A regular satirical commentary on the pig swill served to constituents via an MP’s social media feed ‘Slurping at the swill for everyone in Totnes & South Devon’ – Babe
PeppaPiggate may have overshadowed the Paterson and sewage affairs, but Babe isn’t letting Mangnall off the hook…
This social feed retrospective tastes disconcertingly familiar. It’s a kind of reconstituted and regurgitated retro-feed, bringing back strong flavours of Tory corruption and…the Balkans!
“Look at the hand, don’t look at me” is a well-worn strategy for mediocre politicians. Mangnall seems to be desperate to find the one issue that so far is not tainted with Tory sleaze or Tory ineptitude. But, bless him, it’s hard going.
And it must be exhausting, running around desperately trying to pin his colours to a cause, especially one that is not environmental or anything to do with COP (issues both well avoided as his constituents are furious with his voting record).
Mangnall is trapped in a room, face to face with the giant arse-cheeks of the proverbial large elephant that refuses to move. However, Mangnall still manages to summon some bare-faced cheek of his own in trying to brazen out the reverberations from the Owen Paterson-related sleaze scandals engulfing his party.
Even the Prime Minister, arch-manipulator of the whole car crash itself, has admitted the sorry stinking mess was a mistake. So, where does that leave those saps like Mangnall who voted unquestioningly (again: it’s a pattern) for a motion they all knew, in their heart of hearts, was at best problematic, at worst perceived by most clear-thinking individuals to be corrupt?
As one constituent posted on Mangnall’s Facebook feed:
I have a bad taste in my mouth. What do you have to say in response?
So where does Mangnall go with all this? Well, the Balkans, specifically. Perhaps hoping for a trip as far from his constituency as possible, Mangnall has been at pains to highlight the issues around the Balkans, taking on the mantle of South Devon’s ‘Foreign Secretary’.
(‘Don’t look here- look over there!’) Mangnall posted on Facebook: 10 November:
Bosnia and Herzegovina currently faces the greatest existential threat of the post-war period, and the prospects for further division and conflict are very real. I asked James Cleverly MP to confirm that the UK will act to support Operation Althea in the region, and will not accept any attempts to redraw the borders in the Balkans.
Of course, the Balkans are and always have been a real flashpoint. The situation is dangerous. But in fact, many of the issues we currently face in the many flashpoints across the world are partly of our government’s 11 years of choosing. Under this government we’ve lost much of our ‘skin in the game’ through slashing foreign aid budgets and poor quality, chaotic diplomacy. Under the leadership of Mangnall’s privileged buddies, Britain has become the after-dinner scrabble player no-one wants to play with: a player who just shouts out incoherent words in an attempt to win the game through noise and bluster alone.
The Great Game was once a game of diplomatic chess. The Great Game of today is corrupt Monopoly. Russian money and oligarchs have successfully polluted the political system thanks to the Conservative party’s propensity for rewarding dubious donations with peerages and other access to government.
Pollution and corruption really are the two great themes that continue to rumble on, unchallenged and unchecked by our MPs.
On his Facebook, we are also treated to a video of Magnall blowing hard about the
“Greatest existential threat of the post war period…. ignoring and downplaying this state of affairs could have a perilous impact for this region and beyond”.
On viewing this, Babe’s little piggy ears pricked up excitedly.
Was Mangnall at long last talking about the climate and nature emergency: the greatest existential threat that faces the world?
No! Again he’s waving desperately ‘over here!’ to Bosnia and Herzegovina. A threat, yes, but with his face pressed so closely against the elephant’s bottom, squeezed together cheek to cheek in the room, who can blame myopic Mangnall for failing to spot the existential environmental crisis? It’s hardly been in the headlines recently.
It’s a poor show from Mangnall to focus on issues as useful ‘distraction’ from his own failings as an MP. But perhaps, like the Foreign Secretary of recent memory, for Mangnall, too ‘the sea will be closed’, but this time due to the continued outpouring of sewage his voting record has allowed.
Constituents won’t let him forget it either. As if filling up space, Mangnall still insists on posting a weekly ‘resume’ of his achievements every week. It makes for disappointing reading.
On Mangnall’s Facebook Page: 6 November a constituent raged:
So, after the Grand Old Duke of York dumped you in a literal river of sewage, he dumped you in a corruption scandal this time – and you voted for both! Oh – and is something or other happening in Glasgow this week? No – nothing important enough for a mention by you, anyway.
Net zero integrity – target reached already! Setting world-leading example to politicians everywhere!
So these are your highlights of the week? Let us know what the low lights or regrets were.
Anything spring to mind?
To this, Mangnall responded with… nothing.
After an enormous public backwash, the Tories have recently managed to engineer some revisionist amendments to the Environment Bill, which still lacks teeth and legislation. We’ve ended up with a Bill that’s weakly-written, full of weasel words and fluff, and designed to continue to allow water companies to pour sewage unabated into our rivers and waters. This follows a marvellous pattern, writ large most recently by the abject failure of COP26, which in turn allowed weasel words and fluff to dilute the prospect of ‘Keeping 1.5 alive’ and yet again encouraged well-funded lobbyists to influence policymakers and dodge coughing up the $100 billion promised to developing countries a decade ago for mitigation of climate change.
It’s a disgrace.
So what does Mangnall have to say on this?
On 4 November, whilst the world’s eyes are on COP26, the Paterson scandal and reverberations around the environment bill debacle, Mangnall posts about this pressing issue:
Great to sit down recently with Minister for Tourism Nigel Huddleston MP to discuss challenges facing the hospitality industry as well as suggestions for how the sector can develop and expand.
‘Sit down’?? I bet it is indeed great to sit down and have another meeting, Mr Mangnall, but what about all the other stinking issues going on around you?
Again, with the regularity of a water company releasing turds into Mangnall’s stream, constituents refused to back down:
Anthony, your voting record is at odds with your rhetoric. To vote re Paterson to dismantle the oversight rather than suspend the perpetrator attaches you to the charge of enabling sleaze.
Your vote re Environment Bill to allow sewage to be discharged in waterways attaches you to the charge of hypocrisy and undermines your claim to be a committed environmentalist.
Your continuing refusal to support the CEE Bill despite the overwhelming support from your constituents attaches the charge of contempt for democracy.
Your refusal to mention the environmental impact of beam trawlers on your promo trip suggests you are perfectly prepared to overlook the unsustainable and unsupportable in order to make powerful allies to help keep you in power.
And in response to a puff-post to promote UK Parliament Week a constituent raged:
Is this an April fool’s post? an annual event that encourages people to engage with politics. so you wish to teach kids how to get away with blatant corruption and how to line your own pocket at the expense of the country, or how about how to make a fortune doing very little, or how to show contempt to your constituents? so many of life’s necessitating criminal lessons our young can learn from politics.
Babe has noted that Mangnall now seems to be using Facebook increasingly as his ‘wasp cake’. The real ’action’ is moving to Twitter. Mangnall’s Tweets are now where he seems to hope the real pseudo-serious Pig Swill will be more palatable.
And incredibly, on Twitter Mangnall now actually defines himself by the articles he’s ‘writing’ rather than the constituents he’s ‘representing’, tweeting on the 2 November –
“But the great news is I can write articles for South Hams.”
Babe believes this is a worrying development, a delusion that somehow he really does believe his occupation is ‘journalist’. Sadly for his constituents, he is not, and still remains their MP.
Mangnall has on Twitter focused his privileged media exposure on tweeting some platitudes on violence against women- a brave choice for a conservative politician, in an era in which accusations are now being made against Stanley Johnson for inappropriate behaviour. One Twitter follower – ‘Concerned Conservative’ – has pointed out that the slashing of the Foreign Aid budget was a powerful move by the current government in enabling increased levels of violence to women all across the world, another ‘win’ for Global Britain.
And then launches into plugging an article he’s written for @timesredbox on this subject, yet again proving his preference for self-publicity over engagement with his actual constituents.
Babe never tires of highlighting Mangnall’s inability to grasp the irony of his self-delusion on almost every topic he attempts to champion. Already he has forgotten our chaotic rush out of Afghanistan that has catastrophically set back women’s rights by decades, and instead advanced the progress of vicious sexual violence.
It’s the peculiarly privileged position of the public school educated to deliver these kinds of exhortations that litter his social media feeds- of the “we must do something” variety, the blowhard playbook that most of Mangnall’s party seem to have swallowed and which he revels in on social media.
Because of course, like the privileged upper-class generals of the First World War, Mangnall loves to lead from the rear, waving his sword of righteous indignation, whilst his confused messaging, blustering misinformation and lack of understanding of the real world situation and his elite’s part in it, sends endless armies of good intention to waste.
What we are left with these past few weeks is an image of a man diminished by his own party, living determinedly in his own little bubble, seemingly unaware of the fact a global summit in climate has been and gone, leaving a trail of broken promises and a future consigned to 2.4 degrees warming- a failed summit on its own metrics of ‘keeping 1.5 alive’.
Babe detects real anger brewing amongst constituents. The question is less will Mangnall engage and more- does Mangnall even have the capacity to engage?
Are we simply watching a man marking time, ambling slowly to the door marked ‘Exit’?
Is that the smell of bacon frying?