Leftist commentators and anti-Brexiteers are feigning outrage after Jacob Rees-Mogg referred to Gaddafi-era Libya as “the People’s Republic of Jam Jar” at the Tory conference in Birmingham.
Rees-Mogg, a popular Brexiteer MP well-known for his affable upper-class mannerisms and bookish turns of phrase, made the comment during wider remarks on the campaign for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit, likening it to the branding of various strikingly non-democratic ‘People’s Republics’.
“All the countries who are least interested in their people call themselves ‘people’s’, don’t they?” he asked rhetorically.
“So the People’s Republic of China? Oh, that’s Communist. And the People’s Republic of… Jam Jar, or something like that, of Libya, was what it was called when Colonel Gaddafi was in charge.”
The North African country was known as the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya during the late dictator’s reign.
SHOCK VID: ‘Class War’ Leftists Abuse Rees-Mogg’s Children https://t.co/ZxrAyD5ru7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 12, 2018
The off-hand comment has been seized upon by Rees-Mogg’s anti-Brexit rivals, left-leaning commentators, and social justice warriors as evidence of “racism”, likening it to the late Tory politician and diarist Alan Clark describing Africa as ‘Bongo Bongo Land’ in 1985.
“This not only shows the same sort of casual racism Boris Johnson has displayed but also a disdain for the rest of the world which would leave us isolated and economically eviscerated if he is allowed his hard Brexit,” complained Labour’s Alex Sobel, an EU loyalist who campaigns with the anti-Brexit Best for Britain group.
“This sort of remark is becoming too common from the Brexiteers, coming as it does in the wake of Boris’s recent burqa jibes,” added Christine Jardine for the Liberal Democrats.
“Rees-Mogg’s thoughts on Gaddafi’s leadership are irrelevant here,” she insisted, as “What he’s doing is making fun of an Arabic word”.
Whoops! MSM Data Poll Finds Public Back Boris: Burqa Comments Not Racist, Garb Should Be Banned https://t.co/v50iZEkBFo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 8, 2018