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London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey is the only black politician saying the police aren’t racist

Chris Sweeney
Chris Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey is the only black politician saying the police aren’t racist
Conservative nominee Shaun Bailey claims class and community issues are being ignored in favor of racial point scoring. Some write him off as a rabble-rouser and racism-enabler, but does he see something that others are missing?

Race is at the heart of almost everything right now, proven by how a routine police stop in London has morphed into a national scandal. British MP Dawn Butler was a passenger on a weekend drive in the borough of Hackney, when a patrol car pulled her – and the black driver – over. Butler recorded the stop on her phone and uploaded the footage to social media, and all hell broke loose.

Since then, she’s done the rounds on TV stations to proclaim that the police are “institutionally racist,”calling for action “to weed that out.”

But what really lit the blue-touch paper is the fact that the police’s defender-in-chief is a fellow black politician from London, Shaun Bailey. He’s the Conservative candidate to be the next mayor of London in the delayed 2021 election.

In a move completely out of step with most other black politicians, he fired back: “Yes, police make mistakes. But they’re not racist.

“Instead of political attacks, let’s improve relations between police and the communities they serve.”

London is a city in turmoil and its nine-million-strong population is split. The BLM marches sparked violence, resulting in mounted police charging at them to restore order.

A week later, the Democratic Football Lads Alliance marched to defend statues in the city – with more violence erupting, as police battled them too.

More recently, the Forever Family Force – an all-black militia – marched through the city in body armor to mark the 186th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery Act, leading to many outraged residents fearing they will take up arms if given the chance.

However, Bailey appears to be the only mainstream voice saying race is not the issue.

For him, the dividing factor is class.

He said: “I’ve probably got more in common with white working-class people than I do with black people from wealthy backgrounds.”

This pivot away from skin color has ironically cost Bailey – an ethnic candidate – the support of large swathes of the ethnic electorate.

One Londoner wrote on Twitter: “Pandering to and enabling racism is Shaun Bailey’s only hope.”

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Another person posted: “Shaun Bailey realized that getting [the] black vote wouldn’t help him so his strategy is now [to] prove to the general population he isn’t like other blacks.”

It’s quite right with all that’s going on, there’s a comprehensive look into the conduct of the authorities and how they deal with racial issues – equality is a must.

But it’s shameful that a man running for office has to deal with jibes insinuating he’s not a ‘genuine’ black person for sharing his opinions.

Others feel he’s a sacrificial lamb being thrown to the wolves. They cynically speculate that he has been ushered into the role of running for mayor in order to change the conversation. Take the heat off certain things and focus the eyes of the UK’s capital on something else.

Rumors have been building that former chancellor Sajid Javid may be parachuted in to take his place

The logic is that Bailey is a patsy to absorb all the crunching blows, so a blemish-free Javid can appear as a breath of fresh air and glide into the mayor’s seat.

There’s no doubt that Bailey is a maverick. He’s gotten himself into a few scrapes.

One was when he wrote about religion: “You bring your children to school and they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas. I speak to the people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Muslim and Hindi days off. What it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community we slip into a crime riddled cess pool.”

This was spun into accusations he was anti-Hindu and Muslim. 

He’s also slated the BBC, describing it as an organization that “sees itself as propagandist for liberal values.”

On youngsters being sexually active, he said: “Giving children condoms and the amount of sexual material they are exposed to, you normalize sex and they feel it is their divine right to have it, when actually it is not” – and he also favors reducing the time limit on abortions.

Bailey is also out of step with the current environmental drive, he has pledged to reverse the increase in London’s Congestion Charge.

Along with that, he wants to see an increased number of cops and the reopening of 38 police stations across London

He has other interesting and against-the-grain policies which he hopes will unseat current Mayor Sadiq Khan, but Bailey feels it’s hard to get them heard by voters. He explained: “Khan’s biggest strength is his incumbency.

“He is the mayor, you can’t get around that. If I issue a press release, I have to beg you to pay attention, let’s be frank about that.” 

Bailey doesn’t appear to be the darling of the Conservative heavyweights of today either. He was an adviser to former prime minister David Cameron, but his cronies are long gone.

Bailey is a former youth worker, who has also worked as a security guard and swept factories to make ends meet. He ran a children’s charity that folded over claims about financial impropriety.

He’s part of the blue-blood Conservatives but grew up in social housing and admits to committing burglary as a younger man.

So returning to the incident with Dawn Butler and her high-profile car stop, most would have expected Bailey to agree with her polarizing sentiments, but he didn’t.

He’s a man plotting his own course, who doesn’t fit the stereotypes.

And if we’re all to believe there’s systematic racism and profiling going on, isn’t that precisely what’s required?

Life isn’t binary. Not everything is black or white. That’s why Shaun Bailey could be the man to put Europe’s most influential city back together.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.