IT IS at this time of the year that we take stock of our own lives and here at TCW we review the political lives of others in 2018. It is with this in mind that we award the most coveted of all prizes, the TCW Hero of the Year, to Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.
JRM is one of the few politicians who stood up for Brexit, challenging the Withdrawal Deal and Theresa May on the airwaves, in Parliament and ultimately through a vote of no confidence. Others try to paint him as an extremist, because these days wanting Parliament to be sovereign makes you ‘an extremist’ but his dogged determination to face down the Remainers in his own party is heroic in the extreme.
Jacob Rees-Mogg could become another greasy-pole-climbing, payroll MP. He could just put his head down and hope to make his way into cabinet. But he is no ordinary man; he is a man of principle, courage, honesty, integrity and dignity, as we have noted many times on TCW, and Kathy most recently here.
The Leftist media and the Leftist MPs in his own party have gone for him over everything from his Catholicism, the number of kids he has, his suits, to ultimately his political views. Some of this criticism is fair enough; most of the personal attacks most certainly are not. Philip Collins, in the Times on the 14thof December said it was time the team of JRM ‘were taken outside and shot’. Collins didn’t mean this literally, we assume, but still it is somewhat ironic that the Mogg is painted as the extremist when writers use language such as this.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has faced these relentless, poisonous personal attacks with grace and fortitude. He has never attacked another MP, least of all his Prime Minister, in a personal way. It is this dignity in the face of stone-throwing that drives his opponents crazy. They know the Mogg has virtues such as courage and patience, kindness and diligence that they can never have.
The truth is, as I have said before, that he is too good for the Conservative Party, which is why the likes of Anna Soubry are constantly calling for him to be ‘booted out’. He exposes their pettiness, their petulance and their incompetence day in and day out, driving them into even greater despair and more desperate attacks. But the Mogg marches on.
So today we salute you, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP: slayer of untruths, exposer of frauds, Brexiteer. They call you an ‘extremist’ and sure, in this degraded culture, in this poisonous political atmosphere, you stand out so in this sense you are unusual if not extreme. You literally and figuratively stand head and shoulders above many in your party. May you fight on in 2019.