, as we have found.

100% agree the acceptability of lockdowns needs to be challenged. I’m not sure it’s going to happen though - places like Facebook are an utterly depressing read, even now there’s plenty of people who seem to feel more restrictions are vital.

Until the link between lockdown and furlough/WFH is destroyed I don’t think we’re ever going to make any progress on this. Even if there’s a bloodbath of job losses people will just say furlough should have been extended even further.

I agree - hope it doesn't go this way, but think it's likely to.

If they were going to have a balanced enquiry it would involve comparisons with other countries and looking at the various measures (lockdowns, masks, etc) and seeing whether statistically there is any evidence for them making a difference at all, or one significant enough to justify their downsides. But it's likely that any enquiry will have a carefully drafted remit which basically just looks at timings, not whether the whole strategy was completely wrong - and any judges carrying it out will be carefully selected as they won't want someone like Lord Sumption who won't follow the approved narrative.
 
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I can't really take any of them seriously but given I don't get a say it's not really an issue. Are we going to look back and think how on earth did Londoners vote for Boris as their mayor on two separate occasions?

Khan really made me laugh when he said that Londoners didn't want Brexit but failed to notice that more people in London voted for Brexit (1.5million) than voted for him (1.3 million)!

When local elections actually take place later this year then a candidate's position on lockdown is definitely going to be one of the key considerations for me.
 
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