A fascinating debate has broken out on the thread below, instigated by a poster calling himself/herself "Fly On The Wall", who seems to have spilled the beans over New Labour's 2010 council election strategy.
According to FOTW, the party's plan is to "throw" the next local election and allow the election of a majority Conservative council as a means of prising the ICG out of office, an interesting scenario which I must confess had not completely occurred to me before the discussion began.
FOTW further alleges that the Conservatives are "in on" this cosy arrangement but provides no evidence, and the accusation is unambiguously refuted by local Conservative Chair John Davies, a man for whom I have a great deal of affection and respect.
As was pointed out by another poster in response, if New Labour wished to throw an election they would not need the co-operation of the Conservatives to do it. The Conservatives, one imagines, will be doing whatever they can to maximise their vote and their representation on the local authority quite irrespective of whether their New Labour opponents choose to put up a fight.
So what of FOTW's bona fides? Well, he/she is certainly privy to the knowledge that Hounslow is not on Labour's list of target boroughs for 2010. This I know to be a fact - and an extraordinary one at that, considering the borough's demographic make-up and the fact that prior to 2006 it had "enjoyed" 35 years of unbroken Labour rule.
It may also be that the declining and demoralised party has decided to prioritise the re-election of the awful Keens ahead of trying to win back the council, which would help to explain their embarrassing volte face over Council Tax.
I tend to believe there is some substance in FOTW's comments, whilst rejecting his/her implication of the Conservatives as a conscious partner in such a strategy as being unlikely (although for us it would be irrelevant in any event). My only reservation would be in wondering quite how Labour Party bosses would manage to sell such a negative strategy to existing and wannabe councillors. Possibly this might just explain FOTW's obvious chagrin?
I'll bring readers more on this if and when the plot unfolds further.