Jacob Rees-Mogg comes over as an amusing eccentric on TV panel shows like Have I got News for You. He is a bizarre anachronism of the sort that makes England the special and charming place we like to think it to be. Ian Hislop calls him ‘The Minister for the Nineteen-Thirties’, for his affected accent and manners which make him appear to belong to another time.
But beware! Beneath that apparently harmless exterior, lurks potentially a far more sinister creature. Rees-Mogg ‘came out’ a few days ago. He is a strong believer in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and these include a prohibition on abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. He is opposed to same-sex marriage for the same reasons. Clearly these are very personal choices, and everyone is entitled to make them for themselves. But when such choices conflict with the law of the land, one must question whether a representative democracy can function with an elected MP serving two masters – the State and their religious beliefs.
I am still smarting from the years I spent thinking that Boris was just a harmless affable buffoon. If any further proof were needed of his total incompetence in office, one only has to listen to his interviews on the radio yesterday.
Talk of the Mogg standing for leadership of the Conservative Party worries me greatly. Strong belief and religious bigotry are frequently bedfellows. What we need in this country is tolerance, education and critical thinking about three thousand year old traditions. Not slavish adherence to principles laid down for people living entirely different lives in conditions totally remote from the present day.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs