COULD Britain soon be ruled by a man who, when at Eton, allegedly employed a boy to follow him with an umbrella on cross-country runs?

Titter ye not, for a campaign is growing for Jacob Rees-Mogg to become Prime Minister of England and the Other Bits. True, the campaign is mostly on the internet and so not of the real world, but perhaps groups like the Church of Mogg and the hashtag Moggmentum do reflect popular feeling, at least in Englandshire.

Mr Rees-Mogg has been in the news after giving birth via his wife to a sixth child whom he christened Sixtus Dominic Boniface Etcetera. As a socialist who believes children’s names should be chosen by the state, I’ve little to say on this matter, other than to observe that the Latin for sixth is usually Sextus. Assuming the name is not Latinised Greek for “polished” – how weird would that be? – I make that Leith Walk Borstal for Inebriated Minors 1 v Eton College 0.

Mr Rees-Mogg, dubbed the Moggfather, was pictured cradling the baby in his double-breasted suit, striped shirt and tie. Personally, I though the infant a bit young to be wearing all that clobber, but there you go.

Who, then, is Mr Mogg? Well, described as the Honourable Member for the Early 20th Century, he is as Edwardian as a parasol and sits on the Tory backbenches.

Often compared to the PG Wodehouse character Bertie Wooster, to my mind he has more of the Fink-Nottle about him. Had he more integrity, Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson would be more of a Bertie. And that’s how the leadership of Britland is playing out, folks: a battle between two PG Wodehouse characters.

Before entering Oxford, Mr R-M had reputedly made his first million on the stock market already. It was a measure of how low the country had sunk that the money was not taken off him.

With typical Conservative cruelty, Jacob was selected to fight his first parliamentary election in Central Fife. Not a good fit. A friend of mine once witnessed a scene in Fife where a fool on a bicycle pedalled past a village pub, whose topers rushed out shouting, “Look, a cyclist! Get him!”, and gave chase. And that was just a cyclist. Think what they’d have done to a Tory in a Bentley. Clarification from Mr Rees-Mogg on his Fife campaign transport: “It was a Mercedes. A Bentley would be most unsuitable for canvassing.” Jacob was later elected MP for North East Somerset, where Tories and cyclists roam unmolested.

At Westminster, Moggie soon indulged his taste for oratorical persiflage and once proposed a motion that all council officials should wear bowler hats. It’s easy to laugh at Mr Rees-Mogg. So let us continue.

No, let’s not. Let’s be fair. Look at some boxes he ticks: pleasant personality; witty; well-dressed; temperate; dedicated to public service; impeccable manners. He says what he believes, yet still carved a career in politics.

Mr Rees-Mogg may not be everyman but he is at least his own man. He’s reminiscent of Tony Benn in that he expresses original thoughts in interviews rather than parroting all the “We are perfectly clear that the economy is quite important” guff. Mr Rees-Mogg’s slogan: “Down with slogans.”

He must have known his authentic imitation of an olde worlde gentleman would invite ridicule, not least from the platoons of used pants salesmen that make up much of his own side. But he carried on regardless.

He has integrity. He isn’t scared. In Fife in fact, he knocked on doors. During the love-bombing of Scotia Minor in the indie referendum campaign, he spoke with genuine affection for Scotland. He’s British, but in a good way. He’s the civil servant or banker we wish we still had.

On an international level, Johnny Foreigner would love him, even if confusing him with a character from Downton Abbey. He supports Brexit, though most posh people worried about their investments and a shortage of cheap labour opposed it.

As usual, in the course of writing this column, I risk persuading myself that my opinion is wrong. So let me state clearly that, as a socialist (economics and welfare only; all intolerant liberals to be locked up in my bureaucratic utopia), I could never trust Jacob Rees-Mogg because he will always back the rich over the poor, scabs over strikers, Wagner over Half Man Half Biscuit.

No country should ever have to put up with a Conservative government, even one led by a likeable, lanky poltroon – Half Man Half Beanpole – of archaic sensibilities.

On balance, the world is a better place for more Rees-Moggs. So we wish young Sixtus a happy future, perhaps as English ambassador to an independent Scotland.