Final week Jacob Rees-Mogg summoned the Westminster media to the grand St Stephen’s Entrance of the Homes of Parliament to announce, completely needlessly, that he, Jacob Rees-Mogg, had formally despatched in his letter of no confidence within the prime minister.



To his proper stood Steve Baker, the self-appointed unofficial whip of the Tory rebels. On their approach out to face the cameras, Baker had paused, exhaled, and was overheard muttering self-motivational maxims to himself.



Don’t be in any doubt. This was meant to be the good, historic second that Jacob Rees-Mogg, chief of the European Analysis Group, set in movement a series of letter writing that might topple the prime minister.



And now that he has so singularly failed to realize his purpose, and each males have so humiliated themselves and their get together within the course of, Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t need to discuss it.



On Tuesday morning, the press have been summoned once more, this time to the launch of the European Analysis Group’s newest little bit of “analysis”, on why leaving the customs union and single market can be completely high-quality (the doc is past risible, however we’ll come to that later).



Unsurprisingly, one or two members of the media wished to know what occurs subsequent after Mr Rees-Mogg’s tried coup.



“It’s not a coup,” he mentioned. “It’s not a coup,” declaring, not for the primary time, that his makes an attempt to take away the prime minister at a time of acute nationwide disaster have been in accordance with the “democratic procedures of the Conservative Celebration”. And, extra to the purpose, he added: “This kind of language, this over-egged language, is slightly damaging to political debate.”



At this level, with regards to “over-egged language”, it doesn’t appear inappropriate to refer again to Mr Rees-Mogg’s feedback of final week, by which he mentioned of Theresa Could’s Brexit settlement that it will flip Britain “into not a lot a vassal state as a slave state”.



By no means thoughts that the one actually accepted utilization of the time period “slave state” is a US state that maintained the legality of slavery within the years previous the American Civil Warfare; there’s additionally the truth that Norway, a rustic that struggles on beneath circumstances all however similar to those Rees-Mogg describes as slavehood, just lately topped a world ballot on international locations with the very best high quality of life.



And as we’re at such threat of over-egged political language damaging debate, maybe it’s value at this juncture referring again to Mr Rees-Mogg’s phrases at the latest ERG briefing earlier than this one?



“What’s one of the simplest ways to realize a deal? Is it to be snivelling and fearful and timorous and provides the impression to the EU that we’ll do no matter they are saying?” he mentioned then. “That we’ll kowtow, we’ll go down on bended knee, we’ll supply to serve homage to the good energy that’s within the European Union?”



What number of eggs would we are saying are served in that precisely? It’s additionally value declaring that, whereas it’s technically true he’s solely following the “procedures” of the Conservative Celebration, he is aware of he’s completely abusing the spirit of them. The entire level of the now broadly ridiculed system of privately sending a letter of no confidence to the chairman of an obscure backbench committee, and mentioned chairman holding tally of what number of he has, is that it permits the Conservative Celebration to maneuver to elect a brand new chief in a discreet and dignified approach.



It’s a secretive course of as a result of it’s meant to stay a secret. They’re procedures that aren’t meant to be reimagined as a rolling circus for the 24-hour media age. The second you summon the tv cameras to announce you might have despatched your letter in, for no nice motive past your personal crushing vainness, is the second you cease following the spirit of these procedures.



All of which explains why, two questions later, Mr Rees-Mogg refused to take questions on the topic completely, and restricted questions “solely to the report”.



Press conferences, it’s value remembering, usually are not known as by the press. They’re known as by individuals who need the press’s consideration. Conventionally, whoever has known as them is just not, in such circumstances, meant to then inform the press what they will and may’t ask about. You could have summoned them there in spite of everything.



Some years in the past, I recall David Cameron standing behind a lectern in 10 Downing Avenue, subsequent to the Worldwide Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who was on the town for the ultimate inspections earlier than the London video games. As Rogge regarded on completely bemused, Cameron took six questions in a row on when he had final eaten a Cornish pasty. He is aware of it comes with the territory.



The one different event earlier than this one once I can recall a mainstream British politician telling the media what they will and may’t ask about was when Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech on the NHS and refused to reply any questions on whether or not or not he had or hadn’t truly been provided a seat on a supposedly “ram-packed” Virgin practice.



Mr Rees-Mogg grew to become a media darling some years in the past not merely due to his eccentricity and apparent telegenetic manner. It was as a result of he by no means, ever, dodged a query and gave a full, eminently quotable reply to something he was requested. That he has descended to the extent of Jeremy Corbyn in his least articulate days (he’s since a lot improved) ought to shock nobody.



His primary dignity, like that of Boris Johnson, David Davis, Steve Baker and so many extra earlier than him, is simply the newest sacrifice upon the altar of Brexit.



As for the “report” itself, properly, it seeks to clarify, but once more, that some type of Canada-plus type deal is preferable, whereas leaving the EU with no deal isn’t any drawback. The onerous border with Eire that each these choices necessitate can all be labored out later, utilizing expertise that’s but to be invented. And the opposite drawback, that the EU would reject out of hand any deal that threatens a return to a tough border, can even apparently be wished away for now.



Extra to the purpose, the one motive Mr Rees-Mogg has risen to any type of prominence on this hour of nationwide disaster is as a result of the parliamentary arithmetic is such that his band of merry wreckers have the ability to derail something Theresa Could has to supply.



“We don’t need to change the chief, we need to change the coverage,” they’ve mentioned, a number of instances, earlier than altering their thoughts. Ought to they obtain their goal, how they then move their “deal”, which is considerably much less fashionable within the Home of Commons than Theresa Could’s one, is an issue a brand new chief categorically doesn’t remedy, and thus can also be an issue for an additional day.



Maybe that is why Mr Rees-Mogg is so unkeen on the phrase “coup”. It could not, strictly, be an abuse of Conservative process, but it surely would possibly simply be the least conservative second within the Conservative Celebration’s historical past.



The thought of a Conservative, by the way in which, comes first from the writings of Edmund Burke, who in 1789, had this to say on the behaviour of the revolutionaries in France:



“We’re taught to look with horror on these kids of their nation, who’re immediate rashly to hack their aged dad or mum in items, and put him into the kettle of magicians, in hopes that by their toxic weeds, and wild incantations, they might regenerate the paternal structure, and renovate their father’s life.”



Conservatives don’t take wild actions with no concern for the results. Rees-Mogg’s revolution is failing, although it’s actually being televised. To this point, it makes Bush and Blair’s adventures in Iraq appear a paragon of statecraft.




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