Those of you who follow political history or remember Harold Wilson's Labour Government will know how important a figure Joe Haines was. He was Wilson's Press Secretary and spin doctor (even though the term did not exist in the early 1970s); the forerunner to Bernard Ingham and Alastair Campbell. After Wilson left office Haines joined the Daily Mirror as Political Editor and subsequently Assistant Editor. He was a very significant player and a major figure in the British Labour Movement at the time.
What (to my shame) I did not know - and really ought to have known - is that he not only still lives in my patch, but was actually a Labour councillor in Tonbridge in the early 1970s. In face he was councillor for Trench ward - the same ward in which we fought and won a stunning by-election on 8 December last year with over 60% of the vote.
Mr Haines was so appalled at Labour's results in his former ward, and the general prospects for Labour under Corbyn's leadership, he put pen to paper in the new Statesman just before Christmas. Here is his letter.
My thanks to my friend and colleague Ian Lewis from Wallasey for sending me the cutting, though what Ian is doing reading the New Statesman is yet to be established. He will be going vegetarian, next.