It is beginning to look like a bit of a trend this year: the Conservatives get themselves into a tight spot, only for Labour to trump them quickly. Just as the Tories seemed to be descending into a bitter leadership crisis on the weekend after the referendum, half the shadow cabinet resigned.
Now, just as David Cameron was being mauled from all quarters over the cronies in his resignation honours list (including from the presumably not soon-to-be Lord Hilton), Jeremy Corbyn has directed attention to himself by ennobling Shami Chakrabarti, formerly of human rights group Liberty.
The appointment is embarrassing three times over. Firstly, because he said last year: ‘Labour will certainly not nominate new peers for the Lords, which risks undermining its legitimacy’.
Secondly, because Chakrabarti has just finished a report into anti-Semitism in the Labour party which many consider to be a whitewash and this could look awfully like a reward for that.
But thirdly, Chakrabarti’s socialist credentials have been a little undermined by rumours that she tried to get her son into Eton. One parent who did the same tells the website HeatStreet: ‘I took my son to Eton to sit the entrance exam a couple of summers ago and was very surprised to see Shami Chakrabarti there accompanying her son. There is no question it was her. I had assumed Shami was so Left-wing that Eton was possibly the most offensive four-letter word known to her, but obviously I was wrong.’
Few Conservatives will have a problem with a successful woman like Shami wanting to buy her son a good education. But Corbyn? He is well-known for divorcing his former wife Claudia Bracchita after she insisted on sending their son Benjamin to a mere state grammar school. He is said to have wanted him to go to the local comp near their home in Islington.
Or maybe we’ve got that wrong. Maybe she wanted Benji to go to a grammar and Corbyn wanted him to try for Eton. Nothing much would surprise me about Corbyn any more. All I know is that to add to his colleagues’ long list of his inadequacies is a tendency to turn round and score an own goal when he seemed to have a clear run into his opponents’ penalty area.