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Jacob Rees-Mogg

I do not agree with everything Jacob Rees-Mogg says, but he is saying some things that I am very happy to hear being said by a prominent British politician. He is saying them on the BBC, no less, and sometimes to audiences who applaud him on BBC Question Time.

On the subject of trade after Brexit, emphasis mine: “Trade will continue because the British people want to carry on buying German cars, and the Germans want to carry on using UK financial services, and that’s done by individuals not by states.”

On the subject of foreign aid, on Question Time, to applause:

Sponsoring the Ethiopian Spice Girls and the various other things where money has gone are not money well spent. And I think that should be done by, ladies and gentlemen, your private charity. All of you, I expect, give to charity and you can choose. It’s not for politicians to take your money in general taxation and give it to charitable causes.

He then goes on to point out that the best way to help developing nations is to trade with them, and that the EU is an impediment to that.

I have also seen him on more than one occasion make the point that there is a limit to how much money can be raised by taxation and that we are near to it.

Here he is in parliament talking in terms of limits to the role of the state, which is not a discussion that happens very prominently in the UK: “I don’t think it’s the job of the government to tell me how much sugar to give to my children. […] The tax system is not there to tell us how to live our lives.”

I know he very much annoys people on the left, and it helps that he is an engaging and entertaining speaker who I think has an ability to talk to ordinary people without pretence or condescension, something the Guardianista class fails at.

Update: I wrote this before I knew #MoggMentum was a hashtag, I swear! Delingpole makes one of the points I was trying to make, perhaps with better words: “Judging by their applause and cheers they were elated that, perhaps for the first time in Question Time’s recent history, a politician on the panel was prepared to talk to them straight, credit them with a degree of intelligence, and forebear from the usual virtue-signalling platitudes.”

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27 comments to Jacob Rees-Mogg

  • I have a great deal of time for Jacob Rees-Mogg, because he carries off the young fogey personae much better than William Hague ever did.

    He also speaks clearly and with clarity on the relevant issues without obvious bias against the rational and the sensible, which is a skill that seemingly evades Jeremy Corbyn and his motley crew at every turn.

    Plus he took his nanny out canvassing. How cool is that?

    At the 1997 general election, Rees-Mogg was the Conservative candidate for the traditional Labour seat of Central Fife and attracted ridicule, after canvassing a largely working-class neighbourhood with his former nanny; on election night he came third, gaining 9% of the votes cast, slightly fewer than half of the votes won by the previous Conservative candidate in 1992. However, rumours that he had toured the constituency in a Bentley were described as “scurrilous” − he insisted it had been a Mercedes.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg: My nanny made me the man I am

    Moggy! Moggy! Moggy!
    Oy! Oy! Oy!

  • I share JG’s sneaking admiration for J.R-M

  • Mr Ed

    The Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg seems almost to have been created by a Labour Party ‘workshop’ on what a ‘Posh Tory Toff’ would be, he pushes all their ‘hate’ buttons, but he is likeable, decent, intelligent, articulate and pretty ‘sound’ on all matters. Labour’s Five Minute Hate against him would be stretched to an hour, and it would fail to gain traction.

    The Tory Left must really hate him.

  • miker22

    I enjoyed Nigel Farage saying that he bumped into The Mogg at Lords, and asked him what he was doing there when he had just had a new arrival. Jacob said that there was nothing for him to do at home – the nanny was taking care of it all. As Nigel said, how many MPs would be so honest?

  • As I said previously, J.R-M was being entirely sensible, as is apparently his nature. Rather than being an annoyance and getting under everyone’s feet (particularly his nanny) by hanging around the house where he was not needed he put on his hat and blazer and went round to Lords to watch a match.

    Jacob and Nigel enjoy the Cricket

    Cheers to baby Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher Rees-Mogg, the newest member of Team R-M!

  • DP

    Dear Mr Fisher

    I have also seen him on more than one occasion make the point that there is a limit to how much money can be raised by taxation and that we are near to it.

    It would be nice if the honourable gentleman would add that government actually shouldn’t be anywhere near the maximum that can be raised by taxation.

    It isn’t the job of government to steal as much as it can from taxpayers to squander on vanity projects and the politicians’ and bureaucrats’ best mates.

    DP

  • Sam Duncan

    Mr Ed, it’s interesting that he does seem to have become something of a cult figure among young people who you would expect, if you follow the conventional wisdom on these things, to be lining up to mock him mercilessly. Which is highly encouraging. He’s honest, doesn’t mince his words, puts forward clear and reasonable arguments (even if, as Rob says, it’s hard for libertarians to agree with all of them), and doesn’t pretend to be something he isn’t.

    I can’t help thinking his old dad would be immensely proud of him.

  • bobby b

    “Rather than being an annoyance and getting under everyone’s feet (particularly his nanny) by hanging around the house where he was not needed he put on his hat and blazer and went round to Lords to watch a match.”

    Yeah, right.

    (Scene: small living room littered with dirty clothes and blankets, baby bottles, half-eaten dinner plates.)

    (Sound of new baby wailing in the background.)

    (Enter frazzeled and exhausted wife): “Dear, you’re putting on your hat. Where do you think you’re going?”

    (Pale, bedraggled husband with burped-up milk on his jacket): “I feel as though I’m just in the way here, dear, so I thought I’d duck out to the pub and give you some peace from my interference.”

    (Newly-enraged frazzled and exhausted wife): “Oh, what a considerate dear you are!”

    (A pistol shot is heard. Scene dissolves.)

  • That certainly wasn’t the new baby experience that I went through with my daughter Samantha. I acted as little more than a car service for the first few weeks shuttling stuff in and out with all of the detailed baby interaction being undertaken by my wife and my mother-in-law.

    I wouldn’t say I served no meaningful purpose, but I was pretty much excluded until the mother-in-law’s visa expired and she had to bugger off bag to Penang.

    As for Jacob R-M, if he can afford a nanny then I’m sure he can afford staff to deal with the other aspects of household life.

  • Alisa

    You are supposed to be there, you silly Man – whether you think you are useful or a nuisance. That is, unless you like sleeping on the couch, or worse, paying alimony.

    Back OT: why is this MP fellow objectionable to libertarians?

  • why is this MP fellow objectionable to libertarians?

    Because although he is one of the better Conservatives MP’s and understands issues like BRexit and the leached sovereignty of the EU he is still a Conservative through and through.

    He might believe that taxation should be lower and the state should be smaller than it is, but he believes this from the Tory (and therefore very much the establishment) viewpoint.

    So, not one of us, although sharing some of our values.

    I seem to recall he was ousted from the board of a Catholic Hospital Charity by the local Bishop for trying to actually enforce the teachings of the Catholic Church on hospital admissions (like “abortion is bad, mkay” and stuff)

  • Alisa

    Thanks, JG.

  • Richard Rostrom

    John Galt @ July 12, 2017 at 9:36 pm:

    I seem to recall he was ousted from the board of a Catholic Hospital Charity by the local Bishop for trying to actually enforce the teachings of the Catholic Church on hospital admissions (like “abortion is bad, mkay” and stuff)

    Wiki sez:

    He was one of the directors of the Catholic Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London who were ordered to resign by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor…

    then the Archbishop of Westminster.

    Wiki also sez:

    In February 2008 [the Archbishop] sacked the board of St John and St Elizabeth’s, a partly NHS funded Catholic hospital, after it had permitted a GP’s surgery to move onto the site and administer family planning.

  • Thanks RR, I obviously remembered it incorrectly.

    In February 2008 [the Archbishop] sacked the board of St John and St Elizabeth’s, a partly NHS funded Catholic hospital, after it had permitted a GP’s surgery to move onto the site and administer family planning.

    That’s quite amusing though. 😆

  • Jamesg

    On QT the other night he defended the student loans system and the fact that more working class kids were going to univetsity. I was disappointed because for me the whole thing is a central planning scam debt bubble.

  • Alisa

    and administer family planning

    Gotta love the semantic gymnastics.

  • PeterT

    He’s likeable and some of the stuff he says is good, but he comes across as a lightweight to me. He seems like an escapee from one of the ‘chap hop’ videos you can find on youtube.

    and that’s done by individuals not by states.

    Totally irrelevant as I have said before after which I received much abuse. The EU will get in the way of individuals trading between the UK and the EU, unless we remain in the single market (or some shadow arrangement). We don’t need to approve of it – it is just the way it is and leaving the single market will require a painful readjustment of the UK economy. The whole ‘they need us more than them’ argument doesn’t wash. Juncker and co are civil servants and are motivated by following process, not by outcomes.

    until the mother-in-law’s visa expired and she had to bugger off bag to Penang

    I bet the state didn’t seem that bad at that moment.

    I was disappointed because for me the whole thing is a central planning scam debt bubble

    Indeed, stop all funding, implicit and explicit, for universities. Do it early on in a parliamentary session to allow people to reorient their lives and by the next election it’s old news.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    Dear DP,

    “It would be nice if the honourable gentleman would add that government actually shouldn’t be anywhere near the maximum that can be raised by taxation.”

    A lot of things would be nice. I would not be surprised if he does indeed hold this view; he has certainly said that the purpose of taxation is simply to raise enough revenue to do the things the state needs to do, and no more. He also talks in terms of what the role of the state is. This means he is someone we can at least talk to, unlike a Corbyn or a May.

    PeterT: will there be no political pressure at all on EU politicians who punish their constituents for buying things from Britain?

  • PeterT

    Rob Fisher, concur on the point about taxation. I think most people, especially perhaps the self employed, will understand the Laffer curve point.

    There may be some political pressure but it will be impotent. Remember that almost all the member states (I forget – I think it may be a qualified majority) need to agree the terms of the deal. Also, when there is conflict positions on both sides tend to harden. You can bet that if the discussions turn sour that the Tory party, and quite possibly even the Labour party, will be quick to point the finger at Brussels intransigence. Interesting fact: most public opinion in Britain supported the American revolutionaries until war broke out.

    In any event, given that some kind of framework is required (in the real world) for trading, the burden of proof is with May and Davis to show that a bespoke arrangement is better than just joining the EEA, or a shadow arrangement of the EEA, with some amendments.

    It is often said that the EEA is just like the EU but with no say. This is almost entirely false. We are likely to be stuck with some kind of watered down version of EU membership, with limits on free movement but paying through our noses for it. Maybe if it was very watered down it wouldn’t be so bad. Then again, for unfathomable reasons the government has decided to incorporate the entire body of EU law into British law, rather than simply that (small) sub-section that is shared with the EEA. Subsequently the law can then be revised and revoked as desired; yeah right.

  • Ferox

    Two points about collectivists and the Laffer curve:

    1) The curve can be shifted upward (in the short term) if the government is willing to employ sufficient force in service to that shift; i.e. if they are willing to start putting bullets into the heads of kulaks, wreckers, and hoarders.

    2) You should never, under any circumstances, underestimate the willingness (if not eagerness) of collectivists to put bullets into the heads of kulaks, wreckers, and hoarders.

  • Then again, for unfathomable reasons the government has decided to incorporate the entire body of EU law into British law

    I wouldn’t say unfathomable. Surely we would prefer to wipe it all, start from scratch and put onto the statute book only those that we needed, but we are not lawmakers. This way they have given themselves plenty of work tinkering for decades to come.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Yes he would.

  • Pat

    Re RM
    Seems to me
    He’s actually done something successful, rather than merely something that gains plaudits.
    He can communicate with the ordinary man clearly and without condescension.
    He is his own man, has Fu money and could make more if needed.
    Believes in something beyond himself.
    Ok doesn’t agree with me on everything but then I’m the only one who does.
    Bear in mind people want a leader that is better than themselves and yet understands their wishes, else why follow?
    Re student loans. They seem to me an excellent method to force people to think as to how much and what type of education is necessary. The lazy assumption that more time in education is automatically a good thing might finally be challenged.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes I agree Rob – there are no perfect people, but Jacob Rees-Mogg is a good man.

  • there are no perfect people, but Jacob Rees-Mogg is a good man.

    …and what man of honour could ask for a better epitaph than that?

  • Rob Fisher

    More JRM fun:

    * Making sense about France offering tax incentives to British banks: https://youtu.be/2WP-Hf4OKmk?t=2m10s
    * Filibustering some awful livestock sustainability bill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXGP1GGLDe4
    * Surviving an interview with Ali G: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szGxq3pvJPQ

  • Laird

    Thank you for those links, Rob. That was the most entertaining filibuster I’ve ever heard. (And I’m afraid the Deputy Speaker’s grasp of parliamentary procedure seems rather weak; his understanding of a “point of order” leaves much to be desired.)