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Factcheck: is the Tory government really a Lambo?

Jacob Rees-Mogg claims so. Top Gear drills into the data

Big news from the rarely-overlapping circles of ‘British politics’ and ‘performance car references’: Conservative MP and part-time Victorian Jacob Rees-Mogg has today heralded his ruling administration as ‘the Lamborghini of governments’.

Top Gear may not know much about politics, but it knows at least a little bit about Lamborghinis. In what way, Top Gear wondered upon hearing this quote, did Rees-Mogg believe the current Tory government to resemble a Lambo? Both beloved by rich people marooned in the late Eighties? Both more economically linked to Germany than they might admit? Neither likely to be at the top of Greta Thunberg’s Christmas card list?

But no. The similarity between Lambos and Tories lies, according to the Commons Leader, in their raw speed. “I have never known nought to sixty being achieved at a faster pace,” boomed Rees-Mogg of his government’s achievements since they won December’s general election.

It is, of course, not in Top Gear’s remit to weigh in on matters political. But as connoisseurs of an ambitious metaphor, we feel qualified to drill into JRM’s analogy in a little more detail.

And yes, reaching nought to sixty in the blink of an eye is a commendable and exhilarating aim, provided you’ve got an empty motorway or racetrack at your disposal. There are, however, certain environments in which it’s less advisable to bury your right foot and gun it to 60. A multi-storey car park, for example. Or a 20mph urban zone at school kicking-out time. If you see what we’re saying, metaphorically speaking.

Anyhow. Perhaps mindful of his government’s – how to put this? – Britain-first agenda, Rees-Mogg hastily offered an alternative, continuing: “We’re the Aston Martin of governments, if you prefer.” By which, of course, he doesn’t mean ‘now utterly reliant on the whims of a billionaire on the other side of the Atlantic’. Oh no.

“I’m quite tempted to say, the Bentley of governments,” continued Rees-Mogg. “But my 1936 Bentley takes so long to get to 60 miles an hour that it wouldn’t necessarily be the right comparison.”

Top Gear must confess itself surprised, and not a little impressed, at Rees-Mogg’s choice of car. Who would have imagined he’d be tooling around in something as modern as a Thirties Bentley?

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