It will not have escaped your attention that the Style Guide I introduced to the office has made it’s way into the national media. It is a statement of regrettable fact that I have received a great deal of mockery from so-called experts. Experts, soothsayers, astrologers are all in much the same category. Do you think that I consulted experts before moving my hedge fund to Dublin? Do you think that I consulted experts before ordering the renovations of my mother-in-law’s stately home? Of course not. As an Upper-class Englishman, I know that veritas ex intestinis. If you would believe the word of experts then you would believe that I have only the intelligence to achieve a second-class History degree, and that belief is simply intolerable. I shall expand gradus per gradus upon the reasons behind some of our new departmental rules.
‘Disappointment’ is banned because it is not our concern if an outcome causes unhappiness. If a benefit seeker is unhappy that they no longer have the finances to provide shelter and food, we must remind them of the wisdom of Doctor Pangloss, that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Reminding them of this will bring a deeper sense of happiness than mere money ever could. As an extremely rich man, I can attest to this truth.
‘Invest’ is banned because, as Tories, we do not believe in the simplistic socialist mantra that giving schools more money will in some way improve them. Rather, we are wise enough to realise that taking money away from public services will make them more efficient.
Arguments have been made that it is outdated, or somehow sexist, to use the title ‘esquire’ for male M.P.s but not female M.P.s. (Urgo Tobias Ellwood Esquire, Miss Jessica Phillips.) We should cling to the traditions of the past. It is my belief that the past was better than the future will be, and I intend to make sure that this comes to pass.
We shall use double spaces after the end of each sentence. This is the rule I was raised with when as a twelve-year-old I tappitied away at my father’s typewriter, sending correspondence to the BBC and demanding higher dividend rates from the companies in which I held shares. It is an honorable tradition which I will defend with my dying breath.
Some critics have argued that in the departmental Style Guide I was attempting to ban the Oxford comma but failed to define it correctly, thus making a hypocrite of myself in the quest for linguistic clarity. I was simply pointing out that there should never be a comma after the word ‘and’ – a statement that no-one can disagree with. While I do of course, detest this newfangled Oxford comma, the intent was to stamp down on mistakes which I have never seen but which fellows without the benefit of an Etonian education could theoretically make. It is also important that you never capitalise a conjunction, never put a fullstop in the middle of a word and never smile at a crocodile.
It would be a mistake – post hoc urgo procter hoc – to assume that people are laughing at me because of this latest news story. I wore a monocle as a child, I used a nationally televised debate to defend the British Empire’s use of concentration camps, and my book on prominent Victorians was described by scholars as “anathema to anyone with an ounce of historical, or simply common, sense”. A certain group of people have always found me ridiculous, but I am as respected today as I ever was.
I assure you that each of my instructions has a motivation as well thought out as the above. If anyone still wishes to discuss these matters, I am happy to set aside an hour from my working day in order to give staff individual instruction on how to communicate in their native language.
Some members of staff may believe that we have more important issues to deal with than linguistic pedantry, and decide to disregard my instruction. To them I say draco dormiens numquam titillandus. I may be an economic libertarian, but I am a linguistic authoritarian, and expect my instructions to be followed verbatim.
Jacob Rees-Mogg Esquire
PS The new office dress code will be sent out early next week. Among the instructions will be a rule that ladies must wear heels of at least three inches, with a choice of either skirt or dress. Gentlemen must wear suits of an oversized jacket and trousers that pool at the ankle -the true gentleman dresses as though he is attending a debutante ball in a suit borrowed from his father. Further instructions shall be sent.
* Writing as myself rather than in character, I realise that a comma can be written after ‘and’ if the sentence is a subordinate clause. But by the time I realised this I’d written a paragraph that I like, and decided not to cut it.