Custom Jacob Rees-Mogg Clock Rubs Voters the Wrong Way

Sir Jacob William Rees-Mogg has been a Conservative MP since 2010 when he was elected to serve North East Somerset. Variously referred to as looking like a Victorian ghost, like an inside out rubber mask of a childrens party weasel and like he’s role-playing the Demon Headmaster, he is far from the most popular of politicians. In this day and age, when everyone seems to hate everyone else irrespective of what they’ve done with their lives, it says something that Rees-Mogg’s lack of popularity appears to be so universal. In fact, the only places that he seems to still hold some saw are in North East Somerset and Tory HQ.

With all of that in mind, it is hardly surprising that many people are constantly on the look out for a stick with which to beat Rees-Mogg, meaning that every little thing is picked up and analysed. So it was that scores of people took to social media to make fun of him when he appeared on the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show on the BBC and sat in front of a grandfather clock with his own initials on it. There 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions were replaced by the letters M, O, G and G, meaning that it is always Mogg-time as far as that clock is concerned. One Twitter user soon branded it the ‘tackiest thing’ they’d ‘ever seen’.

Who Is Jacob Rees-Mogg?

On the off chance that you’ve been living under a rock for a few years or are some how fortunate enough to not really follow politics or the news, it is worth offering a quick outline of who Jacob Rees-Mogg actually is. Born on the 24th of May, 1969 in London, Jacob is the younger son of William Rees-Mogg, who was the editor of The Times and was made into a life peer in 1988. His mother, Gillian Shakespeare Morris, was formerly William Rees-Mogg’s secretary. Emma Beatrice Rees-Mogg, Charlotte Louise Rees-Mogg and Thomas Fletcher Rees-Mogg are all his older siblings, whilst Annunziata Mary Rees-Mogg is his younger sister.

Both the names of his siblings and the occupation of his father give you some idea of the privilege in which Jacob Rees-Mogg was raised, with his nanny, Veronica Cook, predominantly responsible for his upbringing. His education took in Westminster Under School, Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford before he worked in both London and Hong Kong for Lloyd George Management. He co-founded a hedge fund called Somerset Capital Management LLP, amassing a fortune that included his wife’s expected inheritance. He stood for election in 1997 and 2001, failing both times, before being elected in 2010.

When David Cameron was Prime Minister, Rees-Mogg opposed the whip on a number of issues and earned a reputation for filibustering. A known Eurosceptic, he campaigned for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, all whilst ensuring his hedge fund would make as much money from the Leave vote as possible and he was well-positioned to be unaffected by the decision. His anachronistic approach to things as well as his lifestyle has led to him being referred to as the ‘Honourable Member for the 18th century’, with many believing that he uses his religion as an excuse for his bigoted attitudes towards many things.

What Happened

Jacob Rees-Mogg's clockIn the wake of Liz Truss’s decision to resign as Prime Minister after just 44 days in office and being out-lasted by a lettuce, all of the talk amongst the political class was about who would replace her in Number 10. As a result, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg spoke to numerous people to get a sense of who was likely to run for the highest public office in the land, with Jacob Rees-Mogg being one of those invited onto the show. Acting as the Business Secretary at the time, Rees-Mogg informed Kuenssberg that Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister who had resigned in disgrace a little over a month earlier, was ‘clearly going to stand’.

There was, Rees-Mogg felt, ‘a great deal of support for him’, although Johnson had not confirmed his plan to run at the time. With Rees-Mogg known as a firm supporter of Johnson, many people tuned into the show to hear his opinion on whether or not ‘Boris’ would end up back in office. The interview was conducted via some form of video service, with Rees-Mogg positioning himself in front of some sort of mantelpiece with numerous things visible in the background. As a well as a plant on one side and a painting of a lady on the other, there was also a mantlepiece clock that could clearly be seen to Rees-Mogg’s right.

Viewers soon noticed that Rees-Mogg’s clock was personalised, with what would normally be the quarter-points of 12, 3, 6 and 9 replaced with the letters M, O, G and G. In other words, the clock that was in Rees-Mogg’s room spelt out part of his own name. The rest of the symbols of the clock were Roman numerals, which is obviously much more common, even if still quite pretentious. It meant that many were too distracted by what the clock represented to pay much attention to what Rees-Mogg was actually saying, throwing his support behind Johnson even though he had been supportive of Liz Truss’s policies.

How People Reacted

In an entirely unsurprising turn of events, the overall reaction from the people who took to social media during and after the interview’s broadcast were not overly kind to Jacob Rees-Mogg and his personalised clock. One user said, “Jacob Rees Mogg clearly lives in his own time zone, one with a special Mogg clock, which jumps and eliminates the time zone Tory MPs outed Boris as he was ‘unfit to govern’”, whilst another declared ‘The prick has his name on his clock’. A third said, “Jacob Rees Mogg having a clock with the quarter hands spelling his own name is absolutely classic Jacob Rees Mogg energy”.

It isn’t the first time that Rees-Mogg and time has made the news. In 2012, for example, he put an amendment to a Commons bill on the UK’s time zone that said that Somerset should have its own time zone, with clocks there running up to 15 minutes behind the rest of the country. His logic was that this was normal practice before times were standardised in the 1840s. It was felt that the move was an attempt to scupper the bill, which Rees-Mogg disagreed with, and caused one Twitter use to say, “All this talk about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s clock with his name on it reminded me of when, a decade ago, he called for Somerset to have its own time zone.”

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