Down in Hamphire, a blue county with a splash of gold, few of us have any idea what a Labour Council would be like. Apart from the odd joint administration where they've a few grown ups from other parties to look after them, we simply haven't done Labour in Hampshire for many years. Until now, in Southampton.
So how's it going then...
Firstly a councillor resigns from the Labour cabinet, not a disaster, but it was only two weeks after being appointed.
So the Council issue a statement saying "the Council is facing some difficult budget decisions and inevitably a member of the new cabinet felt uncomfortable making those and reluctantly we have accepted his resignation" with the normal respect decision , looking forward to his valuable contribution..........etc. A few weeks later everyone forgets and moves on.
No, this a Labour council and would not release such a foolish statement (well actually it would have been the truth, Labour made promises, got elected, realised they can't afford them, do the opposite, which some of their group found uncomfortable)
No, instead they lied. Forcing council officials to issue a press statement that he had resigned for health reasons.
Cue, worried friends and family asking what is wrong with him.
Followed by angry former cabinet member issuing statement saying he is fit and well and in good health, Labour Council leader denies lying repeatedly, though clearly every denial was another lie
Then in New Labour style, silence from the Labour team after a gagging order was imposed from party HQ
Then finally the local press print the original resignation letter, proving that the Labour leader had lied all along. And rivals call for his resignation.
Of course he faced heavy criticism from those within his own party (well actually no, lots of support, it appears his fellow Labour councillors have no problem with dishonesty, part of the parties DNA)
And issued a public apology (no, just said nothing to add and can't work out why people are so upset with his repeatedly misleading them)
Anyway the cabinet quitter has now formed a separate Labour council group.
So much for ,One Nation, Labour, they can't even do 'one party' in Southampton!