The golden rule for the cognoscenti when you leave a job is to walk out and don’t look back. Any glance in the rea-view mirror offers you only a glimpse of second-raters picking bits off your professional reputation for their own ends.
It’s a harsh blow to be basking in your own irrelevance, which is the normal ticket once you’ve left the building. In-role, and big cheeses cannot move for the barely breathing corpses of sycophants. Once out, their phone stops ringing completely, and their legacy gets shredded by those whose incompetence can be conveniently folded into alleged historical shortcomings. In fact, once it’s clear that the chief is on their way, their influence evaporates in an instant.
Leavers should also eschew the fabled leaving party. For the narcissistic, this is a last supper during which more than just three cocks will crow. Why bother sucking up unactionable barbs when you can just walk away without feeling even more embittered.
Corbachev has for some time been experiencing ‘former boss’ syndrome that defenestrated leaders have to weather in the months after being shunted out. His former lickspittles have been ousted, his policies sidelined, and the final blow was going to be a formal report from an independent body, the EHRC.
In every other circumstance, the EHRC is a blundering, heaving, constipated waste of hot air. This time however, they would be popping diamonds from their bureaucratic large intestine.
For Corby, his day job meant he was still going to be hanging round the office, so he had to be cut adrift and fast. His renowned unrelenting refusal to bend meant that he was never going to walk away from the smear that had dogged him throughout his tenure.
It was therefore a dead cert that he was going to respond, and that is not a crime. So, they upped the ante and made it one. Or rather conflated any ‘claims that antisemitism might have been exaggerated’ with ‘antisemitism’ itself.
That’s some step. This is finding fault with opinion, which is extremist by any measure and a red line in any legal setting. This is thought police territory. And so, it came to pass – Jezza tossed out his opinion and was suspended by the party now led by the man who had backed him in the face of all the previous allegations of antisemitism.
The blatant injustice of it all is what makes the suspension almost Conservative Party in nature. It has a certain vicious knife-twist about it; to tar somebody with an evil that is marinated in hypocrisy.
It is now antisemitic simply to dispute the findings of a report into antisemitism. Let the bonkers rationale of that sink in for a moment.
You could argue that Corbachev horlicksed up how antisemitism had been addressed during his leadership. The same could be said of the botching of Brexit policy and the fantastical goody-bag manifesto. But all that malarkey was at worst a failure of leadership, and he’s already been sent on his way for that.
But this isn’t about kicking out antisemitism. It’s a proxy war to kick out socialism and get closer to power.
So, there may be trouble ahead, and not just in terms of a lefty purge. The last time such a clear-out was undertaken, Labour imploded and went on to lose two elections. Worryingly, that was with some talent on the shadow front bench, which is a luxury that the party no longer enjoys.
Bashing Corby, like pinging out a few cyclists in the old SUV, will absolutely gain some nodding approval from centrist floaters. But ultimately, the Starmbannführer will win votes only if he has anything meaningful to say.
And so far, he hasn’t.