At last, the truth

You have always wanted to know this

I feel like we've been waiting for this for a lifetime. Rather like the Second Coming, or Godot. But this one's defied the trend and finally arrived! Now we know: the causes of crane accidents.

The life-turning-point-esque revelations come all the way from the Straits Times in Singapore, where there is an alarming number of cranes (17,000!) and therefore crane-related accidents (162 last year!). Crane-related accidents is the technical term. A hundred and sixty-two sounds like an alarming number but actually I have no idea as I have nothing to compare it to. My life is sorely lacking in crane statistics. Granted, crane-related accidents are not to be mocked. But absurd investigations into crane accidents are opent to mockery, I think. This one has discovered that managers, operators, supervisors and faulty cranes are all to blame for crane accidents. Which is pretty much anyone who has anything to do with a crane, apart from maybe a passing bird that has been exonerated from the whole murky affair.

Anyway, that's today for you. Politics, 9/11, Afghanistan, recession, swine flu. And cranes.

 

 

 

 

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Sadiq Khan to be elected mayor of London

The MP for Tooting will reclaim City Hall for Labour after eight years.

Sadiq Khan is to be elected mayor of London. Though results are still coming through, it is now mathematically impossible for anyone else to win. The Tooting MP has won City Hall back for Labour after eight years of Conservative rule.

At the time of writing, Khan is beating the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, at 45.5 per cent to 33.9 per cent, in what could be described as a landslide victory. The Green candidate Sian Berry is third with 6 per cent of the vote, followed by the Lib Dems (4.4 per cent) and Ukip (3.5 per cent). Turnout has been higher than expected, at 44.8 per cent – the highest turnout in a London mayoral election since Boris Johnson won in 2008, when it was 45 per cent (in 2012, it was 38 per cent).

The first MP of Islamic faith ever elected in London, Khan was also the first Asian and Muslim to attend cabinet meetings, after being appointed transport minister in Gordon Brown’s government in 2009. He has represented Tooting since 2005. There will be a by-election in the constituency as Khan stands down as MP.

Khan’s thumping victory is a boost for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership, after a night of disappointing local election results, and coming third in Holyrood. At the time of writing, Labour has kept the same share of seats in the London Assembly.

The result is a disaster for Goldsmith, whose campaign came under constant criticism for its scare tactics regarding Khan as a Muslim of Pakistani heritage. The Conservatives accused Khan of “pandering to extremists”.

Andrew Boff, the Conservative group leader on the Greater London assembly, called the campaign’s attempts to link Khan to Islamic extremism “outrageous” , and the outgoing Tory deputy mayor of London, Roger Evans, said it was a “foolish” campaign, which could “leave a negative legacy” for the Conservatives in London.

The result will come as a relief to pollsters, however, who were predicting at least a 12-point lead for Khan.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.