London 29 June 2019 - The Debate started with the list of wounds London is suffering ''after years of cuts to welfare, police, social housing, education...in a country where the economy hasn't yet recovered to pre-crisis levels" the mayor Sadiq Khan said Thursday in his speech at The State of London Debate, a Q&A session with Londoners which highlighted how their main concern now switched from rent crisis and homelessness to youth violence.
This is not just due to the alarming reality of knife crime in the British capital, (the latest victim on Wednesday, making 31 so far of the total 101 victims in the whole country since the start of 2019), but it's also due to an internationalised political agenda where Trump's tweet attributing to the mayor of London the responsibility of surging killings among teens gave Khan the chance to question the real nature of US-UK special relationship "he [Trump] is one who says 'if you come from a Muslim majority country you can't come to United States', he is amplifying the messages of the far-right, he is somebody who defends white supremacists, defends anti-Semites...now if you can't say both of you are good as best friend, are they really best friends?'', said the Mayor of London.
In light of this, there's, instead, an actual, historical US-UK common implicit intent that over the latest years turned into a common sentiment against immigrants, diverse ethnicity and religion; but this mutually supported ideology is bridging exclusively Republicans and Tories, then not representing the two countries wider population's stances, while diverting resources and awareness from the delivery of support to citizens at local level towards national and international ideological debates.
Eventually, at national level ideology usurped government whereas at local level mayors do not have enough powers to tackle issues such as skyrocketing rents, corruption, international money laundering, cuts to police numbers, cuts to education and benefits.
In a similar debate last year when homelessness and housing crisis emerged as main issue in London, Khan stressed the Mayor has no power to regulate rents. One year on, the capital is still facing the consequences of this: in central boroughs like Shepherds Bush or Islington with high rates of homelessness and unaffordable rents, young as 15-year old kill for just 1,000 pounds, money that makes them respected among the increasingly marginalised society of the young. Multiple knife crimes (happening the same day or at short distance) until last year were described in police reports as 'unrelated incidents', when now are reported as casualties of fight between gangs of youngs.
Local limited powers and national ideocracy result in a vacuum of governance leading local crime to auto-organise and to increasingly control slices of local areas: dynamics happening right in those countries of Europe far right Brexiteers promise to keep away by exiting the EU, when instead are establishing in their own land by supporting austerity, extreme ideologies and nationality based discrimination.
The State of London Debate: when a Q&A event with the Mayor reveals the local impact of US-UK special relationship