Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg’

Time for parliament to take back control

02/09/2019, 07:00:59 AM

by Jonathan Todd

There is no mandate for no deal Brexit. We did not vote for it in the 2016 referendum or the 2017 general election. On both these occasions, we were told that Brexit would be negotiated. That it would deliver “the exact same benefits” and more.

Theresa May could not negotiate these benefits. Boris Johnson won’t. Nor would Jeremy Corbyn or anyone else. This is less the art of the deal and more the impossible Brexit cocktail.

We can’t mix this cocktail and keep the UK united. We can’t exit the single market and customs union and avoid a border on the island of Ireland or in the Irish sea – otherwise the UK serves as a backdoor to EU tariffs and regulations. We can’t allow a border on Ireland and uphold the Good Friday Agreement – risking peace on the British Isles. We can’t deny Nicola Sturgeon that such a UK is a very different one from that which Scotland voted to remain part of in 2014 – creating grounds for a rerun of that vote.

We can’t mix this cocktail and maintain our prosperity. We can’t erect trade barriers with our biggest trading partner and avoid this. We can’t be poorer and afford better public services. We can’t move overnight from EU membership to third country status and not subject business to a sudden erosion of competitiveness, which no amount of preparation can fully mitigate, while also so diminishing the leverage of our trade negotiators that they will grasp at chlorine-washed terms.

We can’t mix this cocktail and sustain illusions of “taking back control” and being an “independent country”. We can’t stop the world and get off in the 1950s – we can only choose, as we inevitably must, with whom we align. We can’t Brexit and not be a pawn in the destructive games of Trump, Putin and the IRA – with a senior IRA member wanting “Brexit … as hard as hell.”


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The Bolsheviks of the left and right are intent on wrecking Britain

25/02/2018, 11:33:24 AM

by Jonathan Todd

The Bolsheviks of left and right don’t like our country. The left brain is not sure whether it went south with Thatcher or when the wrong side won the Cold War. The right when the dastardly Heath shackled us to the continentals or the first Reform Act of 1832.

They concur that something is rotten about contemporary Britain. We might as well jump off the Brexit cliff-edge. Walk the scorched earth of undiluted, uncompromising Corbynism. Maybe jump that jump and walk that walk, do the full Lexit shuffle.

There is a puritanical hankering for purification in these urges. Which contrasts with the moderation and pragmatism that supposedly distinguishes Britain. Hitler couldn’t happen here, we said. We’d laugh at the goosesteps, Orwell reassured us. Now those exalted by the Bolsheviks – Corbyn and Rees-Mogg – could goosestep wherever they like and be defended.

Telling us that, “the now routine equation of Stalin and Hitler both distorts the past and limits the future” and wanting colonialism “included as the third leg of 20th-century tyranny, along with Nazism and communism”, the left Bolsheviks are more Bolshevik as traditionally understood. Apologists for Stalin, as well as current regimes maintaining similar traditions, such as Venezuela, while seeing a repressive arch stretching directly from the British Empire to the Trump Empire.

The right Bolsheviks would shudder to be compared to those with these views. But there are similarities. They are both utopians. Albeit the Bolsheviks of the right are nostalgic utopians. Enamoured with what we never were and cannot be again. As the right Bolsheviks look back longingly, the left Bolsheviks look forward expectantly. They are certain that Corbyn will be King, they just wonder who will be first against the wall.


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60 more seconds: 60 more votes

26/10/2011, 06:00:01 AM

by Adam Richards

A former colleague, now a journalist, took to tweeting an exasperated message because his newsroom hadn’t picked up on the political [in]significance of the EU debate that took place last night. Nor did the BBC it seems, who took nearly an hour to feature the story on their site, at the bottom of the newsfeed.

With the government moving the debate forward so that David Cameron and William Hague could [not] attend it seemed to appear out of nowhere. The newspapers covered the story over the weekend and the majority of pundits, from the left and right, focussed their ire towards the Conservatives, with only a couple foolishly believing Cameron would come out of it strengthened. Today’s media coverage seems to confirm this. In a flash, Cameron has suffered an embarrassing erosion of his leadership.

When Tories debate Europe time goes backward. It is a common mistake to believe the digital clock in the chamber represents time; it is the number of Conservative voters jumping ship. As sure as tick follows tock, Tory followed Tory and story followed story. There aren’t many more satisfying things than watching Jacob Rees-Mogg on telly – he is after all a walking talking party political broadcast for Labour. There were wry smiles allround when his honourable colleague intervened and he was granted a further 60 seconds on the floor. 60 seconds, 60 votes, thank you very much, sir. (more…)

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Politicians can’t hide on Twitter

15/11/2010, 12:02:55 PM

by India Knight

If it weren’t for social media – Twitter, specifically – I would never have known that Kerry McCarthy shares my fascination with Jacob Rees-Mogg (though it’s a thin line, isn’t it, between fascination and, um, the baser longings? Just saying). The world would still turn. The stars would still glint away in the sky. Labour politics would still feel a bit like we’d travelled back to some doleful time in the Eighties, with Neil Kinnock droning on tragically about the rightful order being restored and all being well. But the world – my world, at any rate – would be a drabber place. I love that McCarthy tweets from the chamber with barely-concealed trepidation whenever Rees-Mogg stands up to speak. The juxtaposition of the solemnity of the business at hand and of normal human behaviour delights me every time.

Prior to this, I was dimly aware of the existence of the member for Bristol East, but being a punter rather than a lobby hack or a politician, that was pretty much it. I’d never have read her blog, for instance, or any other MP’s, a) because nobody was holding a gun to my head and b) because I thought that reading politicians’ blogs – as opposed to political ones – would be as jolly as hunkering down for a riotous night in with some fabian society policy reports and a macramé project. (Obviously, I realise that this is some people’s idea of the most terrific fun, and I can only apologise for my own lamentable shallowness).

It’s a hackneyed old chestnut that politicians are “all the same”, but it’s a tenacious chestnut that not only endures but has recently grown, richly fertilised by ye olde expenses, to mega-chestnut, Chestnut of Doom proportions. Politicians of all parties are broadly perceived as, variously, pompous, monomaniacal dullards, disengaged freakazoids, Pooterish nobodies or hideously corrupt – sometimes, treat of treats, all four at once. (more…)

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