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Jacob Rees-Mogg is a cultural icon


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The son of a Times journalist, Eton and Oxford educated, people might expect Jacob Rees-Mogg to fit the perceived stereotype of a privileged Tory.

Jacob Rees Mogg at the Cambridge Union

But he doesn’t.

Rees-Mogg, 48, could easily be a character from the Harry Potter or Doctor Who universes, and he’d be a good, popular character too. He’d probably have plenty of fan fiction written about him.

Sketch writers refer to him as ‘the Honourable Member for the 18th Century’. It’s not hard to see why. Rees-Mogg is a bit old fashioned and he knows it.

His appearances on Have I Got News For You, Newsnight and Question Time are the thing of legend.

He always come across as a sweet and a polite man as well too. In HIGNFY, the Hammersmith born MP stuck up for a much maligned Corbyn stating: "I don't agree with him on this [subject], but I rather admire his courage in saying something that is so deeply unpopular, but which he profoundly believes."

Corbyn had been taking a hammering from his own Party MPs over his views on shoot-to-kill, but Rees-Mogg, despite not agreeing, defended his right to speak what he believes.

He’s very mild mannered too. He doesn’t get angry and tends to avoid the hyperbole of his contemporaries.  

Charlotte Edwardes, in the Daily Mail, wrote: “In 17 years of knowing Rees-Mogg, 46, I’ve never seen him nettled, let alone cross. He’s one of the most polite, kindest people I’ve ever met.”

He’s not out of touch either; in an interview he still knew the cost of a pint of milk and a first-class stamp. In fact, Rees-Mogg clearly knows his stuff. In his debates, he is coherent and articulate. Recently he took on former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke and was able to hold his own very well; he had a response to every point and didn’t just give non-answers.

David Dimbleby once threw an Eton jibe at the North East Somerset MP only for him to coolly reply: “That’s right - I was at school with your son.”

He can be a bit passive aggressive too: he told Andrew Neil he used “couldn’t give a straw” rather than “couldn’t give a dam” as he “wouldn’t be so rude”.

He holds the record for the longest word recorded in the House of Commons – floccinaucinihilipilification. The habit of estimating something as worthless, he did this to criticise the decision of ECJ judges to increase their own salaries. When the decision was reversed, he was modest about it, saying he wouldn’t claim his actions and the decision equated to “cause and effect”.

On top of this, he is a nice man. He has great pride in living in the Somerset countryside.

For Channel 4 News, he visited South Shields, talking to voters who mainly absolutely hated his party. Yet he was polite, he listened and he read out the numbers in a bingo hall, it was quite entertaining. He enjoyed the experience and acted like he wanted to learn, rather than partaking in a pointless gesture.

On top of all this, he’s quite the rebel too. He’s opposed and help stopped numerous bills passing, such as the Fixed Terms Parliament Bill, the 2011 EU Referendum motion, The House of Lords Reform Bill in 2012, the Daylight Saving Bill 2010-12 and Sustainable Livestock Bill 2010-12.

He loves the fact that he’s traditional, but he’s a rebel too - and in the same way he has a certain swagger about him despite being rather mild mannered and humble.

This makes him a cultural icon.

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