James Chapman, the former pol-ed, turned SpAd turned lobbyist putting the potti into Bell Pottinger, claims that the Tories will never win an election again and that Cabinet ministers sympathise with setting up a new centre party, “the Democrats”. Chappers sounding crackers…
Jacob Rees-Mogg today pledged to meet the young man who had “Moggmentum” tattooed on his chest and take him for tea at the House of Commons. Giving his blessing to 24-year-old tattooee Ross Atkinson, the North East Somerset MP said he was “enormously honoured and flattered… it’s a huge compliment, very flattering”. The Mogg has spoken to Ross on the radio twice today; first as the lead item on BBC Radio Sheffield’s breakfast programme and later on TalkRadio with Paul Ross. Rees-Mogg said:
“I just hope he doesn’t become a socialist when he gets older and might have to change it… It’s a great honour a young man should be so interested in politics, so keen about Conservative principles that he wants to wear it on himself.”
Ross spoke to Guido on Monday just moments after he had the tattoo. As the ink dried, he said:
“I understand that a lot of working class people actually share beliefs with Jacob and I reckon he could be the one to push into Labour heartlands.”
Today Ross revealed to Guido that he has fixed a date to meet his hero in Westminster in October. Moggmentum forever…
A Doncaster man has had a “Moggmentum” logo tatooed on his chest in tribute to his favourite parliamentarian. Ross Atkinson, 24, from Doncaster, tells Guido:
“I got it at Limited Edition Tattoo in Doncaster. It cost £50 – I paid for it with a bonus from my previous job. I love Jacob because he stands for a lot of the same things as me philosophically, but he also has the integrity to not try and change his opinions to meet public opinion. He also stands for a very old caring kind of Conservatism that doesn’t support unlimited individualism but understands that the state has to take charge sometimes. I was in the Tories between 2008 and 2011 but left, I joined again last year just after Brexit. I understand that a lot of working class people actually share beliefs with Jacob and I reckon he could be the one to push into Labour heartlands like my town. Unfortunately I think I’m the only lad with one in Doncaster but who knows – maybe it will start a national trend?”
The newly-inked e-commerce manager had the tattoo done this afternoon. On the possibility of the Mogg becoming leader, Ross said: “Personally I don’t think he should be leader for the next election, but for the one after that definitely.” Keeping the Mogg close to his heart…
Social media savvy readers will have noticed that Jacob Rees-Mogg joined the picture-based social network Instagram a few weeks ago. He already has 35,000 followers, more than double Theresa May’s following – and her account is a year old. Follow for pics of Jacob’s new baby and days out with Nigel:
Now the Mogg has joined Twitter too:
Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.
— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) July 15, 2017
Which means “Times change, and we change with them”. The man who many younger and grassroots Tories want to run for leader has already amassed 14,000 followers in two days. Moggmentum?
— LEAVE.EU 🇬🇧 (@LeaveEUOfficial) 6 July 2017
“You are either in the European Union or you leave it. This is not only my view, this is the view of Donald Tusk, one of the Presidents of the European Union, who said: “there is no such thing as hard and soft Brexit, there is being in the European Union or out.” If we are out of the European Union, we cannot have our laws by the European Court of Justice, we cannot have all our regulations set by being in the internal market and we can’t lose all our trading opportunities by being in the customs union. And this was clear at the election. I brought a quotation in case this came up, from Wolfgang Schäuble, a very senior German politician. He let the cat out of the bag after the referendum because he said he’d been asked to say this by one George Osborne, the then Chancellor. And he said: “If the majority in Britain opt for Brexit that would be a decision against the single market”. In is in, out is out. We knew what we were voting for, we voted and democracy must deliver.”
The Mogg gets it…
Only one Brexiteer, again…
Meet Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher Rees-Mogg. Congratulations to Jacob and Helena. Not the first ambitious politician to introduce a well-timed new family member to the world…
If it weren’t for the Russians (allegedly) MPs’ inboxes would be constantly pinging with emails from colleagues canvassing for support for select committee chairmanships. The hotly-contested elections take place in July, as ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…
The big bunfight is the Treasury select committee, where MPs are jostling to fill the not inconsiderable shoes of Andrew Tyrie. Jacob Rees-Mogg has sat on the committee for two years, is well-respected on the Tory benches and would be a popular appointment. Nicky Morgan is running on a thinly-veiled continuity Remain ticket, talking up her ability to provide “necessary scrutiny and challenge” to the Brexit negotiations. NiMo is the preferred candidate of Labour Remainers, which says it all. Also running are the experienced Leaver Richard Bacon, who already has the signatures he needs, and Stephen Hammond and John Penrose, both Remainers with experience in the City. Would be a shame if the Mogg didn’t get it.
There’s also a tasty battle brewing for the Foreign Affairs committee chairmanship. Incumbent Crispin Blunt – who has faced embarrassment over the committee’s reports on Saudi Arabia and Libya – is being challenged by John Baron, who thinks Britain should work with Assad, Russia and Iran. Blunt is hardly sound and the committee is already stuffed with wrong uns. Though MPs will be concerned about some of Baron’s views too.
There is a vacancy as BEIS committee chair after Iain Wright stepped down from parliament. It’s between Rachel Reeves, Liam Byrne and Ian Lucas. Louise Ellman has quit as Transport committee chair, Geraint Davies is running to replace her. Quite a few battles bubbling away behind the scenes…
Philip Hammond faces a Tory revolt over his broken National Insurance promise. The government has a working majority of 17 and Guido counts 19 Tory MPs who have already publicly opposed the policy. Many more are privately furious that they have been made to look like promise breakers by the Chancellor. Below are just those who have gone public so far…
“It goes against every principle of Conservative understanding of business. We understand that taking risks is what stimulates growth. It impacts people who are putting themselves at risk, their houses on the line, to create new growth. It’s the wrong way round and sends a very poor message.”
“The biggest issue is national insurance contributions… I would be cautious about this change, and I urge the Government to look at the whole question of the relationship between national insurance and income tax in the round.”
“I urge a rethink. We should be encouraging the self-employed, start-ups and people who are taking risks and carrying those risks themselves. We should recognise that through support, yes, but we should do so particularly through taxation.”
“It is very important to ensure that we do not disadvantage self-employed people. The Conservative Party always has been and, I hope, always will be the party that supports white van man and—may I say on this particular day?—white van woman… I hope very much that we will have some reassurance from Treasury Ministers that plumbers, electricians, plasterers and people of that sort will not be disadvantaged”
“Clearly, a tax rise that discourages any kind of activity is not attractive, especially when our economy is quite reliant on self-employment… that rise will be unwelcome news to people who are probably struggling and not getting all the rights to which they are entitled”
“We need to ensure that it is as easy as possible to get into self-employment, and that it is as worthwhile as possible when people are successful. I always think it is a good idea to try to confine taxes, and certainly tax rises, to things that we do not approve of very much… We should not go out of our way to tax work, enterprise and success. I know we have to do some of that, because we need a lot of revenue for the range of public services we offer, but our taxes on those things are quite high enough.”
“We are taxing those families who have taken on the risk of setting up their own small business, many of which employ apprentices and are the backbone of our economy.”
“I understand that there are distortions when people are self-employed, but I think this should be kept under review.”
“I can’t say I’m overjoyed at the action the Chancellor has taken because self-employed people are a great asset to the local and the national economy. You have also got to consider that they sometimes don’t qualify for other benefits. Clearly, the view of the Treasury is that there was an anomaly which needed to be rectified. But, as we all know, you resolve one anomaly and another often appears somewhere else.”
“This could be 1st u turn …. this will not be popular & many will argue it’s unfair”
“I don’t like this bit much… we have to look at this in the round to make sure we are not hurting entrepreneurial classes… we need to square this with not just the letter but the spirit of the commitment.”
Iain Duncan Smith:
“I would like to see this kept under review… We all saw what happened to President Bush senior, “read my lips”, so some of us were slightly concerned at the time about making pledges that lock you in.”
“There is a concern that this will hit home shortly before we ask people for their votes in the next general election.”
“I believe we should apologise. I will apologise to every voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto in the 2015 election.”
“It is right that the self-employed and employed should pay similar National Insurance Contributions but the self-employed are different from employees – they are the risk takers and entrepreneurs that spearhead growth and productivity in our economy and do not have the same protections as employees. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the growth in self-employment has driven our labour market and rises in NI will make many people have second thoughts about striking out on their own. People who work for themselves and who set up and run companies should be encouraged. Instead, the Chancellor has singled them out for a £1,425m tax hike on the misleading premise that they pay less tax than their peers, completely ignoring the risks they take and the lack of security in their employment.”
Anne Marie Morris:
“The changes to National Insurance defy belief! What did the chancellor think he was doing? Increasing the rate of “Class 4” contribution from 9 per cent to 11 per cent over two years! At least he kept his word and abolished “Class 2″ contributions which was unfair, not well understood and not related to income or profit. But while Class 4 contributions are profit related and therefore “fairer”, this was I suspect not the reason for the change but a post-decision marketing strap line. It has all the hallmarks of the “pasty tax” own goal.”
“I’m surprised that the Chancellor chose to raise national insurance for the self-employed. It’s going to bring in only £135million over the rest of this Parliament and some people might consider it a breach of a manifesto pledge. I don’t think it’s worth it.”
Karl McCartney also tells Guido he opposes the rise.
“May right to pause on self employed N I rise-precision engineering needed not bulldozer to tackle those only going self employed as tax ruse”
Will the NICs rise survive or is a u-turn coming?
Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jess Phillips star in a political version of Gogglebox on Sophy Ridge on Sunday. It sort of works…
Jacob Rees-Mogg tells the Daily Politics that he would vote for Donald Trump in the US Presidential Election rather than a “left-wing Democrat”…
Mark Carney is up in front of the Treasury Select Committee this afternoon where he is going to have to explain why he cut rates and re-started QE prematurely to Jacob Rees Mogg, who thinks “He acted too early in my view. There was not sufficient evidence at that point that further monetary stimulus was needed and there are adverse consequences of abnormally low interest rates as well as beneficial consequences.” As the Citigroup surprise index (above) shows, most City expert economists got it wrong on a Brexit recession. In the last week alone Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have reverse-ferreted on their None have accepted Guido’s £1,000 wager offer…recession predictions.
On a similar theme it is worth reading the Centre for Policy Studies analysis out today on the pros and cons of Brexit for the financial services. Just as the consensus on a Brexit recession was misplaced (even Remain campaign financing investment bank JP Morgan has now conceded they were wrong) so too will the “City will lose out to Paris / Frankfurt / Dublin” consensus soon dissolve. The above chart from Prequin shows that not many Masters of the Universe are keen to enjoy the Frankfurt nightlife…
What the City does want is “passporting”, assurance that the Square Mile’s firms will still be able to trade across the EU. The majority of the City’s exports in financial services (60%) go to countries outside the EU – not surprising when not one of the top 10 financial centres is in the EU. China and India are already choosing to do their capital market transactions in London, these are the growth markets of the future. In reality it is likely that if “passporting” obstacles were to be deliberately constructed, they could if necessary be circumvented by booking trades through EU based subsidaries. Zurich is the biggest financial centre on mainland Europe, it has bilateral deals with the EU, the City will want the same…
It’s not just Labour’s former advisers who like Theresa May – their MPs think she’s impressive too. Theresa May was deemed “most impressive parliamentarian” by no less than 35% of Labour MPs, putting her second on the leadership table only to be beaten by Cameron in an Ipsos MORI poll of members. While May was deemed impressive by more ministers, the ex-cabinet ministers sitting bitterly on the backbenches put Dave ahead in the overall stakes by just 1% – to 26%.
Labour’s strongest contender was unsurprisingly Hilary Benn, coming joint sixth with 6%, but was beaten to a top five place by Angus Robertson. Labour MPs went mostly unloved, with Tom Watson and Dan Jarvis gaining the support of just one MP each (possibly themselves?). One Conservative joker backed Corbyn for the title. If Labour MPs like May so much, why don’t they just…
Jacob Rees-Mogg was doing the rounds last night as the PM desperately scrambles to finalise a deal on his proposed renegotiations before Friday.
The Eurosceptic MP started the night on Channel 4 News, where he was asked by Jon Snow about how many Tory MPs he suspected would come out in favour of Brexit. He declined to give an estimate, instead referencing Guido’s very own MP Referendum List. That’s another happy reader then…
However the night was still young, and so Rees-Mogg went on Newsnight later to further hammer home the paucity of Cameron’s renegotiations. Speaking to Evan Davies about the potential the PM wouldn’t secure a deal he said:
“It’s the flim-flam that you expect around these negotiations so that they can go through the night and then our hero returns, triumphant, game, set and match. We’ve seen all of this before in European negotiations, my guess is that most of it is broadly agreed. We haven’t asked for anything, the thin gruel is all we’ve asked for, and there’s no reason for the EU not to give it to us, if you don’t ask for anything you might as well be given nothing. And that’s where we are and it will all work out, and then we’ll be expected to sing Hosanas when the Prime Minister returns”.
With the Mogg in such fine form it’s a wonder he isn’t leading the out campaign…
The Member of Parliament for the eighteenth century was on fine form today, laying into the PM’s rather modest EU demands.
In an unusually watchable piece of television on Channel 4 News last night, Jacob Rees-Mogg gave Labour rising star Jess Phillips a tour around his North East Somerset constituency. Watch out for the part where Philips compares the long-serving Rees-Mogg family nanny to “the dog in Peter Pan”…
Guido feels a wife-swap style reality programme coming on…