Monday, 5 February 2018

Mogged By Reality

Who, exactly, is being held to account when the governing party is always represented, not only by a perpetual backbencher, but by the same perpetual backbencher on every occasion? The cult of Jacob Rees-Mogg is letting the Government off the hook.

Rees-Mogg would never receive enough nominations to contest a Leadership Election. Jeremy Corbyn managed to do so because the Labour Party has a sentimental streak a mile wide, because Labour MPs do often have some regard for the views of party members in their constituencies, and because many of those members have heard of Facebook and Twitter. None of those three allegations has ever been made against the Conservative Party, nor ever will be.

When it looked as if the party's rank and file might elect Andrea Leadsom, and she is no Jacob Rees-Mogg, then the Leadership Election was simply cancelled, and that was that. Those members duly doffed their caps and went about their business. That Labour Party members would have reacted somewhat differently is why no such cancellation could ever be attempted by their party.

In any case, the political analysis behind this approach is spot on. The opposite pole to Corbyn is not Rees-Mogg, but Theresa May. Just as there is no pro-EU "centrist" electorate waiting to be reached, so there is none to the right of the present Prime Minister, either. Those voters are simply not there. They do not exist.

A few hints about foxhunting, grammar schools, and expecting people to dip into their savings for their own care in old age, lost the Conservative Party its overall majority and brought it well within a million votes of defeat by Corbyn, who would have won if the campaign had lasted another week.

Being led by Rees-Mogg would reduce the Conservative Party to an initial 25 to 30 per cent of the vote, but subject to rapid natural wastage due to the sheer age of that purely tribal core. That is never going to be allowed to happen. Forget about it.


  1. They sometimes go on about Ukip, an overrated one trick pony that has since died, and occasionally about Thatcher, whose last victory was, you know, 31 years ago. You're right, there isn't a right-wing vote, there's just a Tory vote and even that is getting old. Most Tories have least one Labour child, many have several Labour grandchildren, a lot already have Labour great-grandchildren.

    1. It's when they start about 1983. Conservative voters have always tended to be older (although things have never previously been as bad for them on that front as they are now), so how many people who voted Conservative in 1983 are even still alive today? The Rees-Mogg element genuinely hopes to rely on the votes of the dead.