Latest Issue

Commons people: what the row over Rees-Mogg’s slouch reveals about our status-obsessed politics

Where parliament is obsessed with etiquette, working-class people are more interested in manners—and the difference between the two explains a lot about our political system

By Rik Worth  

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg reclining on his seat in the House of Commons London. Photo: PA

During last night’s emergency House of Commons debate, one image seemed to encapsulate everything wrong with the Eton mess of the new government: Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House in title alone, stretched out on the front bench. A bit like a cat, if that cat was a contemptible 18th-century smarm-baron.

Mogg is routinely held up as a man of good manners. But in addition to being the “physical embodiment of arrogance, entitlement, disrespect…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect