8 October 2021

The CapX Podcast: Reasons to be cheerful, with Jacob Rees-Mogg

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It’s a very special edition of the podcast this week as we take you inside Tory conference in Manchester for a fascinating, fun-packed conversation with the one and only Jacob Rees-Mogg and our editor-in-chief, Robert Colvile.

The Leader of the House of Commons was in ebullient mood, telling the audience at our CapX Live / Centre for Policy Studies event that they should be ‘enormously cheerful’ at being part of a proper, post-Covid Conservative get-together.

It’s a bit of a cliche to call these chats ‘wide-ranging’, but these two really did cover a lot of ground, from the dire state of the Labour Party, to his worries about the British economy, to the thrill of taking on the world’s fastest zipline dressed entirely in tweed.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg on…

The risk of inflation

We need to be very careful not to be lulled into a false sense of security, you cannot go on and on printing money forever, without there being an inflationary pressure. And yes, we want higher wages for people working in this country, the aim of the government must be to help people improve their standard of living. And that does mean people being paid more, ultimately, but it has to go hand in hand with productivity. If pay simply rises on its own, the pay rise is will be eaten up by costs being passed through.

The Labour Party

I don’t think it stands up for what most people in the country think and feel. I think it believes that it should tell people how they live how to live their lives, and in a very intrusive way. And I think most people want to live their own lives thank you very much and have their own views and not be lectured on what’s wrong with them.

The failure of planning

How many politicians and leading architects do you know who live in publicly built tower blocks? Doesn’t that tell you all you need to know about the failure of planning? And I believe that my job as a politician is to try and deliver for my electorate what they want. And I think when it comes to housing, they broadly want what they want. And that is a house with a garden.

The importance of family

I’m not convinced that the state helps family life. Indeed, in some ways, the systems that we have discourage family life…the difficulty we face as Conservatives is that in the 1990s, we became very preachy about this, and…that’s not our job. It’s not to say ‘this is right, and this is wrong’. Our job is to say, ‘if you want to lead your life this way, that’s your choice, and we will help you’.

The importance of the Centre for Policy Studies

The CPS is a great organisation. It’s been an inspirational organisation for conservatism. The flame of Margaret Thatcher, the torch that used to be our symbol, has been carried rightly by the CPS now for many, many years.

Zipwires

Zippity doo da zippity day! It was great fun, I would recommend it to you all. You go really quite fast, and it’s all perfectly safe. You’ll get a wonderful view. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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John Ashmore is Editor of CapX.