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Why London deserves Adele for mayor | Nick Levine

By Nick Levine

Tired of being offered the same old candidates? One diva-loving journalist has a solution

As the London mayoral election looms closer, it’s starting to look like a boring two-horse race: the Tories’ posh blando Zac Goldsmith up against Labour’s less posh blando Sadiq Khan. Yawn. There are rumours swirling that Morrissey may put himself forward, but London doesn’t need a misanthropic Mancunian fop who seems to care more about animals than people. What we need is an inspiring wild card – a totally unexpected independent candidate. What we need is bloody Adele.

Yes, Adele Laurie Blue ‘Someone Like Youuu’ Adkins. She’s already set fire to the rain, now it’s time for her to set fire to the heaps of pointless paperwork stopping people from getting shit done at City Hall. She may not have oodles of political experience (okay, she has no political experience) but Adele does have a proven track record of pulling off the impossible. If she can single-handedly save a music industry crippled by streaming and illegal downloads – which she kind of did by shifting 31 million copies of her 2011 album ‘21’ – she should be able to do something about London’s housing crisis. For example: ‘£570 pcm to kip in a tent in the corner of a stranger’s kitchen in Clapham? Fack off! Don’t pay it, mate.’ No, she didn’t say that, but you probably just thought she did. That’s because it’s exactly the kind of no-nonsense response you’d get if you showed Adele one of those listicles about shitty London rental opportunities.

Policy Exchange / Wikipedia

This sparky, rough-diamond charm is Adele’s trump card. She’s the Tottenham girl made good, the ultimate London success story. Her trophy cabinet may be buckling under the weight of an Oscar, a Golden Globe, eight Brits and ten Grammys, but Adele still feels like one of us: if you were working out of office in Pret and Adele was at the next table, you’d trust her to watch your laptop while you popped to the loo. At the same time, only a prize numpty would underestimate her. ‘I’m ballsy, I have guts, I’m not afraid of anyone,’ Adele once told US Vogue.

The only potential stumbling block might be the interview she gave to Q magazine in 2011, in which she appeared to whinge about her tax bill. ‘I’m mortified to have to pay 50 percent! [While] I use the NHS, I can’t use public transport any more,’ she is quoted as saying. ‘Trains are always late, most state schools are shit and I’ve gotta give you, like, 4 million quid – are you having a laugh?’ Adele’s mayoral rivals would sink their teeth into that like stray dogs who’ve discovered the bins round the back of Bodean’s.

Fortunately, Adele has an ace up her sleeve: she can offer to play a free concert in Hyde Park on May Day (just three days before the election) to apologise. I mean, who didn’t say something in 2011 that they now kind of regret? I declared Jessie J ‘Britain’s very own Rihanna’ that year (cringe). Goldsmith and Khan can kiss babies and trade banter with OAPs as much as they like, but they can’t compete with 80,000 sun- dappled Londoners singing along to ‘Rolling in the Deep’.

‘Hello, it’s me... I was wondering if you’d like an extra 40 miles of cycle lanes by 2019?’

I’m sold. #VoteAdele! 

Want more ranting and raving? Read Nell Frizzell's column on why we should save London's markets.

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