Day one of the General Election campaign, and already the Tory foul-ups are piling up as with so much twisted metal following a Motorway multiple crash. Can The Blue Team keep up this level of self-destruction for another five weeks? The behaviour of Member for Times Long Past Jacob Rees Mogg, aided and abetted by professional idiot Andrew “HS2 ate my house” Bridgen, suggests they can. Without any eternal prompting.
Once more, the servant ...
... obediently defers to the master
Rees Mogg had faced “calls to resign after saying in a radio interview victims in the 2017 [Grenfell] tower fire should have used ‘common sense’ and ignored the fire service's stay-put policy”, as ITV later reported. He was clearly far cleverer than the Grenfell residents, the firefighters, and indeed everyone else. He was also bang to rights being inconsiderate and insensitive, and so soon there came the inevitable apology.
“I profoundly apologise … What I meant to say is that I would have also listened to the fire brigade’s advice to stay and wait at the time … However, with what we know now and with hindsight I wouldn’t and I don’t think anyone else would … I would hate to upset the people of Grenfell if I was unclear in my comments”. But he just did. And it soon got worse.
While Brendan O’Neill at Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago, claimed Rees Mogg was right, but not because there was another Murdoch paycheque in it, oh no, telling anyone who would listen “The storm over Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Grenfell comments is perverse”, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg knew the game was up. “One of quickest apologies in political history - and with good reason - terrible gaffe from Mogg on Grenfell”.
Andrew Bridgen possessed no such certainty. ITV again: “Mr Bridgen went on BBC Radio 4's PM show to defend Mr Rees-Mogg … When asked by Evan Davis if Mr Rees-Mogg was saying he wouldn't have died because he was ‘cleverer’ than the people who took the fire brigade's advice, Mr Brigden replied: ‘But we want very clever people running the country, don't we Evan? … What he is actually saying is, he would have made a better decision than the authority figures who gave that advice’”.
By this morning, someone who had engaged brain had explained to Bridgen that he had made matters a lot worse. So there had to be another apology. “I realise that what I said was wrong and caused a great deal of distress and offence”. Stephen Mangan explained “Translation: ‘It’s been explained to me that we’re not suppose to say out loud and in public what we actually think because apparently it’s awful’”. And there was more.
John Crace of the Guardian added “Andrew Bridgen proving yet again that Jacob Rees-Mogg is the idiot's idea of a clever man”. On a more serious note, James O’Brien asserted “What Jacob Rees-Mogg said is beyond disgusting. To defend it is to be implicit in the insulting of innocent dead children. This is about the kind of country you want to live in”.
And later this morning, Jeremy Corbyn put the lid on Rees Mogg, Bridgen and their apologists, telling a campaign event “I'll tell you what's common sense; don't put flammable cladding on people's homes”. Or, indeed, cut fire stations and firefighters.
Andrew Bridgen has shown us the true character of the modern Tory Party. For that, the 99% of the population outside that hermetically sealed world should be eternally grateful.
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