Despite all the clear warnings and obvious drawbacks in the idea, an increasing number of Tory MPs and hangers-on have allowed themselves to be persuaded that it would actually be A Very Good Idea to have Jacob Rees Mogg as the party’s next leader. The MP for North East Somerset is certainly not short on ambition, but the idea that the public would take to him, when they wouldn’t vote for Theresa May, is laughable.
Grace Dent in the Independent tried to break the news gently to Independent readers recently: “Rees-Mogg says he has never changed a nappy. In 2004 he went canvassing with his former nanny Veronica, the woman who used to wipe his own bottom. And he's told us loud and clear what he really stands for, although Mumsnet forums seem not to want to listen”. And what does Sir really stand for?
“Rees-Mogg is against same sex marriage, just like his DUP chums. He wants to repeal the Human Rights Act. He thinks zero hours contracts are a favourable thing and seemingly has no interest or urgency on climate change”. That last explains why, over at the Spectator, James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole has been so keen to laud Mogg as if he were the Second Coming of Christ himself.
“I’d vote for him like a shot. And what I find encouraging is that the main, all-too-predictable charge being laid against him by his critics - that he’s too posh - just isn’t having much effect” drools Del Boy, demonstrating that those at the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart need to Get Out More.
Anne Sutherland at ConHome also believes that Rees Mogg should be the next Tory leader, telling anyone who will listen “Rees-Mogg is a superior orator with a wealth of knowledge behind him, giving him the unique ability to explain the most complex of issues”. And not a patronising toff who wants the lower orders to know their place.
But anyone in and around the Labour leadership will not be quaking in their boots, because Rees Mogg’s recent form shows why, while some in the Tory faithful may adore him, once the electorate knows just what he’s at, they will collectively run a mile.
Apart from being against same sex marriage, he wants to cut benefits given half a chance, and wants our military to go off and get involved in conflicts overseas, while not strengthening the military covenant back home. I mean, these servicemen ought to be grateful to go and serve - what do they expect from the state, a decent retirement?
And then there was his support of, and attendance at a dinner hosted by, the Traditional Britain Group, that motley assemblage of racist bigots who like to talk about repatriating black and Asian Britons. It was only after he was called out for cosying up to the Tories’ far-right fringe that he realised it might be a good idea to show some regret.
With all of that in his baggage, Labour need have no fear of Jacob Rees Mogg as Tory leader. So bring him on, clueless Conservative mugs. Give us all a good laugh.