I hit the headlines again this week, courtesy of the Hounslow & Brentford Times which carried an article about my relationship with the parasitic Keen duo and their lack of co-operation with the London Borough of Hounslow.
For the benefit of anyone who is unfamiliar with this particular story I will elucidate. In May 2006 I joined the local authority's Executive as Lead Member for Housing & Community Safety. Some time afterwards the his-and-hers MPs decided to make an issue of the fact, and they wrote a letter to Councillor Peter Thompson, Leader of Hounslow Council, "reserving the right to withhold our co-operation from your administration" for as long as I remained a member of the Executive. The reason given was my former membership of the National Front, an organisation whose views I had publicly renounced a decade and a half previously.
The letter itself was simply a "hook" for a much wider campaign against me and by association the Community Group, which involved briefing a number of sympathetic journalists from Tribune, the Daily Mirror, and of course the London Evening Standard where the Keens seem to enjoy a naturally cosy relationship with the odious and deceitful Andrew Gilligan. It also included a question in the House of Commons by Mrs. Keen to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, which to his credit he brushed aside with barely concealed contempt.
The devil in the Keen's "non co-operation campaign" transpired over the coming months to be in the detail. Their principled stand did not, it seem, extend to boycotting publicity opportunities and photo calls organised by the local authority. The non co-operation was to be limited to issues which involved an element of hard work.
Unimpressed by the Keens' selective application of what was supposed after all to be a point of high principle, I put a Motion to Borough Council which had the effect of formalising the lack of a working relationship between the local authority and the MPs in a way which removed the potential for embarrassment to our officers, by declaring that henceforth the Keens would only be admitted to any activity organised by the local authority with the express permission of the administration. The Motion was passed with the full support of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat, ICG and other independent councillors, with only Labour voting against. No more unearned photo ops for the Keens.
Having been hoist by their own petard the Keens and their little band of followers and organised letter-writers squealed concertedly like stuck pigs, just as I had predicted they would. It wasn't fair. The local authority was cutting off relations with the Keens, who had done nothing wrong. They hadn't said they wouldn't co-operate with the council, only that they would reserve the right to do so. And so on. Henceforth the lie was promulgated that the severing of the relationship between the borough and its MPs was all at the behest of the administration, with the MPs being the innocent victims for simply having done the honourable, ethical thing by expressing real and valid concerns about the involvement of the neo-fascist ICG in the administration of a multi-cultural borough.
In order to be sustained the lie had to divest itself of some inconvenient truths. The first was that, in the many months which had passed between the sending of the letter to Councillor Thompson and the Motion to Borough Council the Keens had already withdrawn their co-operation from the local authority. Nobody can name one solitary instance of them having helped or co-operated with the new administration during that period in any way, shape or form.
The second was that, far from being motivated by ethical considerations, the Labour position was actually incredibly confused. My initial appointment to the Executive was made by Borough Council in May 2006 and was supported unanimously, that is by every member of the Council including all 24 members of the Labour Group. Then, in 2007, following the announcement of the Keens' "principled" stance against my appointment, the same Labour Group abstained on (not opposed) my appointment to the Executive on the grounds of my former NF membership (they also refused to support Caroline's appointment as Deputy Mayor, presumably in the belief that previously-held political associations are contagious and can be passed on to other members of the family). And in 2008, which was to be the last year I would stand for Executive, they approved my nomination unanimously once again!
The gist of the newspaper article was to point out that, now I am no longer a member of the Executive, there is not really any justification for the Keens' non co-operation continuing. Yet continue it does, with Mrs. Keen refusing to comment as to why (it also gave a very gratefully received plug to my new anti-fascist blog Walk Away, which is already beginning to attract a small trickle of new visitors).
This petulance and deceit characterises completely the sheer unpleasantness of what New Labour has become today. I am looking forward to the electorate giving these two shameless self-seekers the boot at the next general election and replacing them with people who are prepared to put the welfare of their constituents before political point-scoring and work with the local authority, whatever its political complexion, for the greater good of the community we were all elected to serve.