Mogg Off

 

As the dust settled on GE17, the Tories discovered that their attempt at creating a totemic figurehead out of Theresa May had failed. Her “bloody difficult woman” and “strong and stable leadership” mantra had left the nation a little cold and her quest for a crushing mandate fizzled away into a lost majority and a smelly deal with Northern Irish bigots.

With their avatar's reputation in tatters and the much maligned Jeremy Corbyn receiving cheers even from his own MPs (what are the chances!), the establishment had to strike back with a new personality to woo the masses.

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.

For those of you who weren’t paying attention to the Latin master back at school, the phrase translates loosely to ‘times change and we change with them’ and it was with these words on July 15th 2017 that the man selected as the next focal point for a right-wing cult of personality launched himself into the brave new world of social media.

He’s had the full works from the mainstream media, from a chatty radio interview with Nigel Farage to the obligatory Owen Jones natter and a couple of appearances with Jess Phillips, the Labour MP who seems never to miss an opportunity to promote the Tories over her own party.

He’s on twitter and Instagram and disparate Facebook groups such as “Middle Class Memes for Rees-Moggian Teens” continue to churn out hilarious Moggmania. As of 14th August, Operation Mogg was still in action. On that day, both the Guardian (nominally left) and the Daily Telegraph (nominally right) posted editorials pointing to JRM as the right’s answer to Corbyn, with the supposed mass movement backing him referred to as “Moggmentum”.

Given this relentless hype, you would be forgiven for thinking that Jeremy Corbyn is hiding under a table in his Islington home, quaking and unable to think of a way to counter this quasi-religious cult, centred on an obscure, old-Etonian son-of-a-Lord from Somerset.

The reality is very different. Despite the constant media promotion of the so-called social media “explosion”, Rees-Mogg’s social media following has barely increased over the past few months. The social media hero has around 50,000 Twitter followers, as opposed to over 1.4 million for Corbyn.

La Bouche ain’t buyin’ any of it! This is just a re-run of the attempt at creating a “Boris” craze, which evaporated as soon as the man and his antics became better known to the public. If they want Corbyn-like mass support, they need somebody from within their own ranks whose life and record inspires it. If this is the best they can do, we should not be worried.

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