Lefty middle-class commentators began squawking their heads off yesterday when it transpired that Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a potential candidate to replace the hapless Theresa May, was – gasp! – opposed to abortion and gay marriage. Cue lots of hand-wringing, pearl-clutching, and denouncements from the high priests of decency and the guardians of acceptable political discourse. You know, those people who had their finger so closely on the pulse they didn’t see Brexit coming and said Corbyn would be wiped out in the last election. Those people.
Note that Rees-Mogg didn’t say he was seeking to outlaw abortion or gay marriage: he simply said, being Catholic, that he opposes them. In the not too recent past this wouldn’t have been an issue. It is was never expected that a political leader’s views matched those of the voter in every detail, and differences of opinions on certain issues were normal. The voters didn’t care what a candidate thought about minor issues, nor even what he thought about the major ones particularly: they were more interested in their policies and their intentions once in office, not their personal opinions.
Blair changed all that. He came along and aligned himself perfectly with the liberal middle classes simply by changing his views to match whatever the latest opinion poll said they wanted to hear (Iraq excepted). Cameron worked out this was a winning strategy and did the same thing (Brexit accepted), and now this has become the norm: political candidates are supposed to make the right noises in front of the metropolitan media elites, and if they don’t pompous twats will start saying things like “they’re not fit for public office”. What used to be said only in relation to a candidate’s criminal history or unethical behaviour is now splashed around simply for having dissenting views. And there was me thinking it was elections which sorted out which candidates the public want in office, not elites working cushy jobs in London.
It’s not difficult to see what’s going on here. The lefty middle classes don’t care about abortion, it’s a non-issue in the UK, they’ve just seized on it because it’s a divisive subject in the US and they think they can use it as a stick with which to beat Rees-Mogg over the head. Both they and wet “conservatives” cluttering up the Tory party simply don’t like the idea of a proper, traditional conservative leading the Conservative party: they prefer wet bellends like Cameron who pander to the left while pretending to be Tory. A simply test of whether Rees-Mogg’s critics are genuinely looking to uphold principles on abortion and gay marriage is by seeing how they approach politicians of other conservative religions who hold similar views. Well, yes, indeed.
Of course, the chattering classes are saying Rees-Mogg has no chance and he’ll consign the Conservative party to oblivion, but they said the same thing about Corbyn and Labour and look what happened. Most of this is projection of their own prejudices, these idiots haven’t a clue what they’re on about. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong: every now and then a blind squirrel stumbles on a nut. Much as though I’d like to see proof that Britain is ready for a genuine conservative in the style of Rees-Mogg, I suspect he’ll be seen as too posh and too out of touch for most modern Brits. From what I can tell, they want a wet, middle-of-the-road nice guy like Cameron, or someone who will tell them exactly what they want to hear while incessantly meddling like Blair. I might be pleasantly surprised though, and for that reason I’d like to see him replace May as head of the Conservative party. Whatever happens, I suspect his personal views on abortion will be an irrelevance.