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Jacob Rees-Mogg is fast becoming the star orator of the 2010 intake

By Jonathan Isaby

Jacob Rees-Mogg Commons I always thought that people shouldn't underestimate the abilities of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new MP for North East Somerset, and I think I am proving to have been right.

He is an assiduous attender in the Commons chamber and is already proving his credentials as an independent thinker.

But most of all, he is showing himself to be a first class orator, who is not only incredibly fluent, extremely knowledgeable and occasionally self-deprecating, but he peppers virtually any contribution to debate with historical, classical or biblical references.

Here are a few examples of his rhetoric from the last couple of weeks alone:

From the debate on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, 20th October:

"What a fantastic history lesson we had from the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Tristram Hunt). To think that this was supposedly the least discussed reform of Parliament since the Rump Parliament, when Cromwell decided to send in the troops - the only man to send troops into the predecessor building to this House to enforce debate and Divisions. Some of us may think that the Whips are tough, aggressive and forceful, but even in my experience they have not used force, or pikes, to make sure that I go in the right direction. Oliver Cromwell did indeed do that; he prevented people from voting in that forceful way."

From the debate on Labour MP John McDonnell's Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) Bill, 22nd October:

"The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell)... said that we were in some kind of new politics. I think we should be very suspicious of that phrase, because if we look at the annals of history, as I know the House likes to do from time to time, we will see that every generation looks back at the past, and says, "That was a golden age, an age when they knew what to do and did things right and properly. And now look at the times we live in! O tempora! O mores!" as the great Cicero so famously said. He lived in the time of Julius Caesar, so people were making that complaint back in the '50s BC.

"It seems to me to be wrong to expect the procedures of this House to be adjusted for some absurd new politics. As we all know from the book of Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. That is actually right. Politics is never new or old; it is always the same. People want to get what they want and use strategems and sometimes even tricks to get it. We may be shocked at the tricks, but that is the reality."

From the debate on the Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill, 26th October:

"Benjamin Disraeli famously said that the job of the Opposition was to oppose, and we have seen that today. Indeed, we have seen it all afternoon. We have seen rather specious opposition to the Bill. Whenever the subject of where the money is to come from arises, there is no answer. VAT should not go up to pay for our bills; benefits should not be cut to pay for our bills; so we must spend, and we must have no increase in taxation. What happens to the nation's finances at that point? What happens to the national debt? What happens to the deficit? We go down the sorry road towards bankruptcy. That really is what Opposition Members have been arguing for. It is the "do nothing" school, the argument that, like Nero, we should fiddle while Rome burns."


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