Thursday, March 01, 2018

Don't go along with Jacob Rees-Mogg's act by attacking him for being posh or old fashioned.

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The thing about really posh people is that they make it look effortless. Think of Prince William or David Cameron. 
True, Cameron's inner Flashman could soon appear if he was thwarted, but Prince William probably does not even think of himself in this way. It just comes naturally to him. 
At the other end of the spectrum are those for whom being posh is hard work. They make everything a little bit too obvious. 
Take Boris Johnson. He was plucked from the same North London primary school the Miliband brothers attended and sent to prep school and then Eton. 
You feel that he has been trying a little too hard to fit in ever since.

I went on to suggest that Jacob Rees-Mogg is a Johnson not a Cameron.

Michael White, writing in The New European recently, shared this analysis:
It prompted me to make inquiries of my own into the Rees-Moggs, routinely described in newspapers which should know better (but no longer do) as aristocratic. That is not so and prompts one of my grander friends to dismiss Mogg’s elaborate style as “very nouveau, a faux gent”. 
Reference books quickly reveal that Richard Mogg (1690-1729) purchased the medieval manor of Cholwell in Somerset in 1726 and that by 1805 the family’s heiress, Mary Mogg Wooldridge, had married a Welshman, called John Rees who doubled up their names and coats of arms. 
The couple’s son, William Rees-Mogg, pulled down Cholwell in 1855 and rebuilt, as upwardly-mobile Victorians did. Minor gentry on the make, vicars, farmers, soldiers, sheriffs of Somerset, a familiar story to readers of Trollope novels. 
Jacob’s own father, another William Rees-Mogg (1928-2012), was editor of the Times and much else, a great quangocrat who married his secretary and ended up in the House of Lords. Cholwell had long been sold, the Moggs had become Catholic – William’s mother was an Irish-American, a Catholic and (Heaven forbid!) an actress.
As well as from his business activities, Jacob's money comes from his marriage to Helena de Chair, the daughter of a Conservative MP and his heiress fourth wife,.

Jacob's father William Rees-Mogg ended up as editor of The Times, but it took him a long time to be accepted into the establishment.

When he did his National Service in the RAF he was not given a Commission. Too brainy, presumably. Not in the 1st XV at Charterhouse.

Being a Rees-Mogg is hard work, as an Old Etonian informant of White's confirmed:
"True blue bloods were always rather lovable yobs, like mongrels," he explains. "Would-be grandees accumulated behavioural traits they had read about in PG Wodehouse. Jacob doesn’t get noblesse oblige, an ethical system destroyed by Thatcher. His clothes are issued by a theatrical costumer, his children’s names a pale imitation of Evelyn Waugh."
Which suggests that if there is a political point to all this is that we should not play along with his act by calling him "the Member for the 18th century" or anything like that. It is just how he wants to be seen.

Meanwhile, the only electorate that matters to Jacob Rees-Mogg at the moment is the rapidly declining and rapidly ageing Conservative membership.

They love someone playing the toff. After all, they fell for Boris Johnson's act and have now fallen for Rees-Mogg's more elegant one.

If I were an ambitious young Tory I would go the full Bertie Wooster, wear a monocle and play the banjolele. That electorate would probably fall for it.

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