With the Conservative Party in shambles, could Rees-Mogg rise out of the ashes and lead the Conservatives to a brighter future with young voters at his side?
The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom appears to be in dire straits. They lost their majority in the recent general election and Prime Minister May’s popularity is dwindling. The Tories are in need of a change of guard.
On the outset, Jacob Rees-Mogg may seem like an unlikely choice to lead the Conservatives, let alone gain the trust of the oft-labeled liberal millennial generation? He exudes an air of antiquated charm, donning his signature double breasted Saville row suits paired with tasteful Bengal stripe shirts. He speaks eloquently in a deep, mellifluous tone, indicative of his Etonian education. Unlike many others, Rees-Mogg isn’t veiled about his posh background, instead, he is unapologetically proud of it.
Jacob William Rees-Mogg was born in 1969 to William Rees-Mogg, former editor of the Times, and Gillian Shakespeare Morris. He spent most of his early childhood in Somerset and completed his schooling at Eton College. He then read History at Trinity College, Oxford and took up a career in finance, initially working in Hong Kong, before setting up his own firm in the UK.
Rees-Mogg first entered the political sphere when he was elected Member of Parliament for North East Somerset in 2010, with a majority of 4914 votes and again in 2015 with an increased majority of 12749 votes.
Rees-Mogg’s critics and detractors have often targeted his old fashioned nature and manner of speech. Journalist Quentin Letts famously referred to him as the “Honourable Member for the Early 20th Century.”
Despite being a stickler for tradition, Rees-Mogg has amassed tremendous support among younger Tory voters. His appeal may appear quite paradoxical at first, but upon closer examination, it is evident that Rees-Mogg is different from the run-of-the-mill British parliamentarian.
For starters, he doesn’t pretend to be “one of the people,” like many politicians. A notable example is Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn happens to have a similar background as Rees-Mogg, both from affluent families and educated in top grammar schools. Yet unlike Corbyn, Rees-Mogg stays true to his roots and refrains from putting on the facade of a champion of the working class.
Young voters appreciate the principled nature and political consistency of Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is honest about his positions and policies, a refreshing change from the Westminster regulars who often shift their stances according to the prevailing political atmosphere.
A staunch Brexiteer and Eurosceptic from the beginning, Rees-Mogg has served on the European Scrutiny Committee, which analyzes the legal and political importance of EU documents. Rees-Mogg has constantly advocated for greater economic freedom for the UK and maintained that secession from the EU is crucial for such freedom.
After the Brexit referendum, Rees-Mogg was quoted saying that “[Brexit] is a wonderful liberation for the country. There is no political event in my lifetime that has been better or more exciting for the nation.”
Another aspect that attracts young conservatives to Rees-Mogg is his commendable sense of humor. Rees-Mogg has appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen’s satirical Da Ali G Show, where he talked about what it is to be upper class. He is also known for his humorous, often self-deprecating, Instagram posts which are cognizant of his growing fan base.
Naturally, his virtual presence has seen a surge in popularity, which has manifested itself through numerous meme pages and Facebook groups. This rising popularity has been referred to fondly by his followers as “Moggmentum”, a witty wordplay combining momentum and the surname Mogg. In a time where conservatives are accused of a lack humor, Jacob Rees-Mogg is a shining beacon of nonconformity.
Jacob Rees-Mogg combines traditional British values with new political ideas. He isn’t afraid to defy the established order and prioritizes a “Britain first” style of governance. In an age where political clarity is rare, Jacob Rees-Mogg appears to be a suitable candidate for leader of Britain’s oldest political party, and young people are wise to support him.