After years in the political wilderness in Birmingham the Labour Party is preparing for a return to power in the Council House by turning on itself in spectacular fashion.
Even the poor showing of Ed Miliband and ascent of David Cameron in the latest popularity polls seems unlikely to stop the Labour group taking the handful of seats it needs to seize control of the Council Chamber in May.
Those with long memories will remember their last administration was beset with in-fighting and parties within parties.
It has often been suggested that the Labour Party is as much a coalition as the ruling Tory-Lib Dems.
“We are a broad church” was one councillor’s way of explaining the situation recently.
An added twist this time round is the pre-emptive contest to become the parties elected mayor candidate.
Councillors and party candidates are now becoming aligned to one of the three early runners – Sion Simon, Sir Albert Bore or Gisela Stuart. And that is before the mayoral election has even been confirmed with a referendum.
So as well as fighting the Tories and Lib Dems they are now fighting each other.
Only last week I reported how the squabbles that usually beset selection contests in Lozells and East Handsworth seemed to have simmered down. For once the lawyers and Labour Party’s National Executive Committee were not called upon to intervene.
But normal service has now been resumed in Aston where solicitor of choice for disgruntled Labour Party members Raghib Ahsan has been approached with a complaint which he says he is “considering”.
The allegation is that potential candidate Sonia Shaheen, favoured by the Sion Simon faction and backed by Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood was omitted from the all woman shortlist.
The winner was Nagina Kausar, the daughter-in-law of former Lord Mayor Mahmood Hussain, who is a firm friend of Sir Albert.
Of course the official response from the Labour Party’s regional organiser Ian Reilly is that the selection was carried out according to the rules and everything went off rather well.
Any complaints “are a storm in a teacup” he suggests. “In any competitive situation there are winners and losers,” he adds.
There is also a rather unpleasant suggestion that rank and file members are simple voting fodder to be directed and manipulated by influential councillors and MPs, rather than independent free-thinking politically aware individuals who can make their own mind up thank up.
This bickering may be no different to the rivalry at a local bowling club committee, but the prize at stake is taxpayer funded public office.
If anything, the squabbling is excellent preparation for the Ms Kauser as she must now enter the fray against senior Liberal Democrat councillor Ayoub Khan, a veteran of some of the bitterest election rows the city of Birmingham has ever seen and a man more than a little used to a political dust up.