Monday, 16 January 2012

Cool wash, long spin: Chaos theory, Crossrail, and Colin Barrow

Graphic representation of Chaos Theory

Not a bad week to be in Triborough opposition as we watch the Tory Leaderships struggle to ‘re-vision’ reality.

Once HS2 was announced along with the transport superhub at Old Oak Common in neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham, we knew that the game must be up and the proposal for a Crossrail station at Kensal Gasworks – just metres away from OOC – must be dead and buried. Of course we had been told this by various parties for at least a year, but until it was in the public domain articulated by Mayor Johnson we couldn’t be more than 95% sure.

So will K&C Council maintain the fiction that we might get our own station and choo-choo train to play with at some point in the distant future, or will they do the decent thing, admit defeat, and get on with considering Plan B for Kensal Gasworks – which we have been demanding for over a year?

So far they seem to be giving the news the ‘cool wash’ treatment, which involves doing as little as possible, starting on a Friday night before a Bank Holiday. It will in all likelihood then get a ‘long spin’ with the story dragged out for as long as possible with a million ‘holding stories’ (‘we are waiting for the report back from the sponsors’) until we supposedly forget about it.

Except that we won’t.

Following the news that Stephen Greenhalgh Leader at H&F is moving on, we heard that Westminster Council Leader Colin Barrow is stepping down in March. This is absolutely nothing whatever to do with the spectacular balls-up he has made of his West End parking proposals, no never, promise promise, cross my heart and hope to die with a cherry, sprinkles and sugar on top. Absolutely NOT. It was pure chance that after yet another week of the whole world, every West End church, pub, shop, all their workers, the relentless Westminster Labour Leader Paul Dimoldenberg and the Evening Standard being against him, he saw the light and decided to walk away from his £100k/yr post and go back to teaching.

Like you do.

The weird thing about the truly dreadful times we are in, is that we in opposition are irresistibly drawn together. The tougher things get, the closer we work together with our neighbouring Labour colleagues. And so the Labour Councillors and MPs and GLA members of K&C, H&F and Westminster have, over the past several months, started working closer and tighter and this culminated in a ‘totally coincidental’ get-together in a pub in North Ken last Friday night, which also ‘totally’ coincided with said Barrow’s resignation.


Did Chaos Theory play a hand, did our defiant laughter create a butterfly’s wing ripple that found its way to Barrow and tipped him into the abyss? Or were we very well informed? Well, that’s for us to know. We were honoured to spend an evening with Barrow’s nemesis the beaming Paul Dimoldenberg, it was a great evening and a rare (but repeatable) moment of joy.

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