Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for the constituency of North East Somerset, is the eccentric face of Britain’s Brexit. Despite his urbane charm and penchant for classical references, his claims for taking back control and the benefits of free trade that Brexit will allegedly bring are unconvincing and reek of self-interest (one investmunt fund he works for has warned investors about the hard Brexit Rees-Mogg favours). Despite this, his popularity with those in favour of Brexit is unparalleled. He is the face of Britain’s Brexit.
I live in Bath, a firmly pro-European city that ousted its Conservative MP in the 2016 General Election – the one that was supposed to give Theresa May a huge majority and so control over the Brexit process – it didn’t work out that way.
If I cross the road from my house, I go through a gap in the hedge and leave that city behind and enter the world of Jacob Rees-Mogg. I go there every day. It’s where my family have an allotment. It’s a dreamland of a place, with views over Solsbury Hill (the one Peter Gabriel sang about), visited by badgers and foxes and deer.
These are images from that allotment, from the land of Jacob Rees-Mogg. The plants that grow there, the structures that are made, the decorations that adorn this allotment are a metaphor for Rees-Mogg’s Brexit, for bright dawns and a land of plenty. Yet concealed within it is another Brexit, the one we’re going to get; of broken promises, collapsing infrastructure and a nation betrayed by a political elite that will never claim responsibility, whatever their party, for the disasters they are about to wreak.