Theresa May’s time is surely up. Exactly when she leaves Number 10 for the final time is only a matter of logistics. The party now must plan ahead and ready a candidate willing and able to take on a resurgent Jeremy Corbyn whose popularity – at least according to the polls – is steadily rising.
I believe that person should be Jacob Rees-Mogg. Let me explain amidst the snorts and spluttered laughter.
The Tories have the whiff of decline about them. Since their unexpected slump at the ballot box, the party has become increasingly demoralised and has adopted an apologetic posture in the communication of its beliefs and policies. The cabinet has been split as to how to respond to Labour’s resonant policy of public sector spending increases with some voices pushing the cabinet to capitulate and go along with the general mood. The government is on the ropes, barely still upright and requires a fresh face, a clear voice and most of all an inspirational personality to weather the storm and alter the dynamics of the political landscape.
Jacob Rees-Mogg can provide this in abundance. It was evident in his recent appearance on BBC Question Time that not only does he profoundly comprehend policy and its implementation but is crucially also compassionate, rational and calm in transmitting this to the public. He came across as commanding and knowledgeable. He isn’t just a candidate for those who subscribe to his values. He is the candidate for real change in this country without abandoning the Tories reputation of economic responsibility. With his sharp wit and authentic demeanour, he can spark the Tories very own populist-style crusade.
This is the only way the Conservatives can triumph over Jeremy Corbyn at the next general election. As with Donald Trump in the US, the personal smears against Corbyn from the Tory election campaign simply didn’t deter many from voting for him. His shoddy allegiances with the IRA for example were deemed irrelevant if this was the candidate who could improve the everyday lives of many.
The media-spun sound bite nature of mainstream politics has dissolved emphatically in the last year to the point where the public are overlooking the scruffy exterior and unvarnished speech of Jeremy Corbyn in favour of his policies. His supporters believe he is sincere about his aims unlike other politicians whose focus seems to be concentrated on gaining power and then retaining it whilst the status quo is maintained.
With ‘change’ invariably the most dominant theme at every general election, the Tories cannot select a candidate who is ‘more of the same’. This would be encouraging a Hillary Clinton effect. Phillip Hammond and Amber Rudd fall smoothly into this bracket. David Davis would be seen as ‘been there done it’ amongst the Tory members and would also appear flat in the general election media glare.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has the ability to invigorate and rejuvenate the party with his straight-talking authenticity and buoyancy and inspire a new generation of younger Conservatives when at present Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are gobbling up their support. This is perhaps the most important particle of all.
The Conservatives need to clone the brilliantly coordinated Momentum campaign to stand any chance of slowing the Corbyn bandwagon. With grassroots door-to-door canvassing and effective social media exposure, the Tories need to get its message across to the young sensibly, logically and compellingly. Only a bottom-up campaign can motivate the young and wrestle the initiative back from Labour that has successfully managed to change the public mood on issues such as taxation with these methods.
And at the forefront will be an old Etonian, seen as antiquated and archaic by many but has inspirited a small cult who feel refreshed by his purpose and style. It’s time for Moggmentum.