The Right-Minded View: The Timing Of Shami Chakrabarti’s Peerage

by richardhutton

A certain amount of fooferaw – if not accompanied by a degree of argle-bargle – has arisen in recent days; following Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to make Shami Chakrabarti a peer in the House of Lords.

If you ask me, nothing could be a surer sign of questionable judgment than asking somebody to conduct an Inquiry into a problem, taking their recommendations on board; acting upon them; then granting them the opportunity to put their obvious talents and abilities to use in Parliament.

Unlike Mr Corbyn, Labour’s sensible pragmatic electable moderate centrists know that timing is everything – which is why they decided to launch a coup during the onset of a national economic crisis; and they have rightly complained that the timing of Ms Chakrabarti’s peerage could not have been more ill-chosen.

There has been a lot of talk over the past year about the importance of ensuring women are represented at the highest level in politics; with complaint after complaint leveled at Mr Corbyn on this theme. Women’s absence from the Parliamentary pantheon is simply unforgivable. No ifs; no buts.

And yet, quite unforgivably, Mr Corbyn has seen fit to ensure that a woman now occupies a high-level in Parliament. For shame.

After all, it was mere months ago that Ms Chakrabarti conducted an inquiry into the Great Anti-Semitism Crisis of May 2016 (which arose and dissipated the precise, respective instants that the local elections began and ended; for reasons which defy any apparent explanation).

Her report clarified that the very people who – by a striking coincidence – are currently making baseless complaints about Corbyn, were making baseless complaints about Corbyn. Life is full of these odd coincidences.

Another remarkable concurrence is the fact that Chakrabarti also contributed to the Leveson Inquiry; and that many people who are currently objecting to her being granted a position in the House of Lords were none too keen on Lord Leveson’s endeavors. Again, the only plausible explanation for this is the sheer moral rectitude and peerless personal probity of Corbyn’s detractors in the press. They can have no other motivation.

This simple truth is this: the only people who should ever become peers are carpet manufacturers, and lingerie entrepreneurs, who have donated large sums of money to political parties; and perhaps the odd section-28 supporting bus company owner who has followed suit. Maybe also former Labour party leaders, who spent decades bemoaning the House of Lords; up until the very moment they joined it.

And if women are to be promoted to positions in the Lord’s House, then it should only ever be on merit – for example, somebody whose father owned a football club, and who made a lot of money as a consequence. But certainly not to women who have proven themselves to be first-rate public servants, with a unquestionable level of personal integrity – which is a little bit too unquestionable, if you ask me; let alone to anyone who has devoted countless years to protecting the public interest. That’s not what politics is about at all.

Now if only Mr Corbyn would take this on board; and in future ensure that all of his appointments to the House of Lords meet with the prior approval of those who complain about him at every opportunity, regardless of what he may do, all would be well.