It’s important to be noted that Jacob Rees Mogg’s comment mocking the terrified victims of the Grenfell fire was not a slip of the tongue or clumsy language, it was a clear demonstration of the contempt Rees-Mogg holds for working-class people.
The sense of intellectual superiority that he feels over working-class people is completely inappropriate for anyone, let alone for somebody in a position of power. How can an MP like Rees-Mogg, who described victims of a tragic fire as lacking in common sense, be expected to deal with the issues of suffering in his constituency? He has shown a complete lack of empathy, and demonstrated that he is not suitable to be an MP.
For many, Grenfell was a sign that our politicians had a lack of interest in the safety of the working-class people. Residents of the block of flats were ignored and treated with a complete lack of respect when they raised questions about the safety of the building, and authorities actively chose to use dangerous cladding on the building. These actions demonstrate that the current political system ignores the needs of the poorer people in society and this definitely needs to change, starting with MPs like Rees-Mogg.
The arrogance of a man, who lives in a Grade Two listed building, arguing that the people who lived on the top floor of a burning block of flats lacked common sense is staggering, as if he had ever stepped foot in a building like Grenfell. Is this the type of man that we entrust in making our laws and upholding the wellbeing of his constituency?
Furthermore, Rees-Mogg’s condescension of working people has a wider societal impact. When the most powerful people in the country treat working-class people with such little respect it condones and upholds class divisions and snobbery that can easily be mimicked by others in society who look up to these figures as respectable and intelligent people. Actions like this result in things like working-class children being bullied and homeless people receiving abuse, and this isn’t the worst. A lack of respect for the working-class by those in positions of power internalises an institutional snobbery that can have significant impacts on the opportunities and equality for poorer members of society.
MPs are elected to work for the people, and Rees-Mogg has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to represent anything but the nastiest elements of our society. As a result, it is only right that he stands down as a candidate in the upcoming election.
Last modified: 14th November 2019