Every awkward thing Zac Goldsmith has done this year
This man could be the next Mayor of London
Oh, Zac Goldsmith. Just when we thought Ed Milliband owned political awkwardness, along came this softly-spoken straw-haired toff. When he wasn’t telling us he only listens to the Frozen soundtrack, Tory London Mayoral candidate Zac has spent the year having his fair share of Ed-with-a-bacon-sandwich PR mishaps.
More seriously, his campaign has been accused by some of being divisive. Meanwhile, Labour candidate Sadiq Khan has been furiously reminding us that the allegations of anti-Semitism attached to the higher ranks of his party have nothing to do with him. They do not: but it’s an unfortunate environment in which to see out the final days of his Mayoral race, and it’s a campaign many will be glad to see the back of.
Most of us, because it’s been nasty – Zac, possibly for that reason, but also because for him, it’s been blunder after blunder.
4th March: Zac tries to define ‘pansexual’
The modern world can be confusing, which is something that Zac discovered when he agreed to an interview with LGBT site PinkNews. After quizzing the prospective mayor on a number of topics, the interviewer decided to ask Zac to define “pansexual”.
“Pansexual is someone who loves the world, surely? Is that right?” he said, which would have been an admirable attempt if he hadn’t gone on to express his intentions to be a “pansexual” mayor of London, saying: “I would be the Mayor for all of London.”
Goldsmith later cleared up his comments at the Pride in London hustings event, where he said: “I have to admit now that I wasn’t and remain not 100 per cent sure what that meant, but it sounded like an inclusive, all-encompassing One London type of approach that would define my Mayoralty.
“It didn’t mean, as a number of absolutely furious people suggested to me via email, that I intended to rush around having it off with every Londoner.”
16th March: Zac tries to appeal to British Indians
While it may not have been entirely Zac’s fault, his campaign’s decision to send targeted flyers to Indian Londoners backfired spectacularly – perhaps because the “patronising” leaflets boasted about his eye-opening travels to India, while warning that Labour “SUPPORTS A WEALTH TAX on family jewellery”.
Appaz we are all Hindus & love Modi & JEWELLERY?! Evidence that no self-respecting Indian should vote Zac Goldsmith pic.twitter.com/OYxQAfw4IG
— Agnish Ray (@nish_ray) March 15, 2016
23rd March: Zac tries to bring down Sadiq Khan
If there’s one person Zac doesn’t like, it’s Sadiq Khan – and one of the most awkward moments in his bid for mayor came when he attacked Khan in a disastrous interview with the Guardian.
To quote interviewer Simon Hattenstone: “It’s strange. I feel as if I’ve witnessed some kind of breakdown, and am tempted to reach over to give him a hug.”
5th April: Zac tries to talk about London
In a campaign full of them, Zac’s first real Milliband moment came during a nail-bitingly cringe interview in the back of a black cab.
In the space of about a minute, Zac failed to answer who plays at Loftus Road, recognise where Holborn is on a tube map or identify the location of the City of London.
His excuse? “I have apps like Citymapper.”
10th April – Zac tries to button up his coat
This is what happened.
Hello, here is a picture of Zac Goldsmith not knowing how to button his coat & jacket. pic.twitter.com/bQWJmntlBx
— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) April 10, 2016
29th April: Zac tries to drink a pint
In his ever-developing quest to try and act like a functioning human man instead of a posh foppy android, Zac sat down to drink a real-life pint of beer with real-life bloke Boris Johnson.
And this is how he did it:
— Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) April 29, 2016
Also 29th April: Zac tries to understand youth speak
Another day, another car-crash interview. This time, TimeOut were asking Zac about slang words used by young people.
“Have you ever Netflix-and-chilled?”
“If that means have I ever used Netflix, then yes.”
“Do you have a bae?”
“I’m going to think about this. A bae being a place where you go for something? What, though? What is it…? I think I can say that I absolutely haven’t got a bae. I don’t know what a bae is.”
1st May: Zac tries to talk about Bollywood
As the final week of Zac’s campaign approached, he decided to use the one card he still had up his sleeve: his love of Bollywood films. Which would have worked if a) he loved Bollywood films, and B) he hadn’t been asked, on camera, to name a single one.
Cue plenty of squirming, before the admission that he simply couldn’t think of “a favourite”.
3rd May: Zac compares himself to Leicester City
You know Leicester City? The team who started the season as relegation favourites and ended up spending 100 consecutive days at the top of, and then winning, the Premier League?
Well Zac Goldsmith clearly doesn’t – or he’d know that his plan to “zoom in from behind and win” like the club didn’t really make any sense.
LBC host Nick Ferrari’s response? “The polls say you’re Aston Villa, not Leicester.”
— LBC (@LBC) May 3, 2016
4th May: Zac delivers milk
In a misguided publicity straight from The Thick of It, Goldsmith spent the last morning before the election delivering milk to the masses. As we’ve come to expect by now, he looks supremely uncomfortable whilst doing it.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) May 4, 2016
He also found the time to stop by Billingsgate Market, and naturally pose with a giant fish.
when even a fish don't wanna vote for you pic.twitter.com/hieerSLnyp
— Joe Krishnan (@joekrishnan) May 4, 2016