Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Mogg, Not The Mug

Ignore Boris Johnson, for whose appointment as Foreign Secretary relations with the EU (as well as International Trade) had to be taken away from the Foreign Office, and who no more voted Leave than Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell or Richard Burgon voted Remain.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, now he voted Leave, all right. Of course I agree with Rees-Mogg on, to use the shorthand, the Catholic moral stuff, just as of course I agree with him about the EU, or at least about the need to withdraw from it. But for precisely those reasons, he will never get enough parliamentary support to make it onto the ballot for Leader of the Conservative Party.

I find his rise a fascinating phenomenon. But the Conservatives do not have Labour's sentimental side, so they will not put someone on the ballot in order to be nice, or to please the members in the country. Especially after the Labour one like that went and won. Still, Rees-Moggery is a telling feature of a political age in which at least some of the old rules simply no longer apply, even if those ones certainly do.

Rees-Mogg is not really a sound paleocon on foreign policy, so far as I can tell. He did not vote against the wars in Libya and Syria, and he seems to be very anti-Russian and all that. I do not get his friendship with Jess Phillips, either. But his appeal to the young is preparing the ground for a generation of more traditional Tories in terms of more than dress sense, vitally important though that is.

What Rees-Mogg most definitely is not, is anything to gladden the heart of Peter Hitchens. If you want opposition to crony capitalism, support for economic protection, repudiation of Thatcherism, renationalisation of the railways and the utilities, cancellation of Trident, derision of anti-Russian hysteria, rejection of neoconservative wars, and defence of civil liberties, then the potential Prime Minister is elsewhere.

Meanwhile, ignore Boris Johnson.

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