Zac Goldsmith ran a racist campaign for London Mayor. You know that, right? He mailshot Indian voters telling them that Sadiq Khan’s party wanted to put a wealth tax on family jewellery. He repeatedly used the dog-whistle word “radical” in talking about Khan, and attempted to claim he was in cahoots with the “one of the most repellent people in the country,” the imam of Khan’s local mosque, Suliman Gani, who he claimed to be a supporter of ISIS—a claim which rather unravelled as it transpired that the gentleman in question had regularly spoken in events denouncing ISIS, had broken with Sadiq Khan over the latter’s support for equal marriage (which is, to be honest, on the repellent scale—but rather further down it that Goldsmith was implying), and tweeted a lovely photograph of himself posing with, um, Zac Goldsmith, who looked rather more comfortable next to this apparently scary West-hater than he does attempting to do what a sizeable portion of the population do with thoughtless ease. And he penned this article for the Daily Mail (hold your nose).
But if not leaping to his defence, at least nodding a little in his favour, his sister! Jemima tweeted this a while ago:
Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be- an eco friendly, independent- minded politician with integrity.
Here’s the thing, though, Jemima. Integrity means sticking to your principles, no matter what. You can’t turn it on and off as suits you. That’s, um, lacking in integrity.
Zac Goldsmith is either a racist, in which case he may well have integrity, but a racist with integrity is still a racist. Or he is not a racist but ran a racist campaign, in which case he has no integrity. It has to be one or the other—and, whichever way it is, London is rather better off without him.