THE names of this island’s great leaders resonate hundreds of years after their time.
Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror and Edward Longshanks still thunder through the ages for their part in saving, moulding and creating the nation that we know.
The odds on who will become the next PM
Similarly, the failures and tyrants are noted. Ethelred the Unready, King John and Richard III are remembered for their inadequacies.
Leaders matter because they determine events for good or ill. The mediocrities mainly get forgotten.Brexit is an event that requires exceptional leadership, a normal competent Prime Minister is not enough when a fundamental change takes place.
The problems of Parliamentary arithmetic, previous practice or humdrum questions of administrative procedure weigh too heavily against the need for action.
Theresa May has been thoroughly ensnared in a bureaucratic web of her own weaving that leaves her unable to govern effectively.
Like Edward the Confessor, she is not a bad person and may even be a very good one, but she cannot escape from the forces that surround her to make Brexit work.
Any successor to Mrs May will find it difficult to win if he or she did not support Leave in the Referendum
This has led to an inert Government which presents bills to Parliament of minimal significance — such as the Wild Animals In Circuses bill — and cannot deal with any serious business.
Hence the leadership candidates lumber into view recognising that the nation and the party is suffering from this torpor. The list of potential leaders grows by the day but only a remarkable person can succeed.
The local election results and the surge in support for the Brexit Party show how voters have rejected the normal type of politics which Mrs May epitomises.
The individual who thinks that backroom deals to square vested interests are the right way to deliver Brexit will fail, as will one who favours spin over substance.
Deeds will outrank words, as too much has already been spoken that has not come to pass. Any successor to Mrs May will find it difficult to win if he or she did not support Leave in the Referendum.
It will be hard to trust someone who thinks that Brexit is a problem to be managed rather than an exciting opportunity.
Her deal is better than not leaving, but is nonetheless a shameful failure of negotiating
This makes it difficult to see how Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid or Rory Stewart could be the right answer — although in different circumstances at least one of them could be an inspirational leader.
Remainers will not win with the Tory membership and do not deserve to as they misjudged the most important shift in mood by the British electorate in modern times.
It will not be easy for a member of the current Cabinet to win this contest either.
Each in turn has signed up to and given authority for the dreadful vassalage that the current Prime Minister has prepared.
Her deal is better than not leaving, but is nonetheless a shameful failure of negotiating led by Olly Robbins, a man who apparently wants to become a Belgian, although to be fair to him that must be a joke because even Belgians do not want to be Belgian but Walloons or Flemish.
This makes the chances of Michael Gove, whom I enthusiastically supported last time, Penny Mordaunt or Andrea Leadsom less than they would otherwise deserve.
VOTERS IN FAVOUR OF LEAVING THE EU
The idea of a deal with Jeremy Corbyn merely emphasises the point.
That Mrs May desired such a course after the local election results, that were terrible for both the Conservative and Labour parties, simply shows how little Downing Street realises that politics as usual has been rejected by the country.
To win the leadership and stay in office, the new Prime Minister must recognise that the Conservative Party IS the Brexit party.
Tory members and voters are overwhelmingly in favour of leaving the European Union and are deserting to Nigel Farage because their own party has failed to deliver.
While on the other side of the argument, Change UK has made no impact, meaning the European elections are an ideal opportunity for a pro-Brexit protest vote.
To stop that being a permanent loss of support, there is no route for the Tories that attempts to temporise or triangulate.
This leaves the senior former Cabinet ministers who resigned, because they could not accept the failures of Government policy, as the most likely not only to win but to succeed.
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They are Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Dominic Raab, each of whom I could happily support.
In the end the right leader will not only back Brexit but will see it as the fundamental liberation that the United Kingdom needs and will have confidence both in the people’s ability to prosper and in his or her own capacity.
Great leaders make the political weather — they do not sit back and wait upon events.
Perhaps Boris the Conqueror could even ensure that we hold a parliamentary seat in Hastings.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is leader of the European Research Group.
Jacob Rees-Mogg believes great leaders do not sit back and wait
PA:Press Association Jacob Rees-Mogg believes Boris Johnson is one of the front runners to becoming the next PM
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