29 January 2019

Mr Rees Mogg

I haven't bored you with opinions about Brexit, because, being totally illiterate in the field of Economics, I have not deemed my views to be worth anything to anybody. Unlike many of the Brexiteers, I don't have the advantage of having read PPE [Politics, Philosophy, and Economics] at this University!

But perhaps, as a humble Greatsman, I may, without being slaughtered, make a minor observation on a minor detail.

We have in English politics a personable, elegant, and engaging MP called Jacob Rees Mogg. He is also a Catholic with a sizeable family who practises his Faith and defends it in the public forum. He is even said to have a preference for the Old Mass. He is in every way a credit to his admirable Nanny, of whom he is not embarrassed to speak. What's not to like?

Yet, some time ago, he reportedly referred to Brexit as being "as worthy for celebration as victory at Waterloo or the Glorious Revolution".

Waterloo? Fair enough. I'd have no problems agreeeing with a favourable view of that encounter. The Allies of Waterloo represented a culture which did (although imperfectly) preserve ancien regime elements. The defeat of Bonaparte meant the fall of those nasty little statelets which had been invented to replace Old Europe; it meant the suppression for a time of the hegemonic intellectual legacy of the French Revolution. It led to the restoration of old monarchies in France and elsewhere. The Monarch of the Two Sicilies stood in triumph over the wreckage of the Parthenopaean Republic! Te Deum laudamus!!

But the Dutch Invasion of 1688 which put a foreign Dutch Calninist on the thrones of the Three Kingdoms ... how can that be laudable? Which meant the subjugation of the economic and military might of England to the quarrel of Protestant powers with Louis XIV? And meant the exile of a Catholic King, anointed and crowned according to the Roman Pontifical, yet who conscientiously advocated freedom of conscience? Under him, after all, in predominantly non-conformist English towns such as my own family borough of Colchester, Dissenters accepted James II's Toleration, ignored the Test Acts and took over the government of their Borough. The events of 1688-9, reinforced after 1715 under a new foreign dynasty, led to the humiliation, for half a century, of this University. Was it 'glorious' to eject from the Church of England its most learned and Catholic-minded bishops and clergy and laity, the "Non-Jurors"? What about those terrible decades of venal and rapacious Whig oligarchy?

Over the water, for nearly a century the de jure King James III (a nice 'Gallican' touch here) nominated to Roman Pontiffs (who included the great Prospero Lambertini, Benedict XIV) the priests who were appointed Vicars Apostolic in England. But here at home, Catholics had to lie low. Genocide was unleashed upon parts of Scotland.

This all seems to me a pretty rum inheritance for a 'traditionalist Catholic' to identify himself with.

Mr Rees Mogg has thus prodded me strongly in a Remoaner direction. If Brexit truly is, as he asserts, "as worthy of celebration as the Glorious Revolution", then Brexit, logically, obviously, stinks. I ought to be grateful to him for this clarification.

And Mr Rees Mogg did read Modern History at this University, while I am just an ignorant Classicist. So he must know best! And he has such nice manners! Even the rabid "let me tell you about my abortions" women on the Labour back benches seem to be charmed by him.

All the same, deep within me I still seem to hear the voice of Fielding's Squire Western baying through the lush coverts of the English countryside "Whiggery! Dam' Whiggery! Hannover Rats!"


Unknown said...

Dear Fr, Think more kindly if you will of Mr Rees Mogg, who, despte Whiggish tendencies, had the grace to name his eldest son Wentworth, after the ill-fated earl.

RichardT said...

"The Monarch of the Two Sicilies stood in triumph over the wreckage of the Parthenopaean Republic!"

Thanks to a Catholic, Royalist peasant army, formed and led by a Cardinal, that marched under the banner of the Cross.

Mr Grumpy said...

The authority for this seems to be a Daily Mail piece. I thought you weren't a big fan, Father? I think we need a little more context.

Michael Leahy said...

Maybe he was attempting to be inclusive. My own view is that if the UK doesn't soon exit, there might be nothing to leave. Unless, of course, Macron and Merkel carry out their threat to suppress the rise of nationalism and populism with their new EU army (manned, I'll bet with many recent otherwise unemployable immigrants of appropriate fighting age). One doesn't have to have read History to know how previous German attempts to suppress nationalism worked out.

Nationalism can have nasty side-effects. We on this side of the Irish Sea know that Empires share these side-effects, but on a grander scale.

Banshee said...

The Glorious Revolution and the whole existence of Queen Anne seem to be elided, in most US texts about UK history. I do not know what UK kids get.

I did read (via audiobook) a good chunk of Churchill's life of Marlborough, which was intended to laud the subject. Ouch. What a parcel of rogues in a nation, to quote the song. James was no prize, but the way he got treated was ridiculous.

It was illuminating, though, to see why our American revolutionaries were so scrupulous in certain ways. They were trying to avoid the creepiness of the Glorious Revolution.

Tom said...

I am repeatedly reminded by this Brexit fiasco of a suggestion made many years ago, by the Irish journalist and Catholic intellectual Desmond Fennell, that the Irish and the British have fundamentally different attitudes to Europe. At least since the Middle Ages continental Europe has been the major source of threat to Britain (predominantly England) from France, Spain, and more recently Germany. For we Irish Europe has been the source of possible salvation from Rome, France, Spain, and even from Germany. So the British, he suggested, start from a position of suspicion toward Europe but we Irish start with one of trust. Perhaps that's why various attempts to start an 'Irexit' by certain Brexiteers went nowhere.

Jhayes said...

He was probably thinking of the Bill of Rights, with its beginning move from the "divine right of kings" towards a constitutional monarchy.

John Patrick said...

Seems to me it is long overdue that Britain end its anachronistic and discriminatory rule that Catholics cannot inherit the throne. It is high time that Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick gain his rightful place at 38th in the line of succession to the throne!

Ironically here in the US where we allegedly have religious freedom, recent hearings seem to imply that being Catholic may make one unfit for public office, according to the opinions of certain Congress Critters of a more leftist persuasion.

Ignatius, Cornwall said...

Like most of the people in the UK, certainly most other politicians and the Press, Mr. Rees Mogg fails to understand, or ignores for personal or political reasons, WHY that organisation which developed into the European Union was firstly established after the Second World War. The founding first object was (and still is!!) the peaceful coexistence of the European peoples after centuries of bloody conflicts culminating in the unparalleled wickedness of Hitler's National Socialism, Mussolini's Fascism, and the Soviet Union's Communism. Surely economics come somewhat below this laudable principle.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

The glorious revolution is nothing to celebrate - it was a crime perpetrated to ensure the grip on power of vile, non-catholic interlopers.

Britain is yet to be punished for her crimes of the 16th and 17th centuries.

And, Tom Forde, until the rise of the US, England (16th Century) and later Britain, was the epicentre of world evil, so the Continent had every reason to be hostile. The Great Armada was entirely justified.


P.S. I am of course, by no means anti-English - I'm just against protestant-, whig-, masonic-, and Rothschildian England/Great Britain, that's all.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...


In your catalogue of unparalleled political wickedness, you forgot to mention the Hobbesian/Lockean British Empire, the Hobbesian/Lockean Republic of the United States, and those countries in Europe which caught that Anglo-Saxon disease, i.e., the French Republic. The forgoing are even worse than National Socialism, Communism and Fascism, as NS, C and F were reactions and outgrowths of the vile ideology know as the "enlightenment".


Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Grumpy: No; I don't read the Daily Mail, and I was certainly not quoting from it. It is unkind of you to accuse me of this without any evidence,

Dear Albrecht: I'm a trifle uneasy ... I can't quite put my finger on why ... at your use of Rothschildian, thus attacking a particular family.

Dr William King, in his great Jacobite Oratio at the Opening of the Radcliffe Camera, as he attacked, mid-century, the ingredients of the Whig tyranny which had ruined England, did not include immigrant Jewish bankers in his lists of baddies.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

The Rothschilds are more than mere "bankers".

They are usurers.

You may be a greatsman rather than a political economist, but if you were to purchase E Michael Jones' "Barren Metal - A History of Capitalism as the Conflict between Labor and Usury", you would learn more about how finance really works than you ever would studying PPE (which I strongly suspect is nothing but yet another attempt to brainwash impressionable young people into being unquestioning servants of the present evil social order).

Here is a review by Australian academic, Dr Garrick Small:



Jhayes said...

Dear Johnathan Dandridge - but could Lord Downpatrick, in good conscience, undertake to be the "Supreme Governor of the Church of England"?

Seems that you would first have to disestablish the Church of England and adopt the American model of "separation of church and state"

Apparently, Nick Clegg didn't think the country was ready for that when he put forward the "Succession to the Crown Act 2013"

armyarty said...

Brexit is wonderful, just as the EU is a very un-English bureaucratic imposition, foisted on the UK by the hidden Whig Establishment, who cost you your king, in the persons of Charles I, James II, and ultimately Edward VIII.

The Protestant faction that stands for hidden decision making, manipulation, and a weak monarchy under a usurping house- they are the ones who hate Brexit. But of course, they will never say, because they do not admit they exist. Even Edward VIII, when asked what he meant by the establishment, could not really say who or what they were. But they did, he said, force him to abdicate. Cosmo Lang, Mr. Baldwin- yes, but who else?

The truth of what I say is obvious to anyone watching how the EU operates, and the way Mrs May is trying to achieve the exact opposite of what the law requires her to do.

I suspect that Mr. Rees-Mogg was simply being orotund with that bit about the "Glorious Revolution"

For my own part, anything that takes power away from bureaucracies, and returns it to elected representatives is a good thing.

RichardT said...

Banshee said...
"The Glorious Revolution and the whole existence of Queen Anne seem to be elided, in most US texts about UK history. I do not know what UK kids get."

Nothing, so far as I can see. My children don't seem to have heard any mention of it at school (an omission that I have of course rectified), despite being at supposedly academic ones.

History in British schools seems to skip from the Civil War to the American Revolution; the Dutch Invasion and the Hanoverian Usurpation seem to be skipped. Perhaps our masters finally feel that their predecessors were in the wrong?

bob said...

Perhaps The Mogg was being mischievous on the eve of the Martyrdom. Or perhaps being jokingly referred to as 'The hon member for the 18th century' has gone to his head.

I am inclined to think, as one other commentor, he was thinking of the Bill of Rights; he is after all a member of parliament.

John Patrick said...

JHayes, yes that would present a dilemma for Lord Downpatrick, so disestablishment would be the best remedy.

In the other hand you would now have the advantage that the Sovereign could truly be called Fidei Defensor, the tile bestowed on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X and improperly claimed by his Protestant successors.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Where the political rot in the Anglo-sphere really started - the Field of Bosworth:

King Richard III & The Rise of The House of Tudor



Don Camillo SSC said...

"Britain is yet to be punished for her crimes of the 16th and 17th centuries." Perhaps Brexit will be just such as punishment.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Don Camillo

I suspect that there will be another Great Armada and this one will not founder in a (demonically procured??) storm - and it will not be Spanish, but Russian ...


John said...

Dear Father: I think you need to interpret what he said as a litotical construction. If you read "as worthy of praise" as "no less worthy of praise than," instead of "worthy of equal praise," you'll understand better what I am sure he was saying. One would not be wrong to paraphrase the quote as something like, "Brexit is no less worthy of praise than many events which frequently are praised, such as the execrable and wrongly-names Glorious Revolution." Of course execrable and wrongly-named may be going a bit too far.

He is always very precise in his speech, but with a sprezzatura so (appropriately) effortless and unaffected that it might well be mistaken as actual carelessness by even the most rhetorically adroit of his readers and interlocutors.

John Vasc said...

Now Fr H, you know you're just being a tease. You know very well why any British (let alone English) Catholic politician cannot be seen to praise Jacobus II or cast any doubt on the Glorious Revolution and the 1689 Bill of Rights. Even in an age which no longer regards Macaulay as Revealed Holy Writ (or even reads the poor chap), it would confuse the narrative, and weaken the speaker's patriotic aim of regaining independence for the United Kingdom.

Also, it might upset the DUP - who are sorely needed as a bulwark against subversion, a political party that, as an English cradle-Catholic myself, I never previously imagined I would admire, understand and support as strongly I now do. They and Mr Mogg's faction are all that stands between us and perpetual enslavement.
I'd have thought that you of all people, Fr H, would disapprove of.... [exits muttering indignantly about foreign powers and threats to British constitutional sovereignty].