From Rory Stewart
Q. I am running for Mayor of London, and had hoped I could get people to focus on practical questions: do you feel safer than four years ago? Is your commute better? But many seem to think the role is largely ceremonial and it is not fair to blame the current mayor when things go wrong. And many are impressed that he stood up to Trump. So my question is, how can I persuade Trump to send rude tweets about me? (If he is really rude, I might win — and thus get the chance to improve the signalling on the Piccadilly line.)
A. Voters are coming round to preferring a leader who is patently good, rather than just the enemy of someone patently bad. There is no need for a firefight with Donald Trump. Instead you can enlarge your territory by the simple expedient of ever more street and doorstep meetings with Londoners. Even those too busy for such concepts as the mayoral budget or mayoral powers still have their human instincts intact. Just as speed-daters can tell within seconds if they ‘fancy’ the other person, Londoners who meet you in real life will not fail to realise your empathy and effectiveness.
This is Rory Stewart's question to 'Dear Mary', which appears in The Spectator Christmas edition. You can find the full article here