Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke in Parliament on Thursday about the ongoing culture wars bubbling at Oxford university colleges.
On the students at Oxford’s Magdalen College who voted to take down a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from their graduates’ middle common room this week because she “represents recent colonial history“, Mogg said:
“It’s a few pimply adolescents getting excited and taking down a picture of Her Majesty. It makes Magdalen look pretty wet but it’s not the end of the world. I wouldn’t get too excited about that, though it does amuse me to speculate as to what would happen if one of Her Majesty’s subjects suggested taking down the stars and stripes in an American university.
“It might not be enormously well received and as I think the pimply adolescent in question is an American citizen, he might like to think about that. He might think that taking down the US flag in an American university was a breach too far.”
On the 150 Oxford academics threatening to cease teaching if a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College is not taken down, Mogg responded:
“I’m half tempted to say you should be lucky not to be taught by such a useless bunch. If they are that feeble, what are you missing? What are they doing there? Why don’t they have any pride in their country? Our marvellous history and success.
“Rhodes is not a black and white figure. Perhaps they’re not learned enough to have bothered to look up the history of Rhodes in any detail which has been written about quite extensively now. As I say, he is a figure of importance and interest and enormous generosity to Oxford. Do they want to give the money back to the descendants to Cecil Rhodes or are they intending to keep it for themselves?
“We must not allow this wokeness to happen,” concluded the Conservative MP who saved a quip for Cambridge University, undergoing its own culture war with reports it may rename Churchill College to make it more appealing to foreign students.
“The idea of changing Churchill College – well perhaps we should introduce a bill to rename Cambridge Churchill and call it Churchill University – and that would be one in the eye for the lefties!”