Discussion of the UK Government
:sunglasses: 38.9 % ❤ 2.8 % :thumbsup: 11.1 % :grinning: 38.9 % 😟 1.4 % :cry: 6.9 %
By MisterMuncher
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15 quid seems rather a lot to hear what some supremacist thinks of the golden days of Empire, especially when it's readily available from midnight in any kebab shop in the country
youngian, The Red Arrow, spoonman and 1 others liked this
By Bones McCoy
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The brown-nosing wankers say what?

(Not you Red - obvs).
The Red Arrow wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:50 pm
I'll just leave this here.


"A full-throated, clear-sighted, well-researched and extremely well written exposition of the Victorians and their values. Rees-Mogg’s choice of a dozen Victorian luminaries allows him to defend an era too often ignored or written off in British history, and to compare it to our modern day in a way that readers will find gripping but also chastening" (Andrew Roberts, bestselling author of ‘Churchill: Walking with Destiny’)

"A fine philosophical mind" (Matthew Parris)

"One of the most important politicians in the country" (Economist)

"Polite, eloquent, witty, well-informed, coherent, principled ― Jacob Rees-Mogg is the antithesis of almost every-thing the Labour party stands for under its current populist leadership" (James Delingpole)

"The best-dressed man in the House of Commons" (Spectator)
By Bones McCoy
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davidjay wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:57 pm
How the bollocks can they call it "an era too often ignored or written off in British history" when they're always harking back to it?
Cos you never hear anything about the Victorians since Harold Wilson banned Dickens and had Dame Judi Dench deported to Van Dieman's Land.
By The Red Arrow
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Well waddayaknow? The book's a hackneyed load of old tosh...

The Victorians by Jacob Rees-Mogg review – history as manifesto

Confidence and moral purpose made Britain great, argues this poorly written book, designed to reflect the rightwinger back to himself at twice the size

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... ogg-review
mattomac liked this
By youngian
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Even Dominic Sandbrook can't find anything nice to say about Rees-Mogg's book

The Victorians by Jacob Rees-Mogg review — bad, boring and mind‑bogglingly banal

A lifetime ago, when Theresa May was the new Iron Lady of British politics, the Tories had piled up a 20-point lead in the opinion polls and we were definitely going to leave the EU on March 29, Jacob Rees-Mogg agreed to write a history of the Victorians. It seemed such a good idea that it was surprising nobody had thought of it before: the last Victorian, apparently catapulted forward in time from the 1830s, writing about his favourite period. What could possibly go wrong?

Alas, if the past two years have taught us anything, it is that the best-laid plans can go hopelessly awry. May’s premiership is in tatters, the Tories are staring at electoral oblivion and Britain is trapped in Brexit limbo. But Rees-Mogg has not let us down. Right on cue his book has arrived, perfectly timed for the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. The only problem is that it is absolutely abysmal.

I say that, by the way, with some regret. No doubt every sanctimonious academic in the country has already decided that Rees-Mogg’s book has to be dreadful, so it would have been fun to disappoint them. But there is just no denying it: the book is terrible, so bad, so boring, so mind-bogglingly banal that if it had been written by anybody else it would never have been published.

Rees-Mogg gets off to a bad start and never recovers. In his opening pages, he introduces us to “the Bloomsburyite Lytton Strachey” whose book Eminent Victorians “took a blow torch to the heroes of the British 19th century”. When Rees-Mogg “leafed through” Strachey’s book, he “was struck by its unfairness and its cynicism. It occurred to me that it was time to look again at some of these eminent Victorians and to reassess their effect upon and contribution to their world and to our own.”

Having proved to his satisfaction the importance of individuals in history, Rees-Mogg sets out his chosen dozen. Among them are four prime ministers, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, and two generals, Sir Charles Napier and Charles Gordon; the architect Augustus Pugin; the legal scholar AV Dicey; the cricketer WG Grace; and the Prince Consort, Albert. But there are no scientists, no novelists, no engineers and no artists. Charles Darwin’s name appears in the text precisely once. The names of Charles Dickens and George Eliot, almost unbelievably, do not appear at all. There is also nothing about music halls, nothing about the railway and the telegraph, nothing about football and rugby, nothing about towns, cities, suburbs and the countryside, nothing about medicine and education, nothing about transport and technology, nothing about work and leisure, nothing about any aspect of working-class life and nothing about women. To cut a long story short, there is virtually nothing about anything. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -3wlg2stts

youngian wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:17 pm
I assume its similar self-serving hagiography as Johnson's Churchill book. Boris probably showed Mogg how to cut and paste using his son's electrical Babbage Engine.
A N Wilson likes it even less
The Victorians by Jacob Rees-Mogg review — ‘a staggeringly silly piece of history’
This is not serious history, just a silly bit of self-promotion by a politician with an obvious agenda, says AN Wilson

And so the catalogue of blimps and fogeys goes on, reaching its high-water mark with . . . none other than Albert Dicey. “Thank Heavens for Albert Dicey!” Rees-Mogg’s damp squib of an essay on this constitutional lawyer — hardly a household name — is included because Dicey moved from being a radical to being a Unionist diehard over the question of the Irish backstop, sorry, I mean, over Irish home rule. Dicey thought he could stop home rule by an appeal to the “people” by means of a referendum, says Rees-Mogg. “It is his structure of parliamentary sovereignty and his understanding of referendums that provide the constitutional authority for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.”

Quite why Dicey has such “authority” in English law is not explained. What a staggeringly silly book this is! Although it is called The Victorians, it contains no humorists and no humour — where is Dickens? It has no musicians, no engineers, no John Stuart Mill, no Thomas Carlyle, no scientists, no painters, no poets and interestingly for so devout a Catholic writer, no cardinals. There’s no Manning fighting for the rights of the dockers and no Newman writing the most plausible defence of theism in the English language. “Britain’s most famous Catholic”, on planet Mogg, was the architect Augustus Welby Pugin, who was, of course, mad because he had syphilis — a fact Rees-Mogg censors.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the- ... -zqltrw5rz
By Big Arnold
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Rees-Mogg’s book is ‘sentimental jingoism and empire nostalgia’

Tory MP’s tribute to the Victorians is more fantasy than history
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... -nostalgia

Historians’ like Jacob Rees-Mogg only have one character in mind: themselves
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... oliticians

The Victorians by Jacob Rees-Mogg review – history as manifesto
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... ogg-review
By cycloon
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Notable that Token Decent Righty Historian* Andrew Roberts liked it.

*If you're making a point of your political position, you've already got an issue.

The academy's 'lefty bias' is usually an expression of deconstruction and contextualising (the enemies of myth) and/or a preponderence of people (in the arts anyway) who think money isn't the be-all-end-all of everything. The left isn't short of myths and irritating academics poking holes in them, no matter what twat columnists might think.

As mentioned before, it's funny how universities don't end up producing Maoists, and the worst the right can find is 'snowflakes', who they try and equate to Maoists because uh reasons, and all the while if anyone dares touch the shibboleths of the right they scream blue murder.

randomelement, youngian liked this
By Bones McCoy
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I take it Ferguson and Starkey were either unavailable for comment,
or too embarrased to have their names anywhere near this puerile offering.

Imagine a situation where Starkey was unavailable for comment.
That's your measure of the book's gravitas.

Expect the "Haven't finished colouring it in yet" gag to loom large during December's literary awards season.
By Big Arnold
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Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset and chair of the European Research Group (ERG), reportedly spent about 300 hours writing the work, for which he has so far received £12,500 from Penguin Random House.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ed-britain

I'm not an author, but 300 hours strikes me as a ridiculously short time for any book about history.
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