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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…

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