A rich seam of rebellion has run through the Rees-Mogg veins ever since my great uncle Bernard refused to give up the railings of his Eaton Square 'town house' to a Scout Group eager to turn them into a Spitfire. Pa, himself was of course a seminal figure of the 1960's, whose Times leader in defense of Mick Jagger ("Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel") inspired Eric Carle to write a thinly veiled biography of the Rolling Stones and led millions of hippies to realize that if father was defending it, taking 'Mary Jane' was simply not "hip" any more. The resultant increase in heroin 'experimentation' from 1970 onwards has long been credited to him and whilst not always a source of pride, he did feel badly let down when his Spectator review of "Trainspotting" was spiked on grounds of irrelevance.
During the late eighties, while my peers were "getting high" to the musical stylings of Dire Straits, Chicago or "Flock of Seals" I was content to sit a little apart from the maddening crowd, endlessly translating Bachylides into German and von Eschenbach into Greek. And in the process, I suppose and certainly more by accident than design I did indeed become something of an 'Outsider' myself; one who increasingly said what others thought but dared not utter; one who questioned the dress sense of the naked Emperor and the growing ubiquity of 'ready made' bow ties at Young Conservative events.
This 'rage' reached its apotheosis when members of my party openly praised 'Tony' Blair shortly after his elevation to power.
There is an old phrase much beloved of former British residents of Hong Kong: 'never entrust a beloved spaniel to the care of a hungry Korean - however much he may smile and reassure.' I felt much the same way about Blair. Others, sadly, including many in my own party were more than happy to let 'Tony' look after the dogs. As more and more concessions were given to Brussels a great silence fell across the constitutional kennels of our land and I felt increasingly as Thucydides must have done after the debacle of 424 (BC).
Over the last few weeks as the Prime Minister has spoken of the benefits of the 'European Union' the old sense of rebellion has returned. I have nothing but admiration for David and yet, his words have driven me reluctantly to the barricade. The time has come to speak up. The time has come to throw out the squatting Koreans and seize back our puppies. The time has come for noble men (and women if they're not otherwise engaged) to rebel against the European 'project'.
As far back as the treaty of Bretigny-Calais in 1360, our nation has benefitted not one jot from anything 'Continental' - indeed our involvement in matters across the Channel have brought us nothing but blood-shed, taxation and cheap Gorgonzola. The Union is a shower and it is time we turned the knob to 'off'.
To quote Sir Mick Jagger himself one might very reasonably sing: "Hey EU get off of my Cloud!"
NEXT WEEK. The Prime Minister's marvelous speech to Conservative Party Conference.
(with thanks to @zatzi for lending me her Compact Discs)