On Monday a local Somali community leader received an unexpected telephone call from the alleged Member of Parliament for Feltham & Heston, Mr. Alan Keen, inviting him to a reception that evening with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. Evidently a spare ticket had become available at the last minute. A little perplexed, he nonetheless accepted and attended the event.
The reason that a ticket had become available at such short notice may well have been because the name of Councillor Paul Fisher, Hounslow Council's Lead Member for Service Improvement and Community Empowerment, had mysteriously been erased at about the same time from the list of invitees.
Councillor Fisher had been invited to accompany one of the young residents of Isleworth's Worton estate who had recently received the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Community Safety Peace Award for their work under the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Sadly the youngster concerned, Jamie Kempson, was understandably overwhelmed and did not wish to attend the reception without Councillor Fisher, who was refused admission at the door.
Lurking in the background when Councillor Fisher arrived was Mr. Keen, and his unsuspecting Somali accomplice.
Even by the standards of political pettiness and spite that have earned New Labour in Hounslow the notoriety they deservedly enjoy, particularly in Isleworth, it seems difficult to credit that they would stoop so low as to deprive a hard-working and community-spirited young member of the community the opportunity of a lifetime, to meet the Prime Minister and to have his good work receive the recognition and congratulation it deserved from the most senior political figure in the land. However there are a number of incidents which, whilst they may constitute nothing more than a series of coincidences, certainly give us food for thought.
One is that the Somali activist in question was one with whom Councillor Fisher and myself have been working very closely and constructively on a series of community cohesion projects. Part of New Labour's modus operandi in these parts is to try to overawe those in the community it seeks to use by impressing them with its importance and contacts. Residents of my own estate have been offered the impossible-to-refuse opportunity to "meet Ann Keen in person" (no less) in exchange for their acquiescence on specific community issues. If the gentleman in question was as shallow as New Labour assumes he and other members of the hoi polloi to be, he might well have been flattered enough to sell his soul to New Labour. In any event, inviting this particular guest has all the hallmarks of "getting one over" on the hated ICG and Worton community.
Another is that on the very morning following this incident, at 10:29 to be precise, this very blog was visited by somebody at the Houses of Parliament (thanks Statcounter). Don't they say felons always return to the scene of their crimes? There being nothing on here at that time about the incident, whoever it was only hung around for four seconds.
I sincerely hope that this incident was nothing more than an innocent mix-up, and that it was not the latest manifestation of New Labour's long-running hatred of the residents of the Worton estate (residents one of its representatives abused as "whingers" a few years back when they dared to oppose the Party's plans for their green). If this is the case, I promise to publish any statement from New Labour to that effect here on this blog . Should such a statement not be forthcoming people will draw their own conclusions, and those conclusions will no doubt differ from person to person.
In the meantime, all I can say is roll on the general election!