Social feed 4: pre-christmas porkies!

A media tarts special double bill!

“It’s media, darling!” would be a good phrase to describe Mangnall’s latest servings of pig swill to constituents. And what a marvellous couple of weeks it has been: Tory lies have flowed like sewage down the Dart, and Mangnall has worked tirelessly, attempting to transform his profile from an out-of-his-depth MP flirting with the far Right, braying chauvinism and rubbishing his constituents to ‘chisel jawed rebel-without-a-clue’ of the Conservative Party. It’s quite a feat, and as usual with Mangnall, it is all delivered with lashings of brass, double-speak and myopia.  

First, we’ll take a look at a vomit-inducing hagiography that appeared in online politics journal The House. The tone and content were built around the mirth-inducing quote – “Just don’t call me a rising star”, to which Babe replies (in between fits of giggles) ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’! And meanwhile, back in the real and far less glamorous world of Mangnall’s constituency, Babe can also confirm that she has heard people say many things about Mr Mangnall, but can guarantee that ‘rising star’ is definitely not one of them!

What is unnerving however, is how much this article validates Babe’s previous satirical commentary. It’s all here – his privileged background, the impression of being a man out of touch, his lack of comfort in his own skin, and his love of meetings (hilariously this article states he loves to conduct them whilst walking: Babe would concur – mainly walking away from his constituency!)

The article reveals a portrait of a man who seems to have very little of substance to say about his constituency needs, but far more on his proposed career path and hubristic destinations.

Billed as a seven-minute read, the article is eminently forgettable, and you won’t get those seven minutes back, so be warned – and have a sick bowl handy.

In his ‘Macho Mangnall’ guise, he describes his love of swimming (“all year round, no wetsuits of course,” he’s quoted as saying) and much is made of his Hemingway-esque love of fishing, getting his motorcycle licence and a Christmas break kite-surfing in the Western Sahara. 

There are so many ‘highlights’ to this article that had Babe oinking in delight. One real favourite was the incongruous idea of Mangnall breaking out in a ‘Tory rebel’ swearfest.  

The article quotes Mangnall: “It was important that we weren’t going to let the Chinese build our f*cking telecommunications network. I had senior members of Parliament saying, ‘What do you think you know that the security services don’t?’ and all of this stuff, but we are ludicrous to be gamed on it.”

It brings to mind fond memories of Richard Madeley dressed as Ali G on ‘This Morning’. Babe is now praying for an early Christmas present of Mangnall, baseball cap back to front, wearing a Marijuana T Shirt, spray painting ‘F*ck Boris’ on the side of the Conservative Party head office. Now that would be something.

In the article we learn Mangnall was an “army brat” (Babe assumes these were his words), he lived “all over the shop” including four years in Zimbabwe. He was sent to boarding school in England at six – a familiar ‘down with the kids’ background for most people in his constituency.

And the pattern of establishment privilege continued with the ongoing Conservative traditions of ‘jobs for the boys’, as Mangnall went on to work with Lord Hague before following the path of many young men fresh out of education, a one-way ticket to Singapore for a job in the school of tough knocks that is shipbroking. Oliver Twist this ain’t.

And to top it off, while Mangnall concurred that the Prime Minster has had “a rocky few weeks”, of course it is revealed predictably enough that Mangnall’s ‘rebellious streak’ didn’t extend to a no confidence letter to the 1922 Committee. As if any further proof were needed, this demonstrates yet again Mangnall’s terrible judgement. Johnson is a liar. It’s been apparent to most people for a very long time. One has to be seriously concerned about Mangnall’s judgement in not calling that out (in contrast to many of his colleagues), now that we are deep into the Party-Gate and Refurb Farces that are just the current crop of scandals engulfing the Corruption Party.

And so now we move from such unappealing narcissism to our follow-up to the dangerous, disturbing and distasteful flirting with the far right on the amateurish and low budget ‘Farage at Large’ GB News show broadcast on Thursday 18 November.

We have already written about the incident here, but to recap, it was unedifying for an elected representative to publicly disparage his constituents and Dr Sarah Wollaston with – of all people – the wide-mouthed frog of anti-woke, the ‘creepy uncle of the far right’, Nigel Farage.

But the incident that really gave us more of an insight into his character than any number of House interviews was his lack of reaction to Farage’s noisy, offensive and unsubstantiated take down of whistle-blower Azeem Rafiq. Full of weasel ‘get out of jail’ phrases referring to ‘sources’, comments such as ‘I am sure it’s not true’ and even mugging to camera, Farage’s statements seemed purely designed to take down a whistle-blower who had the nerve to stand up to the ultimate establishment institution – cricket.

One would have thought the ‘rising star’, the ‘rebel’, the elected representative duty bound to a Code of Conduct to challenge discrimination, might have said something to ensure Farage’s debasing views were balanced by some Truth. Maybe even, the representative of a constituency driven by values of decency, fairness and equality, might have challenged Farage by simply stating that the treatment Rafiq suffered wasn’t ‘excessive banter’ but was something called ‘racism’.

But no.

Our man, the future of the Conservative Party, stayed silent.

‘Don’t call me a rising star’ he says.

No-one will, based on this performance.

How happy has Mangnall or the Conservative Party been to be held to account over this?

Well, in the weasel words that Farage used against Azeem Rafiq, ‘sources’ have told Babe, though she is sure it is not true (it is), that Farage’s comments are now with Azeem Rafiq’s solicitor as well as Ofcom, and Farage’s comments have been logged as a Hate Crime with the police. A ‘source’ has also told Babe that a formal complaint was made to the Conservative Party, and this is where it gets really smelly.

The source stated,

“I sent in a legitimate concern questioning why my MP, representative of his constituency and bound by a clear code of conduct [], was sitting by allowing someone to denigrate and make unfounded allegations against a whistle-blower of racism, live on television.”

“The response I received from the Conservative Party seemed very dismissive, intimidatory in content and looked like a naked attempt to dismiss the whole complaint. In fact, when I looked closely, the dismissal reason itself seemed highly questionable.”

The source continued: “Scrappily copied and pasted and full of formatting errors, with no name given for the investigating officer (unethical at best), and with a nice line in threat regarding confidentiality over a complaint that was then explained to have been dismissed out of hand, the whole reply seemed little more than a cheap shot.”

“On challenge, I ended up with two different reasons why the complaint had been dismissed out of hand. On further challenge the (still unnamed) ‘Investigating Officer’ chose to present a reason which still makes no sense and is plucked from the small print of a stage 3 complaint. The complaint didn’t even reach Stage 1.”

It paints a darkening and ever poorer picture of lack of transparency in the Conservative party, only amplified by Party-Gate, misleading (False?) statements about Downing Street refurbs, and let’s not even get into dodgy PPE contracts, the Owen Paterson affair….

Whilst the party seems very happy to throw open the doors of the Thatcher Room in the Brixham Conservative Club to the ‘racist uncle’ of GB News, they seem far less happy to engage in legitimate questions about the conduct and judgement of their representative in allowing and promoting this poor and discriminatory behaviour.  

Surely Mr Mangnall wouldn’t be so hypocritical as to blow hard on accountability to friendly chums from ‘The House’ but when it comes to his own conduct, is less willing to contemplate his own navel fluff?

“I believe in the power of Parliament. No government of any colour, regardless of who their MPs are and how many they have, has the right to be able to run things through unchallenged, and unquestioned, and undebated… and no one’s going to be able to disabuse me of that view.”

Mangnall’s words. Will he stand by them?

Mr Mangnall himself also had a predictably stock response to those raising a concern, of which there were many across his constituency. One line in particular stands out, common to many copied and pasted replies to concerned constituents:

“It is important to state that appearing on a programme hosted by Mr Farage is in no way an endorsement of his views or comments.  I was not asked my opinion on the issues which I understand have caused concern among some constituents.”

By choosing Farage’s show as a ‘Highlight’ of his week all over his Social Media, what exactly was it about this appearance that was a highlight?

Is there any limit to what our politicians will say? As the Conservatives lurch ever more to the Right, the price is paid with every aggression, nod, wink and deliberate obfuscation of the truth. A corrupt culture from the top is corrupting the Conservative Party throughout.

Babe advises anyone who has had cause to make a complaint to the Conservative Party in the recent past to carefully check the responses they received – they may well be in breach of the Conservative Party’s complaints policy. If you are unsure whether a breach has occurred, you can send your information to West Country Voices.

Back to the media trough! Oink Oink!

‘Just don’t call me a rising star’.

We won’t.