Neil Coyle, a Labour MP, is worried about the lack of guidance from the leadership of his party to Labour MPs about the line to take on Brexit. He therefore sent two emails to Jeremy Corbyn voicing those concerns.
He got no reply. Instead, he was told he was being reported for the disciplinary offence of failing to communicate his worries to his “line manager”, the Labour Chief Whip, rather than to the party leader.
I suppose it is quite amusing to see Mr Corbyn behaving like the worst sort of CEO of an evil multi-national company. They tend to be very fond of disciplining employees for not following the protocol, for by-passing the “line manager” or, even worse, for whistle blowing by revealing appalling injustices. But does it really fit in with the image Corbyn likes to give himself of being a champion of the rights of the workers?
Obviously it doesn’t. Seeking to punish a Labour MP for sending two private emails to him rather than going to the Chief Whip suggests that he is deeply opposed to the rights of workers (if they are his workers rather than those employed by capitalists). I know he will say in his defence that many trade unions (perhaps the greatest admirers of kangaroo courts) have equally fierce rules designed to stifle opposition to the “leadership”. But, until now, the Labour Party itself has prided itself on being a lot more liberal than trade unions or gigantic capitalist companies. Dissent, while not being encouraged (no political leaders actually welcome dissent), has always been accepted as being inevitable in a democracy. Mr Corbyn seems to have decided that dissent must be quashed, that Labour supporters who think he has got anything wrong should be prosecuted and punished for daring to speak their minds, even if only in private emails to him.
Am I not justified in suggesting that Mr Corbyn is barking mad?
Many of my Tory friends think it absolutely wonderful that the Labour Party is led by a nutcase. That means, they say, that the Conservative Party is guaranteed electoral success for years to come. Maybe we can even become a one party state.
I am appalled by that prospect. Don’t get me wrong. I will always want the Tories to win general elections. But I want them to be tested. I want them to be afraid they might lose power. I want them to understand that they are there to serve us, not to be our masters. If there is never the remotest prospect of any other party gaining power, the Tories, saints though most of them are, will find it horribly easy to slip into being tyrants.
The national interest, not just the interest of Labour MPs who want to keep their jobs, requires that Corbyn should go as soon as possible.