On Thursday 18 November, our MP Anthony Mangnall chose to appear on Nigel Farage’s live TV show. Like most people, Mr Mangnall knows who Farage is, knows his agenda and his politics, but decided that this was the kind of show he should be on and dignify as our constituency MP.
The result was singularly unedifying and raises huge concerns that constituents across Totnes and South Devon are horrified at.
In the course of this show Anthony Mangnall managed to participate in what look to be a series of unpleasant, divisive and offensive exchanges during which he failed to challenge racism and clearly unsubstantiated allegations, mock a female colleague and disparage his constituents in one sitting, which was quite a feat.
In this clip you can see Nigel Farage mock Sarah Wollaston for having the good sense and integrity not to turn up to Farage’s hate-vehicle of a TV show whilst Mr Mangnall shares in the laughter. [Dr Wollaston continues to serve the community having returned to her original job as a GP. Ed]
There’s even a sense of veiled threat around Sarah Wollaston ‘not being welcome’ that leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth. The whole sequence has a ‘boys’ club’ discriminatory tang that does not reflect well either on the Conservative Club in which it was held, the decision makers who allowed this to happen, or indeed Mr Mangnall in participating. Poor judgement all round.
In this next clip you can see Mr Mangnall and Nigel Farage chuckling in mirth as they mock Totnes constituents- who are clearly considered ‘too green’ to bother with. It looks like a cosy dog whistle to the audience led by two men who are writing off an entire community, for which one of them is bound by the Code of Conduct for MPs:
Duties of Members:
5. Members have a duty to uphold the law, including the general law against discrimination.
6. Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their constituents.
7. Members should act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them.
And here’s a fuller length clip of Farage’s disgraceful and unsubstantiated and reprehensible mud-slinging at Azeem Rafiq, with a silent Constituency MP who could have challenged this outright there and then, instead of doing nothing and then promoting the programme as a ‘constituency highlight’ (let alone agreeing to join the show in the first place), effectively condoning the content.
Is this really what it’s come to? Cheap TV and laughing and disparaging others? Mr Mangnall has recently made many statements about the damage done to political discourse on social media. He needs to watch these clips and make a statement on how he feels his behaviour has improved this discourse in terms of judgement as well as of deed.