In an astonishing development, Prevent officials linked Jacob Rees-Mogg to extremists, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Mr. Rees-Mogg would certainly be the most polite terrorist we’ve ever seen, presumably dropping a pithy one-liner after despatching his victims, perhaps something like “sic transit gloria mundi“. You simply don’t see enough gentleman terrorists these days.
One has to laugh at the absurdity, but of course it is also incredibly disturbing. According to the Mail on Sunday:
The inquiry, by former Charity Commission boss William Shawcross, last week disclosed how Prevent officials had claimed that a leading Conservative politician was associated with “far-Right sympathetic audiences”.
Mr. Shawcross declined to name the individual but Prevent sources last night confirmed to the MoS that it was Mr Rees-Mogg, the former Business Secretary and leader of the House of Commons.
A stunned Mr. Rees-Mogg described our revelation as “dangerously serious” and said he believed he had been flagged because of his role as a leading Brexiteer.
“Wasting effort on elected politicians scandalously diverted resources from evil-doers,” he said.
“The officials on the Prevent programme were clearly so infected by wokery and metropolitan political correctness that Brexit was considered an extreme far-Right idea.
“According to this blinkered, misguided view, the 52% of U.K. voters backing Brexit weren’t exercising their democratic right to regain our national sovereignty – they were entering the path to Right-wing extremism. This is bonkers and those responsible hold democracy in contempt . . .
“Likewise, it is farcical to suggest the mainstream Conservative views I espouse, including Brexit, were somehow music to the ears of far-Right extremists.
“But what is not farcical is the scandalous waste of time and resources which Prevent officials committed on such rubbish when, as the Shawcross review concluded, they should spend far more time combating the Islamist terror threat.”
We already know from the Shawcross report that Prevent “tends to take a much narrower approach” when it comes to potential Islamist terror than it does to Right-wing extremism, which is defined far more broadly. But even I was shocked that it incorporates Jacob Rees-Mogg. This is like if the Ministry of Defence was, oh I don’t know, spying on Toby Young’s tweets.
We also know that Prevent was using taxpayers’ money to actively fund Islamist groups. The phrase ‘You had one job’ springs to mind.
But what was it about Mr. Rees-Mogg that Prevent found so terribly extreme? His dedication to the double-breasted suit? His excessive brood of Latin-themed children? No, but something equally absurd:
The MoS understands that Mr. Rees-Mogg was named in a 2019 report by Prevent’s Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU) that analysed a group of social media users it described as “actively patriotic and proud”.
There you have it. Patriotism is the new terrorism.
Apparently, there was also a David Brent-esque training course, wherein people were “handed an essay by the Hope Not Hate campaign group which flagged up columns by Douglas Murray at the Spectator magazine, Rod Liddle at the Sunday Times and Melanie Phillips on the Times“.
Melanie Philips?! And there I was thinking Hope Not Hate was a serious organisation. Obviously, it is ridiculous to include Murray and Liddle too, but you have really jumped the shark when you’re targeting Melanie Philips as your new terror kingpin.
I would say more but I don’t want to add to the inevitable case they must now be compiling on me. After all, I now work for the same television channel as noted extremist Jacob Rees-Mogg.
I am also in constant communication with the MoD’s number one target, Toby Young (if that is even his real name). True, most of Toby’s messages are about whether the full stop should come inside or outside of the quotation marks, according to the Daily Sceptic’s near-impenetrable style guide, but perhaps that is all some kind of code? No one is that obsessed with punctuation.
I await the forthcoming report.
Stop Press: Peter Hitchens has written about Shawcross’s report in his Mail on Sunday column, claiming that a ‘British Stasi’ is growing in our midst.
Stop Press 2: Rod Liddle has had a good go Prevent in the Sunday Times. He says it should be called Encourage, given its attitude to Islamist extremism. Worth a read.