Letter: Seven questions that Jacob Rees-Mogg must answer

PUBLISHED: 20:00 18 May 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg pictured at a fringe meeting at Manchester Town Hall, called 'Brexit with Jacob Rees-Mogg', held by the Bruges Group as part of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: 2 October, 2017. Photograph: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment.

Jacob Rees-Mogg pictured at a fringe meeting at Manchester Town Hall, called 'Brexit with Jacob Rees-Mogg', held by the Bruges Group as part of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: 2 October, 2017. Photograph: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment.

Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

I have just done Kay Burley and Jacob Rees-Mogg a favour: earlier this month, at the multi-millionaire’s imposing country house, the pair had an cosy, giggly 25-minute interview whose obvious intention was to depict Jacob as ‘just like the rest of us, really’.

An absurd concept, but a real gift for him.

So I have written Ms Burley 
alternative questions for a more challenging interview.

Here is a selection:

(1) Explain how Somerset Capital Management, your investment firm, and therefore yourself, stand to benefit substantially from a hard Brexit compared to a soft one – or simply staying in the EU.

(2) To silence those who claim you have a vested interest in a hard Brexit, will you commit yourself to publishing your share of SCM’s income between 2015 and 2025?

(3) Since lying is a sin, according to your Catholic faith, what do you think of all the lies peddled by your side on the red bus, in speeches and TV 
interviews, during the referendum campaign?

(4) You’re neither a racist nor a xenophobe. Does the thought that you effectively had to ally yourself with crowds of both to snatch a narrow referendum victory make you uncomfortable?

(5) What do you also think of the digital bombardment of 7 million voters’ Facebook pages with 1½ billion suspicious ads by a Canadian data firm, AIQ, whose boss is quoted as cheering “we destroyed the European Union!” on hearing the result?

(6) Do you agree with Shahmir Sanni and Christopher Wylie that this narrow Leave majority was achieved by cheating? Do you accept that all this cheating completely devalues the referendum result, and the least you should do is stop pursuing the type of Brexit furthest from Remainers’ wishes?

(7) Do you feel sorry for the Scots, who voted against independence thinking this ensured they remain in the EU, and now, despite a Scottish 2 to 1 majority for staying in the EU, the English vote drags them out? Ditto for Northern Ireland. If you had a sense of fairness, surely you’d grant both a soft Brexit, wouldn’t you?

Paul Smith

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