The local Conservatives seem to pioneering a fourth way in local government - half-arsed politics.
The meeting of the Corporate, Community and External Affairs committee voted to call-in the cabinet's decision to award Askett-Hawk an exclusive period to develop their proposals for Kings Meadow. Andrew Cumpsty blustered his way through an unconvincing argument for delaying the restoration of Kings Meadow even further. Even more incredible when you take into account the fact that his party chairs the scrutiny panel that recommended it.
In fact if you look back on the last year, the Tories seem to be pathologically incapable of making a decision.
When it came to replacing the Civic, a process that they had been involved with since the start, they bottled it after an intervention in the press from Rob Wilson and instead chose to go back to the drawing board and delay that programme to the point where delivering it before the Civic falls down has to be questioned. When it came to setting a budget, one of the most fundamental duties of a local council, they couldn't come up with a single proposal apart from offering the electorate 'as much gold as they could eat'. And now we have their fudge over Kings Meadow, yet again following Rob Wilson squirming over their council position at a public meeting.
The local Tory party does seem to be going through a little internal crisis, evidence of which is their shocking treatment of Isobel Ballsdon. She was unceremoniously booted out by the boys despite leading the successful Tory response to the Childrens' Services JAR report for which she had earned enormous respect for the way she handled it. Isobel has put on a loyal and brave face since but really, that was shoddy politicking.
There now are question marks being posted around the forums and comment pages from Tory activists about Andrew Cumpsty's ability to lead the local party and it is true that he owes his position to a casting vote. Underneath the Tories are deeply divided and apparently led by the nose by Rob Wilson's re-election campaign. Even that seems to be out of his hands as he allows his minions to fabricate pictures for his glossy leaflets without censure.
It will be interesting indeed to see if the Tories can hold themselves together in a display of public unity when it is clear to outside observers that they are riven with factions whose only common goal is power at all costs.