Prior to Sadiq Khan’s US tour some more gullible Londoners could have been forgiven for expecting to see the London Mayor standing on the Wall Street bank of New York’s East River and exclaiming the Cesarean “Veni, vidi, vici” in a cockney accent, as he ushers the American business chiefs onto the plane and back to London.
Of course no such thing took place.
Instead, even before crossing the Canadian-American border, the first British Muslim mayor of London fired a number of salvos against his hand-picked arch-nemesis Donald Trump. And in that vein, he followed through Chicago and New York, with each speech and interview leaving less and less doubt that he indeed was there primarily to engage in the former US First Lady’s comeback campaign, to eventually sign off at the annual Clinton Foundation party and then fly back to the UK.
Feeling compelled to keep the new London Mayor in check as his unlikely former competitor for the parliamentary seat of Tooting (which he ditched just six days after being elected to run for the current job), I advised not to raise the hopes too high even before he crossed the pond. And after a number of gaffes and bad publicity, I questioned on Breitbart’s Sirius XM whether his trip was at all good value for money from the taxpayers’ perspective.
As I remarked, the purpose of the trip was advertised to us here as showing Americans that “London is open for business and should remain a key destination for North American investment”. Instead Sadiq Khan’s trip made the news for repeated expressions of support for Hillary Clinton and continuous bashing of the potential future American President Donald Trump… Hardly good for business!
And to seal the bad taste left by breaching diplomatic protocol, the Chicago papers picked up on Mayor’s connection to the famous anti-Semite, Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan on the eve of his arrival in the city, which ensured that only the craziest of mad CEOs would at that stage want anything to do with him — or London.
I made a point on Sirius XM that I was becoming worried the overall value-added effect of his trip, resulting from all these mishaps and shenanigans, on our great capital city might be negative. The lost opportunities and businesses pulling out over time are obviously hard to quantify. However, what could be checked was the direct cost to the taxpayers.
And so, I obtained the full cost of the trip for the London Mayor and his staff from the London City Hall, which came to £39,806. To put that figure in a perspective, the average UK salary in 2016 was £27,600, meaning that a reasonably well-paid individual could have been put in charge of promoting London to the USA for a period of a year instead. Given the major beneficiary of that disastrous trip was Hillary Clinton, we should really be billing these costs to her campaign.
“Alea iacta est” (The die is cast) – the London Mayor chose to campaign for Hillary Clinton, and did so at London taxpayers’ expense. Now is the time for the Clinton campaign to compensate the London taxpayers to the tune of $50,000.