Leader of the Commons and Lord President of the Council Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a style guide for his staff.
Male recipients to be addressed in communications as Esq.
Measurements to be recorded in Imperial not Metric.
Anyone using the phrase “going forward” or overheard pronouncing ‘h’ as ‘haitch’ to be transported forthwith in shackles to the Colonies.
Unfortunately, the last one isn’t true, but it does capture the spirit of what the Moggster is doing here: restoring some of the traditions and courtesies and rigours of Britain’s glorious past while simultaneously trolling the opposition like a boss.
And it’s working, too:
Jacob Rees-Mogg esq., Secretary of State for dragging Britain back to the 18th century. Happy to wreck the economy and push millions into poverty, as long as we get to use Imperial measurements. https://t.co/Py97cNWNwW
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) July 26, 2019
Labour MP David Lammy thinks he’s making a damning political point here but actually he’s just doing promo for the new regime. First, many if not most British people actually like their pints, miles, and ounces (which the EU has repeatedly tried to steal away from them).
Second, people find Rees-Mogg’s almost self-parodic archaisms more charming than they do annoying, which is why “Honourable Member for the 18th Century” is a joke he often likes to use against himself.
Third — and I know this is going to irritate some of the chippier commenters below the line, but suck it up, oiks because it’s true — people in this country still do love a toff.
— Tim Stanley (@timothy_stanley) July 26, 2019
I remember having an argument about this once at a dinner thrown by Rees-Mogg’s old school chum William Sitwell. A fellow guest insisted that Mogg was far too posh to reach the highest levels in politics. But the person making this claim was a middle-class Remainer who was essentially projecting his liberal elite prejudices. Out in the country at large, however, people just don’t have this chippy attitude. Just as squaddies in the Army still often prefer it if their platoon commander is a Rupert with a proper public school accent, so constituents — as is certainly the case in Jacob’s North-East Somerset parliamentary seat — have a sneaking fondness for an old-fashioned, lord-of-the-manor type with impeccable manners, a mastery of the English language, and a respect for Britain’s traditions.
This is one of the things that has been so enjoyable about watching the Boris Johnson administration in action. It’s like watching Odysseus returning to Ithaca and clearing his court of all the wastrels, louts, and spendthrifts who have taken over in his absence; it’s like witnessing the Restoration of Charles II after years in which Britain had been in thrall to hatchet-faced, Christmas-and-Maypole-banning Puritans; it’s like Britain once more becoming the place we used to know and love before the social justice warriors and race-baiters and cry-bullies and diversity officers and sustainability consultants almost went and ruined everything.
Watching the new gang — Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg especially — competing in the Commons last week to see who could most wittily and imaginatively put down the Opposition, I was reminded of the good old days at the Oxford Union when Oxford was still a halfway decent university and hadn’t completely surrendered to whiny, entitled Communists.
The swagger, the confidence, the bantering good humour — where making your point is all very well, but what matters far more is the style and wit with which you do it — reminded me how much we’ve been missing in Parliament all these years as MPs with class and hinterland and oratorical skills were edged out by career-safe, virtue-signalling placemen and placewomen.
What we’re seeing happening in British politics now is very similar to what the U.S. has been experiencing under Donald Trump — only done in an English way. The bubble of pomposity has been pricked by our new God-Emperors of banter.
You could see it in the expressions of Jeremy Corbyn and his even further-left Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell as Boris Johnson crushed them with a succession of bang-on-the-nail insults: they looked hurt, dismayed, lost — as well they might. These were the expressions of men who for a brief and anomalous period in British history had persuaded themselves that they genuinely stood a chance of forming a government and remodelling the world’s fifth-largest economy on the lines of Castro’s Cuba and Chavez’s Venezuela — and who now realised that moment has gone. Forever.
Because it has. The biggest threat by far to the UK economy wasn’t the so-called “uncertainty” of Brexit which the Remoan establishment keeps whining on about but that Britain’s next government could conceivably have been formed by a cabal of anti-Semitic, terrorist-supporting Marxists.
With Boris and co in charge there’s not a cat’s chance in hell of that happening.
This isn’t to say they’re not going to disappoint in one way or another. I very much share, for example, Rupert Darwall’s concerns that Britain could be sleep-walking into a watered down version of Theresa May’s deal which still leaves Britain shackled to the corpse of the European Union (particularly with regards to the European Court of Justice).
Why Boris must ditch the execrable Political Declaration and its provision for Britain to be subject to indefinite supervision by the ECJ. https://t.co/kX5HacAAHi
— Rupert Darwall (@RupertDarwall) July 27, 2019
But it cannot be denied that watching Boris, the Moggster and co in action right now is like watching a winning team you want to support. They’re fun, they’re optimistic, they do weapons-grade banter.
Yes there may be a hint of cocksureness there, an element of born-to-rule entitlement. But isn’t that just vastly preferable to what we had before: the dreary, sour-faced managed decline of ex-Chancellor “Spreadsheet Phil” Hammond; the purse-lipped awkwardness and breathtaking incompetence of Theresa May; the also-rans and nobodies and invertebrates that dominated their Cabinet because hey, when you’re useless the very last thing you want to do is surround yourself with people who pose any kind of threat?
Corbyn and McDonnell, it’s becoming clear with hindsight, were never a serious threat because of what they stood for. They were a serious threat only because the Government they were opposing was so risibly lame that the British electorate would have been prepared to vote almost anything in as an alternative.
Over the years, our increasingly left-leaning culture has brainwashed us into thinking that anything that smacked of “elitism”, or tradition, or the old ruling class was undesirable and that in order to progress we must forever embrace the new.
Well, from Tony Blair onwards we’ve been given a pretty good idea what this new world looked and smelt like.
I don’t know about you — but I’m glad we’re getting the old one back.
MUST WATCH | Boris wipes the floor with Corbyn and McDonnell in his first Commons appearance as PM. The gloves are off and playtime is over – after three feeble years of Theresa May, Labour weren't ready for this! 😂
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) July 25, 2019
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