Sunday, 30 September 2012

Hounslow Labour Group - No Change, No Quarter

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.


Anonymous said...

They clearly aren't going to say anything to contradict Robin but is that because Robin wields power in the Labour group or just because they agree with him about Dennisson?

Phil Andrews said...

Fair question, but that doesn't alter the fact that he spoke on behalf of the Hounslow Labour Group and judging from their silence they would appear happy for him to do so.

Anonymous said...

Does no quarter mean Labour are giving we the community no quarter or you the ICG are giving Labour no quarter?

Phil Andrews said...

Both I guess, one being the natural consequence of the other.

oito said...

Just go for it and have done with. If you have to think about it then it's too close to the margins to leave to chance.

Happy Birthday said...

Obviously Captain Ellar has seen all his impressive wallcharts recording every negative comment ever uttered about Phil Andrews since 1978, so he remains an indispensable member of the red team.

C'est la vie, guess you'll just have to gird yourself in your 'lucky' birthday pants and weather the storm Phil.

Now's Your Chance said...

Phil, have you seen the inside back cover of this weeks "Hounslow Chronicle"?

LBH are looking to appoint two fine upstanding members of the local community to serve on their Standards Committee - a priceless opportunity for successful applicants to lord it over serving councillors for three whole years !

Surely your unique poacher-gamekeeper-poacher travails spanning more than a decade make you a shoe-in for one of these prestigious posts ?