Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Rees Mogg Full Of Constitutional Crap

As the problems mount for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, so the excuses deployed in his defence, the gaslighting, the deflection, the projection, and the forthright dishonesty become ever more desperate. And there is no more desperate an individual than the Member for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg.

Mogg has claimed that Bozo’s “mandate is personal rather than entirely party”, and so “a change of leader requires a general election”. This is a clear attempt to bully those MPs elected in 2019 to so-called “Red Wall” seats into line. The problem for Mogg is that this demonstrates that he does not know what he is talking about. I will explain.

A change of Prime Minister not only does not require a General Election to take place, but on the one occasion that this has happened during the past century, it turned out disastrously - albeit not for long - for the party calling the election, which happened to be the same one that Mogg represents. Let us consider the post-1900 roll call.

Henry Campbell Bannerman led the Liberals to a landslide victory in 1906: he then resigned due to ill-health two years later. His successor as Prime Minister, Henry Asquith, did not call an immediate General Election, but went to the country in 1910. But perhaps Mogg would prefer an example from his own party? So be it.

Stanley Baldwin retired from the office of Prime Minister in 1937, handing over to Neville Chamberlain. There was no General Election. Nor was there when Chamberlain stood down in 1940 and was succeeded by Winshton. But when Baldwin succeed Andrew Bonar Law in 1923, he called an immediate General Election, and lost.

After World War 2, the precedents come thick and fast: when Winshton finally handed over to Anthony Eden, the latter did not immediately call a General Election. When Eden resigned over the Suez fiasco and was succeeded by Harold Macmillan, there was no General Election for another two years. Nor was there one when Macmillan was succeeded by Alec Douglas Home in 1963. And so to Labour.

There was no General Election when Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, to be succeeded by Jim Callaghan. When the Tories finally tired of Mrs T., there was no General Election when she was succeeded by John Major. Nor was there a General Election when Tony Blair was succeeded by Gordon Brown. Nor was there one when David Cameron was succeeded by Theresa May. Nor, at first, when Theresa May was succeeded by Bozo.

As for Mogg’s suggest that the UK has somehow adopted a “presidential system”, this, too, is bunk: consider the occasions when the USA (for instance) has changed Presidents mid-term. FDR dying in office, JFK assassinated, Nixon dispatched in disgrace: none of those events necessitated a further Presidential poll. Mogg is not as clever as he thinks.

Many Tory MPs are in rebellious mood. They are not going to be persuaded out of that state by someone appealing to an authority he does not possess. Affecting a posh accent and patrician demeanour does not make Jacob Rees Mogg clever. It does not enable him to sniff and sneer recalcitrant Red Wall Tories back into their boxes.

But it does mean those MPs will join everyone else - in seeing Mogg as a fraud.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at



Bullingdon Bob from Bermondsey. said...

Tim, do you write 50 variants of this stuff in advance and then randomly release them for delectation over the following weeks?
No criticism intended, but a little variety, a little more light to accompany the shade, might make your efforts a a tad less indigestible.

david walsh said...

Actually, JTRM may have stumbled on something but failed to realise it. History is not a one way street, you see. Does the winning candidate take advantage of the concomitant temporary blip in popularity in the Opinion Polls to take a punt on an early General Election, or hang on?

My take is that (if the new leader has any eye for recent history) they will go early. Look at the preceding analogies; Jim Callaghan in 1979, after wading knee deep through ordure, arrives at the foot of the new financial sunlit uplands in 1978 – and retreats to greet the inevitability of losing a wafer-thin majority the year after.

Subsequently, and nearer to our present time, Gordon Brown who, having played a blinder in saving a nation from a financial crisis so deep that wage cheques could have been frozen by the banks and holes in the wall locked down, looked into some opaque Scots mist of his own imagination, choosing to hang on for the inevitable denouement of the 2010 General Election and ‘Clegg-mania’.

Mr Larrington said...

“Very few people do lie in public life” Grease Smugg assured TV's Cathy Newman earlier this evening, while maintaining a completely straight face. We're not concerned about how many people do it, you witless dullard, we’re concerned about our alleged The Prime Minister's propensity for lying. All. The. Fucking. Time. Get in the cannon.

David Lindsay said...

Time was when if you wanted to know what the Constitution was, then you asked Norman St John-Stevas, and whatever he said that it was, then it was. In our own time, that role has passed to Jacob Rees-Mogg. In newly "Presidential" Britain, "a change of Leader requires a General Election," he drawls in order to frighten Conservative MPs into line.

But if 100 of them lost their seats, then that would result only in a hung Parliament with Labour as the largest party. Exactly as would have happened in the ordinary course of events this spring if Keir Starmer had not abandoned Labour's 2017 manifesto commitment to Brexit.

Boris Johnson responded to that change by calling a General Election. That same opportunism, which is not necessarily a bad thing in politics, caused him to respond to tabloid sentiment by ordering the evacuation of Pen Farthing's dogs and cats.

That was obvious at the time, and most people had probably forgotten that Johnson had ever gone through the formality of denying it. The fact that it had happened proved that it had been authorised by a Prime Minister who had saved dogs and cats ahead of human beings.

Our Political Correspondent. said...

Tim condenser:

Rees Mogg is a fucking liar and hypocrite. Like every other righty in Parliament. Which is almost all of them. Especially the Bozo Gang.