Weekly SOAL: Why champion of the poor Jacob Rees-Mogg is cross this Easter
It is during Holy Week, and on Good Friday in particular, that we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus. Jesus, a champion of the destitute, the poor and the lowly, gave himself so that we should be saved.
And it was during Holy Week that another champion of the poor, Jacob Rees-Mogg, bestowed upon us a speech in which he railed against the European Union’s freedom of movement, claiming it had “harmed” the “least well-off” in our “indigenous communities.”
Rees-Mogg, who like Jesus has a famous father, was speaking at a Leave Means Leave event in central London on Tuesday to mark exactly one year before Britain is due to leave the EU.
In his speech, he explained that free movement of labour within the EU has seen this wages driven down, affecting in particular the least well-off in society. Rees-Mogg has of course consistently voted against spending public money on creating guaranteed jobs for young people who have been unemployed long-term.
The MP also detailed the impact upon welfare of immigration from the EU.
Another factor upon welfare has again been the voting record of Rees-Mogg himself, who not only has voted consistently in Parliament to back the Bedroom Tax, but has also voted strongly against increasing spending on welfare as a whole.
The so-called “Honourable Member for the 18th Century” also used the speech to dub Remainers as “cave dwellers” (please update your “metropolitan liberal elite” Twitter bios) and issue a thinly-veiled warning to Theresa May that she will be ousted as Prime Minister should she compromise further on any Brexit deal.
The backbencher was responding to a question about the Brexit transition deal, saying, “Let’s be frank about it, all the red lines have gone in the transition period. There isn’t a red line left in that, and the concern is will the red lines be there in the final withdrawal agreement.”
Rees-Mogg is clearly as baffled as many of us are as to why negotiations are going as badly as they are with one of our greatest minds, David Davis, representing the UK.
Asked whether he would “commit to standing for the Tory leadership” in future, the Brexiteer declined to “make any such commitment” and said that his support remains behind Theresa May, adding with a wink and a nudge, “I’m sure she won’t break our red lines.”
Could Jacob Rees-Mogg turn out to be Brexiteers’ messiah, or just a very naughty boy?
YOU'RE TERRIBLE, MURAL
To Her Majesty’s Opposition now where Jeremy Corbyn finds himself embroiled in yet another anti-Semitic controversy.
Having issued an apology for not noticing that an anti-Semitic mural was anti-Semitic, has seen Labour’s disputes chief Christine Shawcroft resign after opposing the suspension of a member of Facebook posts denying the Holocaust.
You’ll recall that Labour’s latest anti-Semitism controversy began with the discovery of a years-old Facebook post by Corbyn himself, in which he appeared to brush over the fact that a mural which was to be painted over contained several anti-Semitic elements.
Despite Corbyn apologising, some of his supporters have maintained that the mural was NOT in fact anti-Semitic. The mural, it seems, has become a sort of magic eye puzzle for idiots.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS
The Weekly SOAL wouldn’t be the Weekly SOAL if we didn’t check in at some point on everyone’s favourite Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis, sort of a David Brent type but without the benefit of being fictional.
Lewis, back in January, announced his new ‘respect pledge’ which all Conservative candidates would have to sign up to, binding them to “behave responsibly.”
Speaking to Andrew Marr at the time, Lewis explained, “If people in elections this year breach [the respect code] and there is evidence they have breached that responsibility pledge, we will suspend them and I call on the Labour party to stand up and make the same statement.”
We can only applaud Lewis, then, who is clearly a man of his word after acting swiftly to an accusation of racism against a local Conservative Party.
The local election leaflet, produced by Conservatives in Havering, carried the headline “Labour’s shocking plan to change Romford for good.” Alongside a picture of the London mayor Sadiq Kham, it warned that Labour who turn Romford into “boroughs like Hackney, Newham, Camden and Barking, rather than a traditional part of Essex.”
The town would see “massive population increases… vast numbers of high rise blocks of flats… and a London crime wave with even less (sic) police”, the literature added.
The leaflet was quickly criticised by Tory MP Nick Boles.
This leaflet is disgraceful. The individuals responsible should apologise, and withdraw it, or face disciplinary action. We cannot attack Corbyn for indulging anti-semitism in Labour and allow messages like this to go unchallenged. @BrandonLewis over to you. https://t.co/QSvYvYE3BN
— Nick Boles (@NickBoles) March 27, 2018
Lewis soon tweeted the following apology:
Romford Conservatives have acted - I asked them to apologise and withdraw the leaflet and they did so. pic.twitter.com/iAVOuPnlxM
— Brandon Lewis (@BrandonLewis) March 29, 2018
There were also calls for an apology from the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after it emerged that he had attended the launch of the racist campaign.
So far, no word from Brandon Lewis on that apology from Boris Johnson, nor any word on Johnson’s other controversy this week, his “sexist” comments in Parliament towards the Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry. I supposed it doesn’t matter, since he never means any harm.