15/08/2017 08:29 BST | Updated 15/08/2017 08:29 BST

Imagine For A Moment Jacob Rees-Mogg As Tory Leader


I remember at school I had a history textbook which illustrated industrial capitalism in two columns, the capitalists and the proletariat. At the head of each column was a cartoon image, the proletariat was represented by an unshaven, sorry looking chap with a flat cap. Let us call him Jeremy. The capitalists were fronted by a tall, austere looking man with monocle, top hat and tails. Let us call him Jacob.

It is hard to believe that there is now even the prospect of these two cartoons yelling at each other over the dispatch box in the House of Commons. But a year ago it was hard to believe the US President would be an orange pensioner whose name means to fart and whose key policy was building a giant wall. Anything is possible. Politics is not only beyond satire, it's beyond cartoon.

So let us imagine for a moment a Jeremy- Jacob showdown at PMQs. Jezza will read out an email he received from Sue in Barking who's struggling to buy her own house, 'why won't the honourable member for the early 20th century divide up his country mansion and create 20 new council flats for people like Sue? Why does he defend the few when he should defend the Sues?' Jezza sits down to a dim chorus of 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn'.

Jacob rises slowly adjusts his monocle and proceeds to lecture the scruffy street rat on the other side of house (who still hasn't shaved since his last dressing down from an old Etonian) that Sue would do well to heed the advice of his nanny that "Arduus labor operae pretium est" and she would do damn well to remember that.

An election campaign would play out with Jacob visiting the tea rooms of Devon, to rapturous applause and banging of walking sticks. Jezza meanwhile would be singing Red Flag with gusto at rallies of hundreds of politics graduates, teachers and owners of vegan cafes. He would shout loudly that truly the working people of this country were now rising up. Meanwhile the rest of the country looks on with mild amusement and not a little exasperation before switching off and binging on Netflix.

All of this of course probably will not happen. The Tories probably won't lose their collective sanity. Rees-Mogg still trails 'Other' as the preferred choice of Tory supporters. The Conservative Party must realise that there is a golden opportunity to stamp their authority on the centre ground. There is an opportunity to deliver radical policies that create a true meritocracy in Britain. None of this can happen with an oldest of the Old Etonian, a caricature of entrenched privilege and a banker as its leader and figurehead. Let us hope his real image never appears in our children's history books.