10:18 GMT24 October 2020
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    Over the weekend, hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg’s remark during the Tory party conference stirred up much controversy on social media and beyond.

    Delivering a speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, a staunch Brexiteer, claimed that the phrase “people’s vote” – the name for a second Brexit referendum – sounded somewhat oppressive.

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    In order to highlight his words, he referred to the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – the name of the country under the now-deceased Muammar Gaddafi – as the “People’s Republic of Jam Jar.”

    “All the countries who are least interested in their people call themselves ‘people’s’, don’t they? So the People’s Republic of China? Oh, that’s communist. And the People’s Republic of Jam Jar, or something like that, of Libya, was what it was called when Colonel Gaddafi was in charge,” he told a packed crowd.

    The hardliner’s remark was largely viewed as “casual racism,” with Labour MP Alex Sobel tweeting that his comments were made in a Boris Johnson-style:

    Many social media users also thought that his words were a manifestation of racism, with some adding that not only was it racist, but deeply insulting:

    Another user mocked the names of Mogg’s children, saying that they sounded more ridiculous than “Jamahiriya”:

    Meanwhile, another Twitterian tried to explain to fellow netizens what Mogg meant, in his opinion, to say:

    Others attached a picture of a jam jar by a British manufacturer of marmalade, Robertson’s, with a Golliwog on it:

    There were those who suggested that it was absurd to be offended for a country title that “no longer exists”:

    Back in 1986, Muammar Gaddafi proclaimed the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which ceased to exist in 2011 after the Colonel was overthrown, with the National Transitional Council beginning to refer to the state as “Libya.”

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    In December 2017, the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations informed the international organization that the country’s official name was the “State of Libya.”

    jar, jam, racism, name, Brexit, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Muammar Gaddafi, Africa, Libya, United Kingdom
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