Wednesday 28 February 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg just shared some catastrophically innumerate Brexit propaganda from The S*n

The Tory Brextremist-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg has taken to Twitter to demonstrate what a gullible and innumerate fool he is.

He made this demonstration by Tweeting a clipping of some absolute idiot-fodder from The S*n.

Rupert Murdoch's hacks at the S*n helped to bring about the Brexit farce with a relentless barrage of misleading pro-Brexit propaganda, but they're so invested in it that they're refusing to admit what a shambles it's turning out to be, and continuing with yet more pro-Brexit distortions.

It hardly takes a genius to spot some of the many things that are wrong with the S*n clipping that Rees-Mogg liked so much he tweeted it to his followers.

One of the most obvious problems is that a significant number of the items mentioned are produced within the EU.

Why would you worry about paying a tariff of fake mozzarella-style cheese when membership of the European Single Market means that we can buy genuine mozzarella from Italy with no tariff at all, and be sure that you're buying the genuine thing because of protected designation of origin labelling rules?

Then there's the supposed saving on beef. Why on earth wouldn't you just eat British or Irish beef that come with 0% tariffs, rather than crying that you have to pay a tariff on imported hormone-riddled beef from the United States?

Aside from beef and mozzarella, there are numerous other products that could easily be purchased tariff free because they are mass produced in the EU, like cherry tomatoes, butter, and dog food.

Then there's the "no deal" Brexit scenario to consider. A decision to quit the EU with no trade deal in place would mean a reversion to WTO rules, and WTO tariffs. This would mean that tariffs would have to be paid on products imported from the EU, and that the EU would impose tariffs on products of British origin.

Brextremists like Rees-Mogg and the secretive "party within a party" ERG Brextremism group he leads are actually pushing for a "no deal" Brexit flounce that would dramatically increase the tariffs on regular supermarket items, but they're deliberately reversing reality and pretending that they're opposed to tariffs.

Then there's the LG flatscreen TV. It's hardly a secret that the EU has a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, meaning that tariffs of South Korean flat screen TVs have already been eliminated.

A chaotic "no deal" flounce out of the EU would actually mean the re-imposition of tariffs on South Korean electronics. So that's yet another piece of Orwellian reality reversing nonsense from the Brexiteers at the S*n.

The S*n clipping is truly Orwellian in the way it invents fake tariffs on products to make Brextremism look like a great option, when everyone knows that the kind of hard Brexit favoured by Rees-Mogg and his ilk would result in new tariffs being applied on products from within the EU, and on products from within the dozens of other economies the EU has bilateral trade agreements with (like South Korea). 

Then there's the supposed tariff on the Viking bicycle. Whoever compiled this deliberate misinformation forgot to mention that Viking is actually a British company, and that British consumers wouldn't have to pay import tariffs on their bikes under any circumstances.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of all is the disgraceful mathematical illiteracy of the whole thing. Take the butter as an example. If the butter costs £1 originally but has a 50% tariff applied on it, then the price rises to £1.50, not to £2.

If the price is £2 after the imposition of a 50% tariff, then the original price was £1.33, not £1.

The same goes for all of the other calculations too. Every single one of them have been made by someone so innumerate they'd fail Year 6 maths.

If the Brexiteers are so innumerate that they can't even cope with simple mathematical operations that my 9 year old son can understand, then who on earth would trust their judgement on an issue as complex as Brexit?

When it comes to Rees-Mogg actually sharing this nonsense, once again we're drawn back into the age old debate of whether the Tories have resorted to this lamentable propaganda because they're thick enough to believe it themselves, or because despite knowing that it's absolute reality-reversing and innumerate trash, they're such arrogant elitists they see the general public as such a bunch of gullible halfwits that we'll simply believe it without conducting any critical analysis whatever.

There is a case to be made that because Ress-Mogg is this type of arrogant elitist because he once described people who attended state schools as "potted plants".

If he's arrogant enough to dismiss 93% of the UK population as "potted plants" he's easily arrogant enough to deliberately spread such brazen misinformation. But in this case I think it's sheer stupidity. The man has seen something that triggers his confirmation bias, and instead of subjecting it to even the most rudimentary of critical analysis, he's just tweeted it out to his followers.

The way Rees-Mogg actually thanked the S*n for making these misleading and innumerate calculations indicates that he couldn't be bothered to check that they were accurate before sharing them, which is decidedly odd behaviour given that he considers himself a member of the vastly superior intellectual elite, yet it was state educated "potted plants" like me who actually bothered to conduct some rudimentary critical analysis on what he shared.

Idiot or elitist, either way, Rees-Mogg's dissemination of such abject and innumerate misinformation is absolutely unforgivable. But the Tory party is such a mess these days that there's not the flicker of a chance that he'll ever be made to apologise for spreading such easily disprovable lies.

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