One of the top news stories at the moment is how upset lots of Labour MPs are with their party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Apparently he has sent round a letter to them saying that he doesn’t support David Cameron’s call for British air strikes in Syria against Islamic State targets, stepping up our involvement.
I feel like I am missing something about the story because this doesn’t strike me as particulary incendiary. Corbyn has given his people an insight into where he presently stands on the subject which, to be honest, sounds quite consistent with what you would expect him to think. As far as I’m aware though, he hasn’t insisted that they vote with him or face a purge. Indeed it sounds like it is other elements of the Labour party which are displaying Stalinist tendencies (“if he can’t say what we think would be most popular, he needs to go”) and not Corbyn himself. Furthermore, the story the that senior Conservatives are ringing round politicians of all parties this weekend to seek their support for air strikes in Syria doesn’t seem to to have drawn forth such opprobrium even though that is clearly an attempt to persuade, if not to strong arm, and one that reaches across party divides.
I must be missing something because, on the evidence I have seen, Jeremy Corbyn is acting like a decent and principled man and like a brave leader; exactly the kind of person I’m glad to have leading Her Majesty’s Opposition and who, one day, might make an excellent Prime Minister (he will certainly have demonstrated that he is tough enough if he continues to weather this backstabbing from those in his own party who seem to misunderstand what his overwhelming victory in the leadership elections means about grassroots support for him and who apparently have no sense of what it means to disagree respectfully with someone who is their elected leader).