I commented in a previous thread about Syon Labour Councillor Theo Dennison and his noble sentiments about engaging with the community, albeit from the perspective of a Labour administration.
In that article I noted that Theo had been demoted from the Council Cabinet, and expressed the view that this did not send a good signal to those of us who might be looking for some way in which to try to subsume the now borough-wide movement for a community role in decision-making into the existing political structure so as to negate the need for perpetual electoral challenge, and all the hassle that that entails.
There have been some further developments since I wrote that article, regrettably none of them good.
An intervention on the Comments section of prominent Labour councillor Ruth Cadbury's blog by a well-known Labour supporter from Southall, whose membership status is unclear but who nonetheless involves himself heavily in Hounslow politics, prompted me to comment on the Brentford TW8 community forum.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given his positive approach to local political engagement, Councillor Dennison made it clear that he had no respect for the Southall interloper. In response the latter not only made some unflattering remarks about Councillor Dennison but presumed to do so - interestingly - in the name of the Hounslow Labour Group. In particular, he announced that Councillor Dennison had been demoted due to his colleagues having a low opinion of him as a person.
I enquired as to whether any of Theo's colleagues would be offering any words in his defence, bearing in mind that he is a colleague, anytime soon. In particular they might wish to reassure us that the interloper was not in a position to speak for the Hounslow Labour Group, bearing in mind his status as a non-councillor, non-Hounslow resident and possibly even non-party member.
In reply Theo very honourably attempted to mitigate their apparent lack of support by pointing out that no other member of the Labour Group (other than Councillor Cadbury, a now self-declared mate of the interloper despite having previously told us that she didn't know him!) ever posts on the forum.
No sooner had he done this than another member of the Hounslow Labour Group, a Cabinet member no less, further undermined Theo by herself entering the debate on the forum, not to defend her colleague but to speak out in support of the interloper!
To date neither the Hounslow Labour Group nor any member thereof has seen fit to speak up for Councillor Dennison, despite the fact that he regularly makes it his business to defend them whenever any of them come in for any criticism, even when it is sometimes well-deserved. It would appear that in the Hounslow Labour Group loyalty is very much a one-way street.
One is, very reluctantly, forced to conclude that it is very much the Taylor/Cadbury approach to local engagement, rather than the approach clearly preferred by Theo Dennison, which is in the ascendancy at Lampton Road, and that the show is being run by outside forces with their own agenda rather than by elected members in Hounslow.
It's not looking good.