It’s a difficult time for liberty lovers in the cabinet. The country is £400 billion in debt, the risk of Covid restrictions linger on and there’s a Prime Minister addicted to spending. Luckily though, while the convention of collective responsibility binds our ministers tightly, it cannot entirely gag them.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, took to the stand tonight as the guest of honour at the IEA think tank.In a sly pop at Downing Street’s current difficulties over whether a lockdown-breaking party was held last December, Rees-Mogg told the fervently Thatcherite crowd:
I see we’re all here obeying the regulations aren’t we? I mean this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time, you are all being carefully socially distanced I’m glad to say.
Given it’s the festive season, the Somerset MP decided to give a panto-style speech, teasing his audience with a classic call and response performance. To cries of ‘lower taxes’ and ‘lower regulation’, he told the crowd:
Now we have to recognise that we need a growing economy to pay our way and how are we going to get that: higher taxes or lower taxes, you tell me? Can we have a shout out? You see I’m bound by collective responsibility so I didn’t want to express an opinion, I just wanted to seek the opinion of the IEA? And do you think we will get that via higher regulation or lower? Very good! I again am not expressing an opinion…
Let’s hope for JRM’s sake the PM isn’t feeling like a pantomime villain this Christmas…
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