The late Lenny Bruce once observed that if Albert Einstein had spoken like a native of the southern USA, “there’d be no bomb”. Conversely, those who talk posh are never shooed away by those holding influence, and indeed the public generally. This can be seen by the fawning adulation given to the Member for Times Long Past Jacob Rees Mogg, who as a result is able to get away with pitching the most flagrant whoppers.
He can also get away with U-turns and other acts of routine hypocrisy. So it was that not an eyelid was batted within the Press and Pundit Establishment as he first of all told his devoted followers “The Country needs a new leader, it is time for Mrs May to resign”, added “Surely we should listen to our members”, but then about-turned with “I lost the vote on confidence in Mrs May so must accept the result”. So he now has confidence in her.
So from there, it was no big deal to pitch a flat-out lie: “If there is ‘no room for renegotiation’ then we leave without a deal and do not pay the EU £39 billion”. Where does one start? The “£39 billion” is our financial obligation to the EU. There is no discount available simply by leaving without a deal. We could try and get away with it, but the inevitable lawsuit, along with the loss of trust by the international community, would cost rather more.
Still, there was then “A clear explanation of why leaving without a deal is nothing to fear”. This was also seriously dishonest: Rees Mogg is endorsing an opinion column by faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh, whose propensity to incendiary trouser situations is the stuff of legend. Rupert Murdoch wants to promote that view. That is all.
Could the lack of reliable citations get any worse? Sadly it could. “Leaving without a deal is not the end of the world” tells Rees Mogg, citing a post from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. The same people who brought us the totally untrue “Corbyn Stasi file” story. A borderline Fake News site.
And on he went, observing “‘Fear not’, said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind” at an article from the Murdoch Sun claiming that a No Deal Brexit would hurt those dastardly foreigners more than it would hurt us, which means that’s all right, then. This, too, was propaganda. But given credibility by someone talking posh.
So it was no surprise at all that he claimed yesterday evening “No deal means no hard border so no need for the backstop”. This is total nonsense. But, spoken with a posh accent, and with the speaker adopting a suitably patrician tone, it is readily believed.
Ian Dunt, who has done some homework on Brexit, was not best pleased. “Deranged. This is false, as point of fact, and it should be made clear that it is false, as point of fact, on any media outlet he states it”. And Otto English reminded us “In 2012 Jacob Rees-Mogg was asked to pick his favourite book by Total Politics. He chose The Dictionary of Quotations and I think there's something very revealing about that. Intellectuals read books. Intellectual cheats quote aphorisms”. So, it seems, they do.
Jacob Rees Mogg is no different to any other dishonest peddler of Brexit whoppers. Except that he’s a posh peddler of Brexit whoppers. As such, he is more readily believed, more likely to be accepted. And that is what makes him a dangerous liar.
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