Jacob Rees-Mogg and Tolerance

Having watched Jonathan Pie’s take on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s interview on GMB I thought it would be good to address his views — the rights he has to announce them, how this affects him as an MP and leadership hopeful, and my thoughts on the press coverage of it.

To be clear, I find Mogg’s view on abortion and gay marriage backward and wrong. However wrong I find those views, it is my belief he should be allowed to say it and as an elected member of Parliament, he should have opportunities to present those views.

Pie takes a different tact to most people in the media and says that although he disagrees with Mogg on what he has said, he should certainly be allowed to say it for 2 main reasons:

  1. Mogg telling the truth is a good thing because generally politicians hide behind lies so their views aren’t always crystal clear.
  2. It’s not liberal to attack Mogg for discussing his views. He attacked the Guardian for criticising Mogg’s views. The Guardian’s attack meant that what Mogg ended the interview with — “[we live in a country with tolerance]until you hold the traditional views”—was effectively proven.

Can Mogg’s views be acceptable when they discuss taking away rights from others — namely the right to marriage for gay people and the right of women to have an abortion (even if raped)? Taking away rights from others is wrong. His argument on abortion is that all life is sacred and it starts at conception. The answer on when “life” starts is unclear. Day 18 is generally when the heart first beats but week 21 is when a fetus has a chance of becoming a baby. Some argue it starts at birth. My main issue with Mogg is the idea that it is unacceptable under any circumstances.

I hope Rees-Mogg does not become the leader of the Conservative Party as the Party executive of the Conservatives decides what policy they will go after in Parliament. Like Boris Johnson, I believe Jacob Rees-Mogg has created a character that is eccentric yet somehow likable. But that is all it is — a character. A character we need to keep an eye on — similar to the eye we need to keep on Boris.