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Rees-Mogg - Interesting anecdote
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ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 12:48
From James Barisic (on Twitter), a former Conservative Party employee:


Back in 1997, @Jacob_Rees_Mogg was the Tory candidate for Central Fife. His passage into the seat was helped by the powers that be so that he could follow the time-honoured path of so many with the right connections of fighting some unwinnable seats before being given a safe one.

For those of you who don’t know, @Jacob_Rees_Mogg is the son of Lord Rees-Mogg, the former Times editor.

Central Fife was a no-hoper seat and it was an ideal place to show that JRM wasn’t scared of taking the Tory message to the most difficult of places.

I'm pleased to say that, these days, @ScotTories doesn't have the same mentality now and actually has candidates that understand the areas they want to represent. It's quite refreshing.

Now, if you are on the other side of the equation, you see a toff turn up with his nanny (yep, that did happen) to canvass and it reinforces everything you think about Tories. The powers that be seemed to miss that obvious consequence of placing @Jacob_Rees_Mogg in Central Fife.

Still, at SCUCO (Scottish Central Office) it was our job to brief the candidates. As a lowly research assistant, I didn’t brief many as it was thought that they would probably want to be briefed by the head honcho (@iainastewart - now MP for Milton Keynes).

On the face of it, having a visit from a candidate who was the multi-millionaire son of Lord Rees-Mogg should have been quite a thing. We were used to VIP visits and we knew who got treated how and why. But somehow…

Mysteriously, the day Jacob Rees-Mogg visited, everyone (including Iain) was busy. I mean really busy. Weirdly, everyone was there but everyone was so, so busy that nobody could brief him and the welcome was beyond short.
And so, Jacob Rees-Mogg was ushered in to my office.

He sat opposite me, looked down his nose and listened as I started the briefing. It soon became clear that the briefing was of no interest to him at all. There was nothing I could tell him that he did not think he already knew (he didn't, of course, but he thought he did)

In my time at SCUCO, I met and worked with people from the PM, cabinet ministers, MPs, councillors, Lords and Ladies and, I can say without fear of contradiction that the sneering sense of superiority during that half an hour was something I had never come across before or since.

He was, he told me, in Scotland for a few hours to knock on some doors with Nanny and then he would be going back home. Such was his commitment – and also his contempt for the people of Central Fife.

He left and I never heard from him again – indeed, I think @Jacob_Rees_Mogg was just about the only candidate in that election that never bothered asking a research question or policy clarification.

As an aside, only one other person has ever refused a briefing from me and that, by some incredible coincidence, was @BorisJohnson – and it was made clear to me that if I wrote one, he would not read it. I suppose these #Brexit-ers aren't keen on facts.

By contrast, I was sat in my office one day, typing, concentrating on the screen when I was suddenly aware of someone walking into my room. I looked up as he held out his hand and said “Hello, I’m John Major!” No pretence. No ‘do you not know who I am’. No ‘I’m better than you’.

It was just a greeting that assumed nothing but was genuinely meant. We talked for a couple of minutes (I mentioned that we’d met before and we talked briefly about that before he remembered it) and then he was gone. His last words were “Thank you for everything you are doing.”

Of course, Sir John did not need to thank me. I was doing it because of him and what he stood for. I would have done it if he hadn't paid me. And, anyway, why thank me? It was my job. But he did. And that says something about him.

At the end of the day, @jacob_rees_mogg will never amount to anything or achieve anything without the help of others. He is the very epitome of the British elite establishment that cares about nothing other than feathering their own nests - something #Brexit facilitates.
Boiiiii du soiiii
Posted - 29 March 2018 12:55
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Yet further evidence that JRM is not a real aristocrat. I’ve always said he has the attitude of someone desperate to be seen to be snobbish and toffish. Those comfortable in their class do not behave that way.

I suspect he developed it from his father’s underlying chippiness.
trumptonia
Posted - 29 March 2018 12:56
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As has been said before he’s a stupid person’s idea of what a posh smart person looks like.

If you Britain are fooled by this sort of flummery you deserve everything you get you gutless fools.
Weally Been
Posted - 29 March 2018 12:59
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This guy's twitter handle has a European Union flag in it and he seems obsessed with how great France is lately

Hardly a neutral anecdoter...

Hal Incandenza
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:01
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A friend of mine (now also an MP) worked on his campaign in the Wrekin in 2001, which was an eminently winnable seat. He lost that too, with a swing against the Tories despite a national swing in their favour.

He was not well thought of locally.
Tee Pottt
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:06
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Should be entitled 'least surprising anecdote'
Boiiiii du soiiii
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:08
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Yet further evidence that JRM is not a real aristocrat. I’ve always said he has the attitude of someone desperate to be seen to be snobbish and toffish. Those comfortable in their class do not behave that way.

I suspect he developed it from his father’s underlying chippiness.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:08
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The most troubling part is the bit about Johnson breaking with precedent and refusing a briefing. I wonder if he's still doing that.
stop: wangertime!
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:09
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This makes James Barisic sound like a horrible little toadying twatbadger tbh. Mogg's a tit, as is boris. Everyone seems to be remembering major thru the rose tinteds.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:09
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Of course he's not a real aristocrat, he's the son of journalist from Hammersmith who has read too many P. G. Wodehouse novels.
Boiiiii du soiiii
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:09
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Do you?

He never sounds briefed
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:13
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It's one thing to refuse a briefing from a party official as a candidate; it's another thing to keep doing it as Foreign Secretary.
SumoKing
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:33
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probably for the best though, will lead to a fcuk up epic enough to hose that shitt off the steps of parliament
Wellington
Posted - 29 March 2018 13:38
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Rees Mogg came across as arrogant and aloof?

Fvck me m7. Keep these scoops coming!

what's next? Boris Johnson revealed to be a bit of a bumbling twat?
Chambers
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:29
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Michael Gove is the same. He must have been parachuted into a safe Conservative seat near me. I've met him a couple of times, good with speeches, old ladies, young children and village fetes. Not that clever in my view.

That's about it. Off to Westminster.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:32
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Ooh, you can't criticise Gove or else bookem will be all over the thread saying what a lovely man he is in real life.

Another roffer is a friend of his too, I believe.....
SumoKing
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:49
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Gove might not be a malevolent and actually has given some thought to his ideology, unfortunately like all MPs that was formed when the world was very different and looming nuclear death or T 72s on the lawn were thought to be a thing

bar's not very high for "decent by Tory MP standards"

in fact possibly the only thing separating labour and conservative who both have an ultra conservative and terrifyingly old ladyish vision for the UK is that the Tories want it to make the rich richer and labour think it'll make the poors richer (but not too rich!), in which scenario you'd have to be a soulless monster to vote Tory (but then you always did)
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:53
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It's the fact that he's given thought to his ideology that's the problem. It's all hardline dogma from a true believer - someone was quoted as saying that he gives off "the scent of burning witches".
Lears Fool
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:53
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In order to be malevolent, you have to have given some thought to your ideology.

Gove is what happened when satan bummed a spitting image puppet.
January Sails
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:59
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So you're all telling me that if you were told to stand for a totally unwinnable seat you'd spend hours knocking on doors and carefully listening to briefings rather than putting in the bare minimum effort required to ensure that you were offered a slightly less hopeless seat in the next election?

I don't think he so much showed his contempt for the voters of Fife as his contempt for a system that required him to go to the other end of the country and waste time trying to achieve the utterly impossible. There's always the possibility that party HQ hoped he'd act this way so they could justify not offering him another seat.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:02
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He did struggle to find another seat. He won a Labour marginal in the end, one in which he now commands a 10,000 majority. His constituency chairman was prevailed upon by Cameroons at CCHQ not to include him in the final selection to put before local party activists, but he dug his heels in and the rest is history.
Lears Fool
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:07
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Lears Fool
Posted - 29 March 2018 14:53
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In order to be malevolent, you have to have given some thought to your ideology.

Gove is what happened when satan bummed a spitting image puppet.



And Jacob R-M is the festering afterbirth of such unholy alanance.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:10
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So you're all telling me that if you were told to stand for a totally unwinnable seat you'd spend hours knocking on doors and carefully listening to briefings rather than putting in the bare minimum effort required to ensure that you were offered a slightly less hopeless seat in the next election?

Yeah, I would.

And I have knocked on doors in an unwinnable constituency, albeit not as the candidate.
January Sails
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:23
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Fair enough. I think generally that MP's should actually come from the constituency or reasonably nearby rather than parachuting in which would remove complete strangers just turning up before an election to introduce themselves.

I wish the local Labour party would stop knocking on my door on a Sunday morning when I'm in bed.
Used Psychology
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:26
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Sails, you have to start somewhere and knocking doors in a hopeless situation is where it all starts.

You;d also want him to engage better with the local party, if only out of sympathy and respect that they were all Tories and these were people he'd expect to campaign for him. I have no idea what activists see in him as an offer to voters.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:27
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Yes, I think parachuting people in is a very bad practice.

The candidate for Fife Central should have been someone like Sumo.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:30
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Isn't this whole business of not parachuting in candidates something of an historical aberration?
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:31
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You're not telling me Malcolm Rifkind was born in Kensington & Chelsea, Nick Clegg in Sheffield or Tony in Sedgefield.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:34
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John Major wasn't from Huntingdon, Lady Thatcher wasn't from North London, John McDonnell wasn't from West London.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:36
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Tony Benn wasn't from Chesterfield or Bristol, Lord Mandelson wasn't from Hartlepool, George Osborne wasn't from Yorkshire.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:37
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You get my point.
trumptonia
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:39
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Is it poppers?
Used Psychology
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:43
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The objection is not to out of constituency candidates, it's to those out of constituency candidates being assholes.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:45
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UPee is surely correct.
Used Psychology
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:50
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Note I said out of constituency candidates, not parachuted ones.

See the difference?
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:57
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"Parachuting" isn't just about a candidate coming from outside the constituency - the implication is also that the local party has been leant on (or overruled completely, in some cases). It's patent that Rees-Mogg had patronage of some sort. So did Thatch, if I remember correctly from Moore's bio.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 15:58
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And the story of how B/lair got Sedgefield has never been told, although I hear vague rumours from time to time about how it was stitched up.
pugnosedgimp
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:06
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Moggster is at least from the area he represents - Somerset. or at least he split his formative years between there and London.

, while not from Sedgefield, did have some connection to the area as he had lived in Durham when his dad was a professor there.

the current obsession with MPs needing to be ultra-local is tedious. As a previous poster listed, some of the dominant political persons of the past century were not originally from the seat they represented, and if you take that approach to its extreme it would prevent anyone from a comfortable background from being a Labour MP, and vice versa for the Tories. Clem Attlee, who had attended Haileybury, was MP for Limehouse (jn fact his work in the district in the 1910s was credited for converting him to the Labour cause). Mrs T wasn't from Finchley (her London home was at Flood Street in Chelsea), but I presume her fairly middle of the road upbringing in Lincs had given her some affinity with the sort of middle class homeowning voters of Finchley in 1959.

Osborne was never a Yorkshire MP - Tatton is in Cheshire.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:24
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As a previous poster listed, some of the dominant political persons of the past century were not originally from the seat they represented

That's a bit misleading because the role of the MP in, say, Attlee's day was different. The modern concept of constituency work had yet to develop. I remember reading somewhere that an MP might visit his constituency once a year, on which occasion the mayor and brass band would turn out at the railway station.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:28
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Ha! I mistook it for Tatton. My bad. Gross error. Not that George was a Cheshire lad.

Mind you, Rishi Sunak is not from Richmond in Yorkshire either.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:29
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The party actively tried to bar Rees-Mogg when he finally won his seat, Reggie. Some patronage!
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:33
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Reggie, I pointedly did not go back to the mid-century greats, my examples were recent.

There are those older MPs who regard the modern concept of constituency work as a distraction from holding the Executive to account in Parliament. It is an old-fashioned view in the modern whipped Commons, but some still hold the belief (not a bad one, really) that constituency work is mostly for councillors to handle, save where a national angle demands the MP's assistance.
January Sails
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:43
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I'm not saying your MP needs to be a born and bred local but they should have some connection with the area other than just being chosen by the party to stand for your seat. Local MP where I grew up isn't originally from the area but had at least moved there and lived there for a few years before standing as a local candidate.
Cat on a hot tin ceiling
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:46
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The modern idea of constituency work is daft to my mind. The MP absolutely should be representing his constituency in parliament and to do that he or she needs to know the constituency and the issues that matter to those who live there. He or she shouldn't generally be fvck ar9sing around pushing the council to fix the drain outside Mrs Miggin's house or whatever. Too much of that has crept in in my view and there is a touch of hair shirt/virtue signalling about it or in some cases just that it offers 'easy wins' for long time back benchers to feel better about themselves and their role.

MP's should be working in parliament and, in particular, in committee shaping the national agenda and making sure their constituency has a voice in that agenda.
pugnosedgimp
Posted - 30 March 2018 22:22
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ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:24
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As a previous poster listed, some of the dominant political persons of the past century were not originally from the seat they represented

That's a bit misleading because the role of the MP in, say, Attlee's day was different. The modern concept of constituency work had yet to develop. I remember reading somewhere that an MP might visit his constituency once a year, on which occasion the mayor and brass band would turn out at the railway station.

is that actually true, or has this impression arisen because we don't remember the backbenchers from the 1920s-50s, and only remember the major players who, if they were in government, would naturally have had less attention to lavish on their constituencies?

Alan Clark didn't live in his seat (in Plymouth), but almost at the other end of the country. His early memoirs are full of his anxieties that he wont be selected again by the local committee because he doesn't seem interested enough in his seat.
Zan00
Posted - 30 March 2018 22:40
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We need a JRM meme that he can't escape from...
Good on Paper
Posted - 31 March 2018 14:56
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Interesting contention, that JRM is a prole's idea of an aristocrat, just as Stephen Fry is a stupid person's idea of a clever person and Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man.
tarquin
Posted - 31 March 2018 15:23
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'And the story of how B/lair got Sedgefield has never been told,'

Not true

Someone wrote a long screed a while back how the local union Bennite had been stitched up
B0YC0TT
Posted - 31 March 2018 22:20
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" I was sat"

I have some sympathy with JR-M's assessment of the value of the advice he was being offered.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 13 April 2018 08:13
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Someone wrote a long screed a while back how the local union Bennite had been stitched up

You mean Les Huckfield? I'd be very interested to see that. Do you have a link?
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 13 April 2018 09:22
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Peter Hitchens seems to think that 's parachute descent into Sedgefield was some sort of Marxist conspiracy!
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 13 April 2018 09:26
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Hitchens' theory is a different one, Hanners, to do with B/lair joining Labour rather than becoming a candidate. He says that the young B/lair joined Labour because he was a Trostkyite infiltrator. His reasoning is that B/lair has admitted to flirting with Trotskyism, the Wilson-era Labour Party was despised by student radicals, and Trots had a policy of infiltration. I suppose it might be true.
Hal Incandenza
Posted - 13 April 2018 09:34
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I can see literally no possibility that Hitchens, who famously went on a "journey" from deranged leftism to equally deranged rightism, could possibly be projecting his own story onto that of long-time centrist .
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 13 April 2018 09:38
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Well, his reasoning is that B/lair, as a youthful leftist, can have had no good reason for joining Labour, because youthful leftists at the time despised the stodgy old compromising party of Wilson and Callaghan. So why would he join? Well, he's on record as having been a Trot, and it's undisputed that Trots tried to infiltrate Labour, so.....

I'm not saying I believe it, but it's not David Icke stuff either.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 13 April 2018 09:46
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Wot Reggie sed.
Discworld_Librarian
Posted - 13 April 2018 11:17
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255 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 29 March 2018 16:33
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Reggie, I pointedly did not go back to the mid-century greats, my examples were recent.

There are those older MPs who regard the modern concept of constituency work as a distraction from holding the Executive to account in Parliament. It is an old-fashioned view in the modern whipped Commons, but some still hold the belief (not a bad one, really) that constituency work is mostly for councillors to handle, save where a national angle demands the MP's assistance.



I agree with this. I look at the matters of huge national and global import in the news and then I see my MP's news feed with all the parochial, peripheral rubbish that is his daily work in the constituency and wonder what the hell the Council and the local party are for.
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 13 April 2018 11:23
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That can be seen differently, though.

In the firm in the Loop, we saw the Minister of Defence during the run-up to the Iraq War being pulled away from meetings in Washington DC with the Donald Rumsfeld character to deal with a dispute that a constituent of his (Steve Coogan) was having with one of his neighbours.

I thought that that was one of the great glories of the British system.
247 sleeps till Christmas
Posted - 13 April 2018 11:38
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It's one of the absurdities of the British system, it's not glorious!
kc101
Posted - 13 April 2018 17:10
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But it is very funny.

Mattis: "Get me Britain's defense secretary now - we need to talk Syria."

Underling: "Sorry sir, London tells me he is being briefed about hedgehogs."

Mattis: "Hedgehogs? The WWII-era anti-submarine weapons? Jesus, the Royal Navy is in a worse state than I ever imagined!"

Underling: "No, erm...the small animals, the ones that live in hedges, with all the prickly spines?"

Mattis: *sighs* "Get me Paris...."