According to an article in this week's Hounslow & Chiswick Guardian there is some bad stuff going down in the Hounslow Labour Party yet again as it sets about selecting its candidates for next year's local elections.
Locals and regular readers will be familiar with the shenanigans of New Labour on our estates and in our communities, with the perpetual scheming, plotting and factionalising as they beaver away likes ones possessed to establish control of everything from the Neighbourhood Watch to the village philatelic society while the rest of us are working to build a more harmonious and cohesive environment in which for us all to live.
Once every four years, however, the sharks turn upon each other and in so doing provide the rest of the local political world with a feast of free entertainment. We frequently read and hear of selection meetings with more votes cast than people present, and half-decent councillors deselected and banished to a far-off ward - if they're lucky - because theirs is not the faction that is presently in the ascendancy.
The current row is about female representation. For a party that presumes to lecture the rest of us about equalities it is worth recording that the Labour Group in Hounslow has almost the lowest proportion of female members of any group on the council. The Community Group is 50% female, the Conservatives 43%, the West Area Independents 33%. And yet the Enlightened Ones of the Labour Group have just 25% women amongst their councillors - six from a total of 24.
It would appear from the article that Labour in Hounslow is in a mood to ignore party policy by not standing at least one woman in each ward, having selected all-male slates in the "safe" Labour wards of Hounslow West, Heston Central and Heston East. Preferred candidates would seem to include such political giants as former council leaders John Chatt and Colin Ellar. Now the London Labour Party has intervened and seems to be suggesting that the selections are all to be considered null and void.
Meanwhile there promises to be much more fun to come as the displaced ones search desperately for another home in progressively less winnable wards. We could end up with a flurry of distraught female wannabe councillors led by Peta Vaught, currently of Heston but now deselected, fighting it out for the right to do battle with us here in Syon and Isleworth. Voters in this neighbourhood could be spoilt for choice.
The joys of membership of such an organisation really are difficult to imagine.