Back in June, under the heading "On rosebuds and other thorny issues", I drew readers' attention to the bizarre spectacle of former New Labour councillor Vanessa Smith writing excitedly, and not a little paradoxically, to the letters' page of a local newspaper about the prospect of a fully-fledged Conservative administration at the London Borough of Hounslow following the next local elections in 2010.
The paradox arises from the fact that despite her New Labour sympathies, which clearly remain intact in spite of her quarrel with the local party leadership which led her to contest two council elections as an independent, her deep-rooted hatred of the ICG and of the community empowerment agenda in general means she can barely contain her excitement at the thought of an administration - any administration - in which the ICG no longer plays a part.
So much for Ms. Smith. However, this morning I had the benefit of a long and quite in-depth conversation with a prominent local individual well connected with the Labour Party itself, who informed me without any prompting on my part that New Labour in Hounslow, having accepted the futility at this stage of trying to win back control of the borough, is "pinning all its hopes" (the exact words used) on an all-out Conservative majority in 2010.
When one bears in mind the traditional Labour stereotype of the cost-cutting, service-slashing, privatising agenda of the Conservative Party, this serves to give us some indication of the importance our opponents place within the overall scheme of things on combating the work of the ICG in trying to build a resurgent, powerful and independent community.
Assuming this information is correct - and the evidence of my own eyes and ears (as well as Ms. Smith's letter) tend me towards the view that it is - then it would certainly explain the timidity, to the point of almost deliberate ineffectiveness, of New Labour in opposition. It would also explain the feeling of demoralisation which clearly exists amongst some members of the local party who still place greater import on socialist principles than on organisational control-freakery.
Of course, just to complicate matters further it looks increasingly likely that the next general election will be fought on the same day as the local elections, and that is a contest in which New Labour will certainly not be hoping for a Conservative victory as its heroine and role model Mrs. K££n vies to secure for herself another four or five years of the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed, and which she and her followers presume to be hers by right.
Thursday, 6th May 2010 has the potential to be a very interesting day indeed. Unlike, sadly, the many Borough Council meetings which are still to take place before it.