You know who’s an oddball? Jacob Rees-Mogg. You know the guy. Looks like a grown-up Walter from the Beano, or Postman Pat cosplaying as the Demon Headmaster. Big posh weirdo from a bygone era, talks like someone from an old newsreel, looks like he doesn’t own anything made of plastic. Probably (definitely) employs someone to bathe him.
Audio footage has recently resurfaced of an interview with him from 1981 when, aged 12, he attended the annual general meeting of the General Electric Company, then a massive industrial powerhouse. He’d been a shareholder since the age of ten, and claimed to have read the Financial Times since the age of two.
Can you believe what you just heard? Good grief.
“What do you do with the money [you earn from your shares]?”
“Well I either reinvest it or buy antiques. Antique silver.”
Don’t we all mate? Don’t we all.
“I hope to have the [top] job at GEC by the time I’m thirty. Unless, it is nationalised, which no doubt if Tony Benn gets in he will *scoffs* [do] and ruin the rest of the country as well. But nevermind, the Conservatives will come back and put it right.”
He invoiced the BBC £18 for the interview, then sent increasingly angry letters when he didn’t immediately receive his money. Seriously.
He’s a weird guy - he was raised primarily by his nanny due to living in a different one of his family’s many houses to his parents, and even took her canvassing with him during the early part of his career. In quite a telling detail about how he views the world, he once write a piece in the Telegraph lamenting how rarely great men’s nannies were mentioned in their biographies, his assumption being that obviously anyone worthwhile would be wealthy enough to have been raised with live-in help.
Look at his monocle. LOOK AT HIS MONOCLE.
At the risk of using some unparliamentary language and directing it at a minor, what a fucking wanker.
Seeing what he was like as a child somehow makes the figure he’s grown up into make sense - not in a “what he says makes sense” way, absolutely not, but in a “oh, you can see where this all came from” way. It’s easy to join the dots between the impossibly entitled, antique-buying public schoolboy (who was justifiably given a lot of grief at university) and the far-right peasant-stomping MP of today.
There’s a tendency with people like this to go “ooh, isn’t he funny, he’s so eccentric, let’s put him on telly, he’s such a character, ha ha ha, oh shit, he’s in charge now”. Somehow if it comes with a silly accent and a funny tendency to use Latin phrases like a big posh sod, bigotry and elitism can be mistaken for charm and eccentricity.
He’s not a charming eccentric. Unless you’re very very similar to him, the best he can possibly offer you is contempt.
Groups of people Jacob Rees-Mogg hates, assuming his behaviour is representative of his feelings
Women: Rees-Mogg hates women, with their ridiculous desire for bodily autonomy. He describes himself as “completely opposed to abortion”, which he says is “morally indefensible” even in cases of rape and incest, suggesting that an abortion in such instances constitutes “committing a second wrong”. Equating having an abortion with committing rape, which he is absolutely doing in this instance, is beyond vile, and forbidding access to abortion outright places women in danger.
Gay people: Rees-Mogg is vehemently opposed to gay marriage, describing marriage as a “sacrament” that is in the eyes of the church rather than the state, and says he is “not proud” of the Conservative party’s role in legalising it.
The poor: Rees-Mogg blames the increased use of food banks under a Conservative government on the Labour party, stating that “the real reason for the ride in numbers is that people know they are there and Labour deliberately didn’t tell them”. While admitting life might be “tough” for poor people he insists that, rather than benefits, they all just need to get jobs.
People on zero-hours contracts: Rees-Mogg is a big-fan of zero-hours contracts and the lack of employees’ rights that accompany them, saying that seeing them as in any way exploitative was “the standard response of the left” and that they were good for employers, who were “probably” not in a position of more power than their employees.
His constituents: In 2009 he issued an election leaflet which showed him in earnest conversation with a constituent in North-East Somerset. However, it turned out not to be a constituent at all, because they didn’t have a picture of him talking to any of his constituents, but an employee of his investment firm in London.
His own children: Jacob Rees-Mogg has six children and has never changed a nappy, saying that if he tried is his nanny (the same nanny who raised him is now raising his children) would say he was doing it wrong. Somehow throughout all six infancies he hasn’t found thirty seconds to give it a go and see what all the fuss is about.
Anyone who went to state school: Rees-Mogg once suggested that anyone educated in a state school was likely to be unable to craft anything approaching an “articulate” letter.
Anyone who didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge: Defending the high proportion of Oxbridge graduates among Tory MPs, Rees-Mogg described people who didn’t go to those universities as “potted plants”.
Anyone who doesn’t have the same accent as him: In an article in the Times after being criticised for his accent, Rees-Mogg wrote that John Prescott’s accent made him sound like “an oaf“.
Scottish people: Rees-Mogg’s first attempt at becoming an MP took place in Fife, during which he openly acknowledged that he couldn’t understand the accent of the people that lived there.
Disabled people: Rees-Mogg has consistently voted against increasing benefits for those unable to work due to illness or disability.
Black people: In 2013, Rees-Mogg hosted a dinner for the Traditional Britain Group, a racist organisation that want all non-white British people to be deported, despite being fully informed beforehand what type of organisation they were.
Any and all people from ethnic minorities: Responding to calls for more ethnic minority Conservative candidates in elections, Rees-Mogg responded “95% of this country is white. The list can’t be totally different from the country at large.” The figure is closer to 80%.
Planet Earth in general: Rees-Mogg claims climate change is “not worth fighting“, that “mankind is highly adaptable and that we should look at ways of living below sea level rather than do anything to combat environmental damage.
If ever in any doubt about this guy, think about that monocle. What a wanker.