So most of us batted only the laziest eyelid when a BBC documentary claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been boosting his pension pot with the addition of
palaces and a super-yacht; more remarkable is that
the man tipped to take charge of the world’s most dynamic city, London, is the eldest son of late buccaneering tycoon Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, who left £1.2 billion to his children. Even in America, wealthy sorts such as Mitt Romney, Ross Perot and – we wait to see – Donald Trump, fall short because they fail to
show they truly understand middle class struggles.
Zac Goldsmith, 41, is Conservative candidate for Mayor to succeed Tory colleague and fellow Old Etonian, Boris Johnson. With post-Panama sensitivites, his wealth is raising questions. It would be a coup to beat Labour’s Sadiq Khan: London is the world’s financial capital, but tends to vote left. The personalities could hardly be more polarised, Khan being the on-message Muslim son of a bus driver, while the outspoken Goldsmith underlined his plutocratic credentials by taking a Rothschild as a second wife. Yet if Goldsmith is to triumph, it will almost certainly be because, like Boris, he manages to rise above political squabbles to build a cult of personality.
We meet in a painfully cool shared working space in the City, where the Conservative MP is wooing young tech entrepreneurs. Earlier he launched his business manifesto with Prime Minister David Cameron, yet another well-padded Etonian who encouraged the former environmental campaigner to take up politics.
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