It seems very clear that many in the Parliamentary Labour Party are hell bent on undermining Jeremy Corbyn at every turn. While not all are as up front about it as the publicity seeking Simon Danczuk, some big tests to party discipline await. It seems unlikely that the conventional ‘whipping’ system will be enough to keep MPs in line, particularly when Corbyn has been one of the most consistent rebels over the last 30 years. So what could Corbyn do?
To me, his strength lies in the mandate he has earned from the members and registered supporters of the Labour Party. A majority seemed to enthusiastically sign up to his ideas which he was not afraid of being open about (unlike the other three candidates). The other day, I received an email from Corbyn (seemingly sent to everyone on their mailing list) asking people to sign a petition against the trade union bill. In just a few hours, well over 150,000 has signed. More than double that number have now signed.
Why not then harness this enthusiasm in other ways? Corbyn could offer his MPs free votes on every issue, but the day before he can poll the members/supporters on the issue and publish the results by constituency. That way, if Labour MPs vote against Corbyn, they will know the strength of feeling in their constituency. It would really test the backbone of some of these brave dissenters to go against thousands of their own constituents. It would also be an good litmus test for any line Corbyn wants to take.
What do you think? Good idea, or am I talking rubbish again?