ON Monday – the day Mrs May’s Government was defeated, humiliated and found to be in contempt of Parliament – the BBC’s Newsnight played a new political ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ game, the Tower of Power.
On a cardboard Big Ben, they invited such luminaries as Iain Dale, Bronwyn Maddox and Paul Mason to pin who they thought to be in the ascendant and who in the reverse. One thing they all agreed on was that Jacob Rees-Mogg had blown it – his star was not just on the wane but had sunk below the horizon. They consigned him to irrelevance at the bottom of the tower, not even according him a word of commendation for his lone stand on principle, for risking doing what was right, as they did so.
The Mogg’s already been vindicated. His erstwhile ERG colleagues who flunked at putting in their letters to the 1922 Committee chairman must now be wishing they’d taken the chance.
And far from sinking into Newsnight’s assumed oblivion, the Mogg’s been out and about, defying the BBC’s HoHoHo scale (an acronym for Helpful Or Harmful Observations Harmoniously Organised) which ‘refers to the way a media organisation will create a co-ordinated mood effect through insertion of subjective comments into the narrative that can be either helpful or harmful to the target’ – see Monkeybrains here – and demonstrating that nothing could be further from the BBC’s depiction of an ‘angry Brexiteer’ than he.
In fact so civilising was Mr Rees-Mogg’s presence that on Thursday it even calmed the normally intemperate and bullying Alastair Campbell, as you can see in their ‘odd couple’ outing to Lewisham market recorded by Channel Four.
Anyone who can make Alastair Campbell half human is not to be underestimated, and the Mogg did just that. This is an engaging watch (despite the ridiculous ‘Brexit broke my marriage’ claim at the end).