Thursday, 23 April 2009

The New Labour selection circus comes to town

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.


More desperate than Dan ? said...

So it would appear that the local Labour party has decided that they must have old 'big-hitters' Chatt & Ellar back in their fold next time 'round whatever the cost.
Both ex leaders I note - squeaky bum time for Mr Sharma if you ask me !

Gissa Job said...

Maybe they should advertise the job in the Informer?

WANTED - Leader, Labour Group LBH

Successful candidate must be able to demonstrate a continuous record of unmitigated failure over many years, and be male.

Benefits include unlimited use of subsidised canteen and being allowed to stand behind Ann Keen at photo shoots.

Please send CV to:

The Recruitment Committee,
H.M.S. Titanic

Wot, no wimmin ? said...

This strategy seems unbelievably negative.
'Parachuting' who they consider to be their top guns (all male) into their very safest wards suggests they expect precious little support outside of die-hard Labour voters at the next election.
It's almost as if they're waving the white flag already, TWELVE MONTHS before the event !
Perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye - where's a fly on the wall when you need one ?

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

@ No wimmin

It is also indicative of their indescribable arrogance. These people and their style of leadership have been rejected by the voters of this borough time and time again, yet the whole party seems united in the view that it is the community that is wrong and not them.

It is as though they are saying to the voting public: "You WILL have Chatt and Ellar, whether you like it or not. Sooner or later you will get it RIGHT."

It is the same mentality as that which forced a slate of failed New Labour ex-councillors onto the Board of Hounslow Homes as "council representatives" after the voters had sent them packing.

It is also the same mentality that inspired Ellar to declare on the occasion of his second drubbing at Hanworth Park, without any evident embarrassment, that the voters who failed to vote for him didn't know what they were doing.

For as long as this attitude predominates in Hounslow's New Labour Party this crowd will never be allowed back into office. On the contrary I fear the good people of this borough are still going to be getting it wrong for a good time to come.

Bitter Ex-Councillors Anonymous said...

Damn and blast, we're even more bitter now !
Applying our own ethics, we decided that the one woman per ward rule really didn't suit our purpose so we should just ignore it and hope nobody noticed or complained.
If somebody did complain, we were going to create the standard smokescreen by branding them a Nazi and/or advancing our dishonesty/politics argument.
We can't believe one of our own blew the whistle, what a sickener !
How now can the people of Hounslow atone for their past foolishness and reinstate our cruelly wronged members ?

Anonymous said...

And more New Labour high-jinx in todays "HB Times".
Everyones second favourite Southall resident making some 'very informed' comments about the origins of the ICG, curtesy of the letters page.
Honestly, how anyone living in Southall would acquire that 'apparent' depth of knowledge is beyond me, but the extremely accomodating local press keep printing this dubious material.

"Read all about it"..Anybody..Please ? said...

Very noticeable how the local Labour fan club has suddenly started submitting letters en masse to the local press.
Usual suspects, usual rubbish.
All a smokescreen I suspect to divert attention away from the currently breaking 'great expenses scandal'.
Why bother though - how many people are actually reading these local papers nowadays ?
No coincidence that both "The Informer" and "The Guardian" have recently been wound up and the flagship editions "The Chronicle" and "The HB Times" are now available free of charge.

Being 'One of Them' said...

Welcome to the club and what's your perversion ?
Fly-tipping rubble or illegal conversions ?
Applying our own ethics, like pillars of the community
Crying foul play at every opportunity
Feeding duff info to the undiscerning local press
Usual misleading rubbish and we could'nt care less
An honourable vocation, especially for a guy
Ex-leaders preferred, so women need not apply
Champions of the people for thirty-five years
Maintaining cushy jobs to provide long careers
An army of supporters, a truly incredible force
A vociferous fan club in Southall, genuine of course
Our time will return, we simply cannot fail
Another snub next year would be beyond the pale !

Anonymous said...

So despite the negative publicity generated by this story back in April, Messrs Chatt & Ellar decided to stand for selection anyway.
Result - rejection and total humiliation !
Did they really expect any other outcome ?