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Rees-Mogg may devour his own baby through fanaticism

by Hugo Dixon | 04.02.2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a fanatic and a narcissist. He’s brilliant at grabbing headlines. Yesterday he accused Treasury officials of “fiddling the figures” without providing a shred of evidence. The previous week the Brexit ayatollah was attacking David Davis, a fellow Brexiter, for turning the UK into a “vassal state” by proposing that we agree a transitional deal with the EU.

It seems clear how this behaviour advances Rees-Mogg’s short-term interests. As chair of the European Research Group, the group of hardcore Tory Brexiters, he has a powerful platform to generate publicity for himself and undermine Theresa May. If the prime minister falls, he might even take her place. After all, Rees-Mogg is the darling of the Tory party membership in the country, eclipsing the previous standard-bearer Boris Johnson.

But how would all this advance his long-term aim of quitting the EU? Assume, first, that May survives. After Rees-Mogg had trashed her policies for turning us into a vassal state, how could he and his cohorts vote for her Brexit deal? And without their votes in parliament, how would the government get Brexit through at all?

What’s more, if Rees-Mogg stays in attack mode, even more voters will lose confidence in May’s Brexit. It will then be easier for patriotic pro-Europeans to argue that we should stop the madness.

This sort of thinking seemed to convince Michael Gove, another Brexit extremist, to zip his mouth in December when the prime minister agreed to pay the EU £39 billion in our divorce deal. Even Johnson stopped saying “go whistle”. The Brexiters abandoned their mantra that no deal was better than a bad deal, because they realised no deal could frighten voters so much that there would be no Brexit.

This year, though, the Brextremists can’t contain themselves. Even worse than becoming rule-takers during the transition is the possibility that we could be vassals in perpetuity. That’s the plan they fear Cabinet soft Brexiters are expected to propose in two key meetings this week. The Sunday Times says Tory MPs are warning that May will face a coup to install Johnson as prime minister, Gove as deputy prime minister and Rees-Mogg as chancellor if she backs the soft Brexiters.

But what would happen if the three hard-core Brexiters got their way and one of them became prime minister? None of them, perhaps especially Rees-Mogg, would be able to command a majority in the House of Commons. A large number of moderate Tory MPs would go bananas. It’s hard to see how Rees-Mogg could implement the policy he espouses. His premiership could end up being very short indeed – and Brexit itself could be holed beneath the water.

Pro-Europeans will regard the prospect of Rees-Mogg in Downing Street with horror. But if he ended up devouring his own baby, it would be a dream come true.

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Edited by Luke Lythgoe

7 Responses to “Rees-Mogg may devour his own baby through fanaticism”

  • Dear Hugo,
    You are not worthy of this type of article. Rees-Mogg is a sensible and clear thinking. He knows the facts and presents them well. You are a really sensible bloke how come you are stooping this low?
    As he said he is not a contender to be a PM. He knows it and has said it on many occasions.

  • Rees-Mogg is a despicable, incompetent, divisive mp with his own personal insidious avaricious agenda.
    As a British MP he is certainly a floccinaucinihilipilificate (useless) creature.
    As a homophobic opponent of same sex relationships, and with his opposition to pregnancy termination, at any time, and for any reason, he has been brainwashed into the idiotic doctrine of the RC church.
    His only interest in Parliament and brexit is to increase his wealth. By the companies he invests in, paying less, or no more tax than presently.
    His drive for brexit at any cost, in 2019, is to turn the UK into Europes biggest tax haven.
    He has no thought or consideration for the average British people, who would end up paying more tax, I am sure he regards us a mere plebs.
    His determination to push for brexit is to stop the new EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, see here: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/company-tax/anti-tax-avoidance-package/anti-tax-avoidance-directive_en
    and the planned EU Anti Tax Evasion Directive, from becoming UK law.
    Which they must if we remain in the EU.

  • To the other James ,you are wrong and Graham is right, the EU anti tax evasion directive has put Rees-Mogg and his ilk into a panic ,God forbid that they should pay a fair share of tax, his pontificating position is despicable,his view of life through his utopian specs is,plebs pay tax ,gentry avoid as much as possible. And wild horses will never change this upper class twits thinking. JamesCook Esq.

  • I hope that the Infacts team don’t mind a little humour:

    The tale of Mr. Real-Smog, purveyor of assorted Brexit products

    An old farmer, Mr. Maugham, from Peasedown St. John, walks into his MP’s surgery in North-east Somerset.
    Mr. Maugham: ‘Ello, I want to complain about this Brexit thing …?
    (Mr. Real-Smog smiles a loopy-looking, 18th Century smile. He’d been lamenting about his wasted years at university, having never got to grips understanding real people, who knew how things worked – you know, chartered engineers, accountants, lawyers, civil servants – in other words people who were realistic, had common sense and did intelligent things)
    Mr. Real-Smog: Please, could you come to the point? I’ve an urgent meeting with a parliamentary colleague Mr. Wensleydale in half an hour. He’s waiting to address the Brexit Committee once again, and needs all the help that he can get!
    Mr. Maugham: Never mind him, mate. I’m complaining to you about this snake oil that I was sold just before the referendum!
    Mr. Real-Smog: Oh yes, that must be the Norwegian stuff … Didn’t you like it?
    Mr. Maugham: Did I like it? Did I like it? I’ve been trying it for months and it keeps making me throw up! I was promised that if I swallow this stuff, it’ll be the answer to all my prayers and all my dreams!
    Mr. Real-Smog: Yes, quite. Of course it is. Once you swallow it, it’s meant to give you hallucinations, make you forget about life’s drudgery, make you feel that once we head for the proverbial cliff …. that Global Somerset or indeed Global Britain is your oyster. Think of all those potatoes you’ll be able to sell to the Chinese, all the sheep you want to sell to all those tropical Asian countries.
    Mr. Maugham: Look, mate, I know a thing or about rat poisons, and other nasty potions – this retching stuff is doing me in! Don’t you have an antidote?
    Mr. Real-Smog: No no, no. Don’t be silly, there isn’t one. Once you start drinking our “bespoke” snake oil there’s no way of going back. It’ll do you good, you don’t realise that you have to go through the full dosage. It might take a few decades. Trust me, I’m a right-wing politician.
    Mr. Maugham: But my damned hair’s falling out, not to mention my condition’s frightened off all the tatty-pickers I had from Portugal!
    Mr. Real-Smog: No, no, no – you’ve missed the point! You’ve got what you asked for! We really respect that – you know, democracy! You wanted this stuff because we promised that it would remove any interference in your life from Brussels. If you go back on your decision, you’ll become a “vassal” again.
    Mr. Maugham: A what? Never heard of such a clever dick word? Must have come from some loony from a posh university! Anyway, if this snake oil is good for me, why isn’t half of Somerset, not to mention half of the UK, not buying this stuff?
    Mr. Real-Smog: My good man, they just haven’t seen the light. By the way, this is not the only Brexit product that we…um…peddle. We have “Brexit means Brexit”, “Pie in the sky economics”, in fact we have an enormous range of “porky-pie” products, not just from Somerset …They are all soothing products, which fix problems like the NHS, Carillion, East Cost Mainline….
    Mr. Maugham: Oh really! That’s not making me feel better.
    Mr. Real-Smog: That’s the whole point! You can only feel better once you’ve experienced a few difficulties, but there is really, honestly a beautiful utopia at the bottom of the cliff. Like I said, trust me!
    Mr. Maugham: Um…now look here, mate…I’ve had enough of this airy-fairy nonsense! I want my money back!
    Mr. Real-Smog: Look, we’re all pining for better days to come. Just ignore all those people who don’t have the faith – they’re just miserable pessimists – all those parliamentary lawyers who voted down our Snake Oil Programme for the good of the country….all those experts at the Treasury “fiddling the figures”……in fact, once I’m in charge of making a better snake oil (oh, by the way Mrs. Let-me-be-clear, who has been making this stuff for some time now, is retiring soon – ssh, that’s a secret) then we’ll all be on cloud nine.

    As we all know, the story has a happy-ending. Mr. Maugham doesn’t die. The Real-Smog’s of this world get what they deserved, and have no more say in peoples lives – indeed some have gone off to live in Mar-a-Lago and now play golf.

    The humble people of Somerset, and indeed the UK, are liberated from certain penury and are no longer isolated from the outside world. Many no longer suffer from hallucinations, and have seen through the quackery of the Mr. Real-Smogs of this world.

    But is really was a close thing!

  • Congratulations and grateful thanks to NJ for providing me with a wonderful moment of mirth and laughter which helped me forget the tragedy of Brexit. But behind the humour the real truth about the Brexiteers is also revealed.
    Lord Adonis described this mental condition today on LBC radio ( James O’Brien is terrific ) as ” a world view ” a propos of Chris Grayling’s announcements. It is a form of hallucination harking back ,I believe, to the glorious days of our Empire on which the sun never set.

  • Not a fan of most politicians but I absolutely loathe this man. Living in some bygone era, he is about in as much touch with a modern, cosmopolitan Britain as his awkwardly tailored suits represent (are they really Saville Row?). Self serving, fibbing, narcissist allowing himself to be photographed for the cover of the Daily Express shows an individual hardly worthy of MP status.