I have just read two articles in my newspaper of choice. One appears to suggest that Jacob Rees-Mogg may be the next leader of the Conservative Party, the other tells me that Mr Bean is the most widely recognised international emblem of Britishness. I suspect a fearful symmetry. They look alike; they display a similar concentration in the performance of acts of idiocy; and they show that Britain still clings to the old ways, whether that be in comedy or in parliamentary democracy.
A partnership made in heaven; but of course there is a further delicious scenario to be entertained. Suppose Mogg did make it to the high table? He might encounter there King Charles III. Imagine the conversation:
Monarch: God, I abhor modern buildings.
Mogg: God, I abhor anything modern at all.
Monarch: How are the kids?
Mogg: No idea – I leave all that to the wife. Never changed a nappy, you know.
Monarch: Good man, No idea whether my ex enjoyed doing all that for me. Bit of a handful.
Mogg: I’ve got more than a handful.
Monarch: Of course. Six at last count, eh what?
Mogg: I think the last Count was killed in some kind of middle European uprising.
Monarch: Ho ho! No danger of that here, eh?
Mogg: Certainly not, your Majesty, so long as we have a firm hand on the tiller.
Monarch: Firm hand, eh? Just so. Yours doesn’t seem so steady, if I might say so.
Mogg: Tough lot, these constituents in BANES – bane of my life (after a moment’s silence) That was a joke, Your Majesty.
Monarch: Oh yes, ha ha. Remember the old days at the Brighton Pavilion?
Mogg: Remember them? I’m still there every night.
Monarch looks momentarily perturbed, before he recalls that it’s his own slightly wayward ancestor they’re discussing.
Anyway, this could run and run; but let us not forget the crucial difference between Mr Bean and Rees-Mogg. Mr B has the high ground; unlike R-M, he doesn’t speak. We could learn a lot from that.
And of course, let us not forget that the election of R-M to high office is the greatest gift for which we socialists could hope: the sanctification of Jeremy as the only human alternative!