Humourless Tory toff Jacob Rees-Mogg is attempting to close down a spoof Twitter account set up in his name. Although the Somerset MP claimed he was initially “quite relaxed” about the account, he changed his mind after a report based on the following tweet was posted on the Daily Telegraph website.

The Telegraph later updated their article to highlight the inauthentic nature of the account — but couldn’t resist pointing out Rees Mogg had still not denied meeting his better half over a frozen fillet of plaice.

Thin-skinned Rees Mogg has form for calling in lawyers at the first sign of satire, having last year threatened legal proceedings to shut down a spoof blog site. The Somerset MP will be familiar to Scrapbook readers for this gaffe on the BBC’s Daily Politics in which he claimed teachers and lollipop ladies would be “bonkers” to vote for him.

Rees-Mogg, who says he wouldn’t use Twitter even if he was paid to, also told the Bath Chronicle “I am quite capable of being silly without other people saying silly things for me.”

We couldn’t agree more.

  1. It’s pretty silly of Rees-Mogg to try and do this – but to describe him as a “toff”? Really? Simply ridiculous and has no baring on this matter.

  2. From his Wikipedia entry (I’ve seen this reported in other places too):

    In 1997 he was Tory candidate for the historically Labour seat of Central Fife. He canvassed a largely working class neighbourhood in his Bentley with his nanny;[4] he lost in the 1997 election, receiving 9% of the vote.

    Toff. No other word for it. Might not have much to do with this event, but a perfectly apt description in my book.

  3. If you can call Rees-Mogg a toff, then I can call Dennis Skinner “working class scum”. It has the same loaded, bigoted meaning – just one aimed at the poor, the other at the rich. Comedy value of a man campaigning with his nanny aside, it’s really immaterial to the case at hand whether he’s got a Bentley for a car or a box for a home.

  4. Archie Guevara says:

    Toff is not an offensive word so far as I can see after looking in various dictionaries. Scum certainly is, in the context used by Aremay. Anyway, I do tend to agree that the use of “toff” as an adjective is a bit redundant when it follows “humourless Tory” 🙂

  5. Toff has a specific meaning inferring a sense of superiority, from what I’ve heard come from Mr Rees-Moggs mouth he certainly has that sense of superiority. Working-class scum is a slur, toff describes a persons attitudes as well as their social status.

  6. I get the word “toff” used against me – or “posh boy” and so on – as an abusive term quite frequently. Of course, that I was born in Leeds, went to a state school and the University of Hull doesn’t enter into it; I sound posh, so I must be out-of-touch and stupid. It is an offensive word, normally used by people who are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of wealth.

    Again, I think Mr Rees-Mogg is wrong to bring this action and I think it wrong to drag his upbringing into this when it has no material baring on the case whatsoever is playground politics, pure and simple.

  7. I am one of those deeply uncomfortable with the idea of wealth owned by individuals, Artemay, but not with the wealth of nations applied to the good of the people. I am deeply uncomfortable with David Cameron ‘s £20 net worth when he tells the nation we’re all in in together, when we patently are not, or when he and his wealthy Bullingdon pal try to make the poor and vulnerable pay for the sins of their banker chums.

    Perhaps the clue lies in Artemay’s misuse of ‘baring’ for ‘bearing’ (two examples above). Was it really a homonym, or was it deep irony and a reference the Baring’s?

  8. Peter; My post is riddled with other errors. No reference to collapsed banks was intended.

    As a good, wholesome liberal, I don’t give a bean whether the man running the country has millions in the bank or only the clothes on his back. I don’t especially care if it’s a man, a woman, gay, straight, black, white or indeed any other factor. What I care about is their politics and how they deliver that through their policies. Politics based on smears of individual characteristics – be they wealth, gender, race or whatever – are the property of the tabloid press and should stay in the gutter. I think more people who are personally successful – who’ve made their own fortune – should be encouraged into politics. Class-based smears like “toff” do nothing to help this process.

  9. Maybe using terms like “working class scum” to describe others is indicative why you get labelled with “toff” or “posh boy”? Toff and working class describe social status – SCUM on the other hand only demonstrates your lack of respect for others Aremay. It is a shame to read this.

  10. Dave; perchance you read my comment? Therefore, you’d understand that I was saying it’s roughly equivalent in my eyes, owing to my utter disdain for class-based slurs from all sides.

  11. I agree with everything Aremay says. Although the general points of the website are good, it kinda gets hypocritical.

    As liberals, we’re attempting to remove ourselves of all slurs and name calling, be they class based or whatever! I think PS is trying to be deliberately provocative. Just like right wing extremists, they must be thinking about the revenues of having many people read/view your blogsite…$$$

    This site is going down in my estimations. Sort it out!!

  12. Class doesn’t matter? Oh,but it does – since one class dominates and exploits the other. The statistics of wealth, position, education and privilege and their intimate relationship to class are irrefutable. Anyone who thinks class is irrelevant to British society is either naive 0r something else entirely. As for those who are not members of the dominant class, but toady to it, well, they are beneath contempt. Of course, entry to the dominant class is permitted to a few, providing they abandon their loyalties to their roots and to the underprivileged and the vulnerable – that is one function of the honours system, as generations of Labour Lords can smugly testify.

    And of course, a long record of sedulous toadying helps no end.

  13. POSTSCRIPT: The Liberals have not only removed themselves from slurs and name-calling – they have removed themselves from principles and values as well since they joined this poisonous and destructive Coalition, not to mention any prospect of being re-elected. They committed hari-kiri in Scotland, as the last election showed, and they would be wiped out if a general election was called now.

  14. Humourless? Really? I’m not conservative and don’t agree with the majority of JRM’s views at all, but from what I’ve seen he’s a really charismatic, polite and good-natured figure with a brilliant sense of humour. I think there’s no-one like him in politics. He’s ridiclously tolerant and a good sport when it comes to the endless remarks and focus on his priviledge and class. He’s open about who he is and really a very reasonable person.

    I agree that ‘toff’ is much less offensive than ‘prole’ or ‘commoner’ etc. because of the fact that the upper-class are in some sense always the oppressors, but you have to be able to actually treat an person as an individual. JRM is obviously self-aware and reflective and I’ve never seen him be nasty.

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