by Frank Schnittger
Fri Feb 2nd, 2018 at 11:50:40 PM EST
Theresa May, Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Boris.
As Theresa May flaps about aimlessly in the wind there is much talk within Conservative circles of deposing her. An unnamed cabinet Minister has apparently threatened to resign in a bid to force her out. Boris is continually trying to both distance and define himself by making speeches about his vision for Brexit and the wonderful opportunities it will bring. Jacob William Rees-Mogg has recently been elected Chair of an influential group of pro-Brexit Tory back-benchers and leads a poll of Tory party members of whom they would like to see succeed Theresa May - ahead of both Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.
Rees-Mogg is the latest in a long line of Eton educated politicians to grace British politics. Eton is the most exclusive British public school and its pupils have been described as follows:
In an interview with the German weekly DER SPIEGEL (44/2017), David Cornwell aka John le Carré recalled his time as a teacher of German at Eton in the 1950s. His class had comprised 20 or 30 Boris Johnsons. They had been charming, bright, and well-informed. But, above all, they had been absolutely immoral, seeing themselves as part of an elite that was convinced that they ruled the roost - and rightly so. In reality, however, the Boris Johnsons of this world were second-class people with a colonial world view who dreamed of throwing out the Poles and Bulgarians - or, better still, all foreigners in order to restore the old Great Britain and its working class. The Guardian notes
that Rees-Mogg's vision of Britain as a `vassal state' under EU control harks back to Shakespeare, serfdom and simpler times. Wiki notes
he has been dubbed the "Honourable Member for the 18th century" for his upper-class mannerisms and accent as well as his traditionalist views. He opposes marriage equality as he says he takes the whip from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church rather than the Whip's Office. He embodies the British upper class sense of themselves as natural rulers who don't need artificial constructs like the EU to lead the world.
Writing about political personalities can be a poor substitute for political analysis, but sometimes the sort of people who come to prominence tells us a lot about how political culture is evolving particularly at an elite Westminster level. Rees-Mogg has never been a Minister and the Somerset Capital Management emerging markets fund management group he founded with friends is managed via subsidiaries in the tax havens of the Cayman Islands and Singapore. He remains a partner drawing an income of millions of pounds from the company.
So these are the sort of people coming to prominence in the fight to "take back control" from the European Union. It is easy to see why an emerging markets fund manager might favour closer ties with emerging markets rather than the EU, and oppose tighter EU regulation and transparency. But what does it say about the UK that he could become the next Prime Minister? And yet the "Mogg who doesn't do nappies" has all the Moggmentum. Perhaps the EU is doing something right after all.