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Why We Shouldn't Be Complacent About The Idea Of Jacob Rees-Mogg Becoming Prime Minister

06/09/2017 15:07 BST | Updated 06/09/2017 15:07 BST
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Despite Jacob Rees-Mogg consistently denying he is going for the Tory leadership, the latest ConservativeHome poll appears to put him as the front runner for next leader of the Conservative Party. He is on 23%. 15% have gone for David Davis, 7% Boris Johnson, 3% Phillip Hammond and 19% other. I have seen some of my left wing friends laugh him off consistently yet who honestly thought Corbyn would be leader of the Labour Party when he threw his hat in the ring in 2015? Who thought Trump would become president of the US or that the UK would vote to leave the EU or that the Conservatives wouldn't get a majority at the 2017 general election? All these events were predicted incorrectly by the majority of political and media commentators. Yet the idea of Jacob Rees Mogg becoming leader of the Conservative Party and then Prime Minister is apparently ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong, it is unlikely. Theresa May will try and cling on as long as possible. Any politician that is Prime Minister would naturally do this. Other Conservative politicians including Mogg may not want to touch the Brexit negotiations with a barge poll considering how complicated it is and how badly it could mess up. May could be there until the Brexit negotiations are over and then if she has made a mess of it, someone else could step in and by then Rees-Mogg's popularity could well have lost ground and another more senior Tory could become more popular and seen as a safe pair of hands.

But at the moment, there doesn't appear to be a moderate and senior Tory that could genuinely challenge May and be more popular. And for some of those on the left that do believe it is a genuine possibly, I've seen them gleefully welcome the prospect of Rees-Mogg as Tory leader as they believe he is unelectable. I personally get a sense of Deja-vu with this. Corbyn was laughed off when he become Labour leader as his views were "far left and unelectable". JRM's views are without a doubt on the far right. Especially when it comes to issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, climate change and economics. Some might say that given his socially conservative views that he would never be accepted but I would argue his small state, Thatcherite economic view of the world has been popular before and considering the Tories got 42% this election, still has some semblance of popularity. Also given that he is a staunch advocate of Britain leaving the EU, people may trust him more to deliver on Brexit than Theresa May, or it could be that the public's view on Brexit would have changed and that could be a hindrance to him. Who knows. Another point is that he is a very good public speaker and on a recent appearance on Question Time, he got quite a few rounds of applause from the audience. He also appears to have a strong social media following and a group called MoggMentum has been set up on Twitter to push him to become Tory leader.

All these factors should be taken into account and given the unpredictable nature of U.K. and world politics over the last few years, to dismiss Rees-Mogg as either not likely to become Tory leader or to dismiss him as unelectable in a general election if he does, is very naive and complacent. Corbyn's authenticity won him the Labour leadership election twice and stopped a Tory majority in the recent general election. Make no mistake, if the Conservatives ditch the unauthentic and robotic May and go for someone that appears a lot more genuine, authentic yet more extreme in their views like JRM, this could help them a lot. We need to take the idea that Rees-Mogg could become Prime Minister seriously and for those of us that abhor his views, start the fightback now by exposing him and openly criticising him as much as possible whilst presenting a positive alternative. Despite quite a few of my fellow Green Party members not wanting this, I do genuinely want to see a General Election as soon as possible whilst May is still leader and unpopular to try and stop Rees-Mogg's popularity and likelihood of running the country gaining for want of a better word, "Momentum".