Most of you will be aware of Milton’s timeless quote “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”.
But when it comes to Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Vote Leave cabal at the centre of the current government, the full quote is instructive. Milton’s Lucifer, anti-hero of Paradise Lost, announces:
“Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
Lucifer is the original populist, anti-establishment revolutionary. He despises the regulations and bureaucracy of Heaven and neither respects nor answers to any authority higher than his own. He is determined to corrupt and overthrow the old, established order and reshape the world in his own image. He presents himself as motivated by a noble and selfless struggle to Take Back Control, to free his followers from the tyranny of a powerful foreign authority they once belonged to. But his ruthless ambition to reign is rooted in a petulant megalomania and pride, in a desire to further his own interests only. His power and influence are achieved through deception and betrayal.
Boris Johnson proclaimed in his election victory speech in 2019 that “here, in this people’s government, the work is now being stepped up, to make 2020 a year of prosperity, growth, and hope, and to deliver a parliament that works for the people.”
But instead of this people’s cabinet we were promised, we are living now with the infernal council.
The Vote Leave alumni like Jacob Rees-Mogg presented themselves, like Lucifer, as anti-establishment rebels, seeking to free the British people from the indentured servitude imposed on them by an aloof and tyrannical Brussels.
They said that to Vote Leave was to vote to overthrow the old gods and replace them with new ones; benevolent figures who were dedicated to reforming the country into a New Britannia; to sharing the prosperity, growth and freedom that they enjoy in their privileged positions with the rest of us.
But this was a lie. The prosperity and growth that Brexit promised was for themselves and their establishment allies. The Vote Leave MPs, like Rees-Mogg, worship an old God, a God not of hope but of avarice, a Victorian God of Jack the Ripper and the poorhouse, who demands the sacrifice of blood, and of innocence. And for the rest of us, the forces of Brexit gave us a stark choice; convert or exile.
Rees-Mogg and his colleagues are even willing to break international law to get what they want. On the 14/09/20 they voted to pass the Internal Market Bill that even staunch Tories like Sajid Javid admitted gives them the power to “break international law”. This was either a pathologically reckless show of brinkmanship in trying to force the EU to compromise; or it was a pathological show of complete disregard for any authority other than their own and any regulation that may impede their agenda.
This is the patho-theology of Brexit.
Like Lucifer, Jacob Rees-Mogg and his colleagues, Johnson and Cummings, are hypocrites. They present themselves as populist figureheads of the Vote Leave anti-establishment movement, and yet, they are products and servants of the establishment themselves. Brinkmanship is easy when you have nothing to lose but the regulatory chains that bind you and your profits. For them, like Lucifer, consolidating personal power is more important than how they achieve it, and what they, and those they convince to follow them, would lose in defeat. (When your fortune is protected overseas you don’t need to worry about tanking the UK economy!)
The victory of Brexit is the victory of their ambition. They are now free to reign in the Hell of their own making.
THE ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT REBEL
Rees-Mogg was educated at Eton and Trinity College Oxford.
He is a former Hedge Fund Manager for Lloyd George Management and went on to found Somerset Capital Management LLP. He claims he is no longer an active participant in the everyday business affairs of Somerset Capital LLP, which is managed by subsidiaries in the Cayman Island and Singapore (and so that Brexit insecurity will be less impactful on their profits?). They also recently started a new venture in Dublin. In the fine tradition of Conservative disaster capitalists, Rees-Mogg and Somerset were criticised for exploiting the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown as an “excellent entry point for investors” when Fund Manager Mark Asquith wrote to clients suggesting the crisis was an investment opportunity to gain “super normal returns.”
At least one long-term business associate and donor to Jacob Rees-Mogg, Crispin Odey, has been accused of exploiting Brexit (he also donated to Vote Leave) to make “super normal returns”.
Rees-Mogg and his wife’s combined net worth is estimated to be well over £100 million.
Rees-Mogg is currently the Conservative MP for North-East Somerset, Leader of House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, appointed by Boris Johnson. Other businesses he was involved in (and his family members remain linked to) are The American Trading Company and Saliston Ltd.
He has regularly published articles in The Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Mail and Boisdale Life. He has also contributed to The Tablet, a Catholic weekly newspaper as well as frequently acting as a guest presenter on LBC.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is a High Tory traditionalist, a Thatcherite Conservative who unashamedly represents the old, aristocratic values of his Victorian historical predecessors. Examples of this would be how the mansion dwelling Rees-Mogg consistently voted against the imposition of a proposed “Mansion Tax”. He also voted in favour of 52 separate bills that proposed a reduction in Welfare spending. He is a consistent opponent of relaxing same-sex marriage laws and laws proposing equal gay rights. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape. For a full rundown of his voting record click here.
However, it is worth reiterating that the primary God Rees-Mogg worships is one of profit and not principle. One example of this is that despite his opposition to abortion IN ALL CASES his company Somerset still invested in a drug known to be used in Indonesia for illegal abortions.
Jacob’s father was Baron William Rees-Mogg. He was an Oxford-educated journalist, editor of The Times (1967-1981) and High Sheriff of Somerset who was then elevated to the House of Lords.
Annunziata Rees-Mogg is the sister of Jacob. She was educated at the independent Godolphin and Latymer School. She was a Conservative/ Brexit Party politician and MEP. She is a journalist for the Telegraph and Moneyweek and has been an editor for The European Journal, published by The European Foundation.
The European Foundation was founded by Conservative MP and Brexit champion Bill Cash. It is/was a Eurosceptic organisation that also published research denying the influence of human activity on climate change. They were based at 55 Tufton Street, infamous home of right-wing think-tanks, although at time of publication seem to have ceased activity and closed their website.
Annunziata is also an expert in food budgeting for those whose potatoes were not fed to them on a silver spoon!
Jacob is married to Helena Anne Beatrix Wentworth Fitzwilliam De Chair. Helena is also a journalist for an Oil Industry trade magazine.
Helena’s mother is Lady Juliet Tadgell. From an aristocratic family, Oxford educated and the inheritor of a vast fortune, she is rumoured to be worth at least £45 million. Her son Lord Nicholas Hervey, Helena’s half-brother, was Eton and Yale educated and a key member of the International Monarchist League.
Helena’s father was Somerset de Chair. Also of the landed gentry, Oxford-educated Somerset was a published author, poet and Conservative MP.
If we look at Jacob Rees-Mogg’s advisors in his current role we find some interesting connections to the wider establishment.
Fred De Fossard is a recent addition to Team Mogg’s SPADs. Educated at Oxford’s Magdalen College, Fred was until recently a Campaign Manager for Public First, the infamous Gove and Cummings linked think-tank we covered in our previous article. Fred is a former Parliamentary Advisor at The Policy Research Unit Ltd. Directors have included Matt Hancock. “The Policy Research Unit is a non-profit-making, pooled research facility based in the Houses of Parliament and open to Conservative MPs to join.”
Fred is also the co-founder and owner of de Fossard Communications Ltd with his mother, Claire. According to their official website she worked as a journalist at The Times and Sunday Times before building her own press and publicity company.
Beatrice Timpson is another of Jacob’s SPADs. She is a former Associate manager at C|T Group. This is the rebranded company founded by Mark Textor and Lynton Crosby. It is ostensibly a political strategy, research and polling firm. Textor has worked on Boris Johnson’s Mayoral campaign as well as successful conservative campaigns in Australia – most notably the election campaigns of the UK’s new trade advisor Tony Abbott. Lynton Crosby will be a name familiar to many as the man behind successful British Conservative campaigns for David Cameron. Crosby’s lobbying firm CTF has also been linked to a concerted covert Facebook campaign promoting a Hard Brexit.
CTF are also linked to Topham Guerin. This company is another recipient of major UK government contracts in 2020 without a tender process. Their managing director Andrew Blow was Tony Abbot’s press secretary.
Beatrice is also a former director at Media Intelligence Partners. They are another political strategy and consulting firm, this time founded by Nick Wood, a former Media director for William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith during their tenure as Conservative leaders. Former director is Penny Mordaunt. Nick Wood has worked with the Heritage Foundation, a major American Conservative think-tank deeply involved with the Trump administration and a major proponent of climate-change denial. Heavily funded by corporate sponsors, including ExxonMobil. He is affiliated to the Centre for Social Justice think-tank, founded (ironically we assume) by Iain Duncan Smith. Also worked with ResPublica think-tank founded by Philip Blond.
Beatrice was also named in a request from MPs for the Johnson Government to disclose their communications regarding Operation Yellowhammer and their plans for suspending parliament. Others we’ve mentioned before who were also named were Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain and Hugh Bennett, who until recently was also a SPAD working for Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Hugh Bennett left Rees-Mogg’s department in 2019. Educated at both Cambridge and Oxford he is a former News Editor at Guido Fox and Deputy Editor at BrexitCentral. He was also a Correspondence Officer for the Vote Leave campaign and now works for Oliver Lewis at Number 10. We covered Lewis in our article here. He is a former employee of Hanbury Strategy, another Cummings linked think-tank receiving Government contracts without a tendering process.
THE FORCES OF DARKNESS
George Monbiot recently wrote about the current government’s intimate connections to a network of right wing think-tanks, lobbyists and pressure groups, a shadowy collective that form what he perceptively calls an “infrastructure of persuasion” with access and influence at the heart of the Tory party. This is a network that Jacob Rees-Mogg is intimately embedded within.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is a former chairman of the European Research Group. This is a publicly-funded influential group of Conservative MP’s that advocated and campaigned for Brexit and attempted to dictate policy decisions around it made by the wider Conservative government, a full list can be read here. Notable names associated with the ERG and with Vote Leave are: Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Iain Duncan Smith, Therese Coffey, Nadine Dorries. The current chairman is Mark Francois.
Robert Broadhurst was a senior Researcher for the ERG and won Parliamentary Researcher of the Year in 2010. He is now a Senior Compliance Analyst for Somerset Capital Management.
Christopher Howarth is the current senior ERG researcher. He formerly worked as a researcher for Mark Francois. He was also a Senior Political analyst for Open Europe. We discussed the 55 Tufton Street residents and their links to Cummings in our previous article here. Jacob Rees-Mogg has spoken at events organised by Open Europe. Now amalgamated with Policy Exchange. Jacob Rees-Mogg is also affiliated to Policy Exchange.
Other organisations Rees-Mogg has been linked to include:
Institute of Economic Affairs and The Free Enterprise Group are both associated with the Atlas Network, whose ideology and influence on Brexit is covered in excellent detail by the Guardian here. IEA is a free-market think-tank and advocates for a Hard Brexit. Notable figures associated with the IEA and we mention here are Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tessa Keswick, Tim Congdon, and John Longworth.
The Free Enterprise Group is a research group of Tory MP’s advocating free-market ideology to be at the heart of Conservative policy and is curated by the IEA. MP’s affiliated to the group include Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel, Nadhim Zahawi, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock and Liz Truss.
Rees-Mogg gave a notable speech to the Bruges Group advocating a No Deal Brexit. The Bruges Group is a Eurosceptic think-tank and counts Margaret Thatcher as a former honorary chairman. Notable supporters include Nigel Farage, Mark Francois, John Redwood, Gisela Stewart and Iain Duncan Smith and the director is Robert Oulds.
Economists For Free Trade is the most recent incarnation of Economists For Brexit. They are campaigners for a No Deal Brexit. Jacob Rees-Mogg is an advisor, as is John Longworth, Tim Congdon, James Dyson, Rocco Forte and Patrick Minford. Minford is also a director at IEA.
John Longworth is also associated with Richard Tice’s Leave Means Leave and the Centre for Brexit Policy. Others noted on the CBP staff page are Nick Wood and Matthew Walsh, Chairman and CEO of Media Intelligence Partners.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is also associated with the Thatcherite free-market think-tank the Adam Smith Institute. Adam Smith Institute HQ backs onto Tufton Street.
Rees-Mogg spoke at a 2013 dinner of the Traditional Britain Group. Traditional Britain is a right-wing organisation promoting a return to “traditional British” values. TB have been linked to a Bow Group dinner. We covered Bow Group in our other article on Michael Gove. A notable member of Bow group is John Penrose MP, husband of Dido Harding.
Baron Sudeley is President of Traditional Britain. Former chairman of The Conservative Monday Club and vice-chancellor of the International Monarchist League.
Gregory Lauder-Frost of Traditional Britain is a former chairman of The Conservative Monday Club and Western Goals Institute group. Also a former secretary general of International Monarchist League. He is the UK chairman of Arktos Media, a publishing company with links to the European alt-right movement and founded by Daniel Friberg.
Samuel Swerling of TB is an Author, Conservative Party member and councillor. Former Monday Club chairman and member of the Conservative Democratic Alliance.
John Kersey of TB is a Clergyman, author and musician. Former committee member of Libertarian Alliance.
Speakers at Traditional Britain Group events have included: Front National members, Roger Scruton, Richard Spencer, Katie Hopkins, Gerrard Batten, Tony Martin, Simon Heffer, Mark Collett and Anne-Marie Waters. They have an Enoch Powell memorial Dinner.
The Cornerstone Group is a group of Conservative MP’s that seeks to promote traditionalist values. Their motto is “Faith, Flag and Family.” Advocates of monarchism, heterosexual marriage, and against Scottish and Welsh independence. Pro-Brexit (obviously). Members include Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries, Roger Scruton, John Redwood, Owen Paterson, Robert Halfon, Sajid Javid, David Nuttall, John Hayes and Edward Leigh.
We covered the Centre for Policy Studies in a few of our previous articles. They were founded by Margaret Thatcher and are based at 57 Tufton street. Figures associated with CPS include David Willetts, Andrew Roberts, John Redwood, Oliver Letwin. Board Members include Lord Bamford, Niall Ferguson, Lord Oareford, Andrew Knight, Fraser Nelson and Viscountess Rothermere.
Politeia published Rees-Mogg’s writing. They are a free-market right of centre think-tank. Board of Advisor members include Michael Gove, Francis Maude, David Willetts and Lord Lexden. Jonathan Isaby of Politeia is a former editor of Telegraph and ConservativeHome, now Chief executive of The Taxpayer’s Alliance and editor at BrexitCentral. Tim Congdon of Politeia is a former UKIP candidate, contributor to Standpoint magazine (which we’ve spoken about before) and a member of Reform think-tank and The Freedom Association.
The “infrastructure of persuasion” can also be expanded to consider who an MP registers as significant donors and third parties with whom they have some sort of financial or political relationship. All declared Donors and Registered Interests for Jacob Rees-Mogg are available here.
Crispin Odey is a millionaire hedge fund manager who financially supported Somerset Capital in its infancy. He is Harrow and Oxford educated and an ex-husband of Prudence Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. His current wife is Nichola Pease a former hedge fund manager for J. O. Hambro Capital Management. Crispin’s grandfather George Odey was a Conservative MP. He was a significant donor to Vote Leave and massively profited from the referendum result as reported here. He also donated to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.
Henry Keswick is the Chairman of Jardine Matheson, one of the most profitable 200 conglomerates in the world. Appropriately one of its subsidiaries is Gammon Construction. Eton and Cambridge educated, Keswick formerly owned The Spectator and is a sponsor of The Tablet to which Jacob Rees-Mogg also contributes. He is married to Tessa Keswick, a former Director at The Centre for Policy Studies. Harry is also a Director at The Daily Mail and contributor to the Telegraph, The Spectator and Financial Times.
Henry’s brother Simon Keswick has donated to both the Conservative Party and Dominic Raab. His other brother “Chips” Keswick is also a Conservative donor and associated with Better Together and The Business For Sterling group, who we have covered in numerous articles and for whom Dominic Cummings was a Campaign Director.
As well as donating to Jacob Rees-Mogg, Keswick has also sponsored Conservative MPs Claire Perry and Alister Jack.
Dominic Johnson is the CEO and a Founding partner of Somerset Capital with Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is a former Tory councillor and current co-treasurer of the Conservative Party. He is also the founder of New City Initiative, a think-tank offering expert advice on financial regulation legislation. He has just been appointed under Liz Truss to the Non-Executive Board of the Department of International Trade and will Chair the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. Johnson has donated to Conservative MP’s Anthony Mangall and Lee Rowley.
The Rhone Group are a private equity firm founded by billionaire Robert Agostinelli. He is a founding member of the Friends of Israel Initiative, along with George Weidenfeld and Andrew Roberts, who we covered in our previous article about Michael Gove. Robert Halfon MP is also associated with FoLL. Agostinelli donated to John McCain’s presidential campaign and has been linked to the Bilderberg Group.
North Antrim DUP. Ian Paisley Jnr is the current representative MP. The Son of Ian Paisley, he is opposed to same sex marriage and is a supporter of Leave Means Leave (chaired by Richard Tice, John Longworth and Nigel Farage). Paisley spoke at the March For Leave event with Claire Fox, Brendan O’Neill and Tim “Wetherspoons” Martin. Leave Means Leave was based at 55 Tufton Street.
The Cheshire Pitt Club are a dinner and social club founded on an appreciation of former Prime Minister Pitt the Younger. As well as Rees-Mogg former speakers include Matthew Elliott, who spoke about “Electoral Reform: The New Gunpowder Plot” and “Britain and The EU: What Would Pitt Do?” and Nigel Farage who spoke about “The Death of British Politics”. Lord Michael Ashcroft has also appeared.
Chartwell Speakers are a company that represents speakers for events. Political speakers on their website include Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson, Ryan Shorthouse, Lynton Crosby, Douglas Murray, Michael Gove, Isabel Oakeshott, Glenn Beck(!), Rachel Wolf (Public First) Daniel Finkelstein and Dido Harding.
Orion Publishing Group is now parent company of Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Rees-Mogg declared a free membership of The Walbrook Club. The first chairman was Rupert Hambro, co-founder of J. O. Hambro Capital Management.
Ken Carter has donated to Jacob Rees-Mogg as well as Conservative MPs Danny Kruger, Claire Perry and Michelle Donelan.
THE COMING RAPTURE
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist. The greatest trick Jacob Rees-Mogg and Vote Leave ever pulled was one of rhetoric, convincing people that the interests of the millionaire landed gentry were the same as the rest of us.
Historically there were two physical provinces of the kingdom of Britannia, Britannia superior and Britannia inferior. With Brexit this physical, territorial divide has become symbolic. It is an ideological divide of power, profit and privilege. It is a divide between those made “superior” by their control of these things, by birth and by their connections, and the rest of us. It is a divide that Brexit and its proponents are consciously making wider. Make no mistake, Brexit is the rapture, a momentary climax to a class war that has been raging since the idea of a God, the Devil and religion was first conceived of to control the masses.
In Paradise Lost, Lucifer and his allies are defeated and vanquished to Hell. For him, this is a punishment but also a victory. He would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. For his allies however, the master who commands their servitude has changed, but the servitude has not.
For the vast majority of British people, Brexit will not free us but simply change the authority we serve, and the Hell of their own making in which we must serve them.
We can either accept this Hell and its servitude blindly, like those that voted for Brexit, or we can oppose it and rebel against those that imposed it. Now is the time to be true radicals challenging these servants of the establishment and their false-flag inversion of British politics and society. Now is the time to rebel, not just against the figures of authority, but against the definitions and structures of authority itself.
Milton and Lucifer spoke the first words of this article and they shall speak the last:
“Awake, arise or be forever fall’n”.
Follow Sean Rankin on Twitter: @ClydesiderRed