There’s a grassroots movement which has rapidly gathered support for a certain Somerset MP. Jacob Rees-Mogg has become an unlikely future contender for the Conservative Party leadership. His solid following has grown out of his likable, sensible and downright conservative character and he’s amassed a following any other Conservative politician could only dream of. Ready for Rees-Mogg, which started as a Facebook page, has become a fully-fledged campaign group. Recently hitting 10,000 Facebook likes, amassing well over 23,000 signatures of support and raising over £7,000 to cover campaign expenditure, all in a matter of weeks, this campaign is gathering traction.
There are a number of reasons why this surprising campaign has taken off around the remarkable character of Jacob Rees-Mogg.
For one, it is his vision of conservative policy, and his ability to articulate it, that sets Jacob apart. A true believer in the free market, his sound conservative principles are refreshing when the Conservative Party seems intent on pleasing everyone and no one by attempting to cover the middle ground of politics. It is this belief, among others, why Rees-Mogg is an avid Brexiteer. Jacob loudly laments the profiteering EU and articulately advocates the wide-ranging benefits that leaving would bring to not only the UK, but to the many nations out with the EU’s many trade barriers and protectionist policies. Rees-Mogg advocated that there is nothing better for aid than free trade just recently on Question Time, and highlighted that by staying in the EU we increase prices for ourselves through high tariffs on our food and clothes. In these uncertain Brexit times it would be wonderful to be led into the wide world of trade by someone who truly believes in the great possibilities out there for us. Jacob also does not pander to those who believe there is a “soft-Brexit” option stating that with the EU “you are either in it or you are out” and the British public voted to leave. Now, in the words of Jacob, “democracy must deliver”.
It is hard for opposition and critics to sneer at a man whose character is so honourable. An honest man, providing for his children, working hard for his constituency, well, this is the making of any decent MP – but we have not come to expect honesty and moral conduct from our politicians today. Most are kept at arm’s lengths; career politicians we expect are out for themselves. With Jacob, we expect more and he delivers. He harks back to a time where people had principles and it’s about more than his double-breasted suits, it’s about the free market principles of sound conservatism that he espouses. Jacob makes no apology for his outfits or his politics and it is no wonder that conservatives have flocked to a leader who will not apologise for believing in their cause.
One of the great things about Jacob is that he is not just a soundbite politician. His reasoned arguments are made with fact and the soundbites we have all come to hear from politicians, especially in the last election, no longer resonate with voters. Rees-Mogg is not afraid to debate and when he does, he so eloquently puts across his valid, reasoned and researched answer that you can’t help but see that there is a lot more to him than his slightly eccentric character. In this age, where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, if he can create a youth movement while reasonably and persuasively arguing for true conservative principles, why should his background matter?
Jacob Rees-Mogg has the capability to reignite the Conservative Party, engage young conservatives and respectfully disagree with any challenger, and he’s used the platform of social media to do it all. For one man to be more popular and influential among the younger, social media savvy electorate, than the whole of the Cabinet, the party would ignore this support from their members to its detriment. His appeal across the ages is invaluable as we are faced with a Conservative Party with no active youth wing and an aging members base.
Jacob Rees-Mogg may not be leader now, and sadly isn’t the one leading the Brexit brigade, but we should certainly consider him as a future leader of a Conservative Party that is not apologetically conservative, but relishes the opportunity the free market would bring to our economy and our post-Brexit trade deals.
If you are Ready for Rees-Mogg, add your name to our campaign here, to tell Jacob that when he’s ready, we’re ready.
Anne Sutherland, a co-founder of Ready for Rees-Mogg, is a Scottish Conservative who has worked on five campaigns in the UK and the USA.