Impromptu demonstration in Broadstairs against suspension of Parliament

The demo in Broadstairs

A crowd staged an impromptu demonstration in Broadstairs last night (August 30) against the proroguing of Parliament.

The demonstration took place outside the Broadstairs office of South Thanet Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay with protestors shouting: “Stop the coup!”, “General Election now!” and “Democracy matters!”

They were addressed by a number of speakers including Norman Thomas, chair of South Thanet Labour Party.

Norman said: “By attempting to suspend parliament Boris Johnson is trying to do nothing less than subvert democracy. He and Jacob Rees Mogg and Michael Gove can dress it up however they like, but that’s what Boris Johnson is trying to do.

“We want Craig Mackinlay to go to his friend Boris and say don’t prorogue parliament, don’t duck democracy, give us what we really need — a general election.”

Graham Bash of Broadstairs said “There’s about a hundred people here, and probably a hundred different views on Brexit, but the one thing that unites us is our intention to defend our democratic rights”.

Labour Party Policy Officer for South Thanet Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt echoed this, saying “We’re here because we believe in democracy. I don’t want the people of Thanet to think that we’re trying to block Brexit. Thanet voted resoundingly to leave the European Union, and the Labour Party have always respected the result of the referendum… We want to help restore sovereignty to parliament; suspending parliament is the exact opposite of that. Boris Johnson, who claims to want to restore democracy to parliament is actually taking the power away from the people.”

Carly Jeffrey from Ramsgate added “It’s not so much about Brexit, it’s about impending dictatorship. We’re worried about what could happen next if this is allowed to stand.”

County councillor Karen Constantine said: “I will be asking Conservative Leader Paul Carter tough questions on the prorogation of Parliament. This is an act of historical significance, politicians from all parties cannot and should not sit on the sidelines while our democracy is under attack.

“Following the release of a short video I have been contacted by hundreds of Ramsgate residents with their views and concerns.  At the next full council at KCC I shall be putting the following question to the the leader Paul Carter,

“Shutting down Parliament is an undemocratic outrage at such a critical time for our country. This attempt to prevent Parliament sitting and thrashing out a Brexit deal will have a devastating negative impact on South Thanet. Including a devaluing currency, food, medical shortages and gridlock.

“Will the leader Paul Carter write to PM Boris Johnson to express all his residents concerns in the interests of democracy?”

What does prorogation mean?

Prorogation marks the end of a parliamentary session. It is the formal name given to the period between the end of a session of Parliament and the State Opening of Parliament that begins the next session. The parliamentary session may also be prorogued before Parliament is dissolved.

PM  Boris Johnson has made the decision to prorogue parliament ahead of EU exit day on  October 31. He wants to suspend Parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queen’s Speech on October 14.

The suspension is normal practice for a new prime minister so that government can set out a new legislative agenda but five weeks is much longer than previous breaks of three to seven days.


  1. Did these same people complain and demonstrate when Sir John Major progogued Parliament over the cash for questions scandal where Parliament was suspended for longer than the 5 weeks that BoJo is requesting. ?

  2. Lovely to see you all in one place.
    If that’s the strength of the local Labour Party God help us.
    Could make some people nostalgic for the Socialist Worker’s Party.

    • This wasn’t a Labour event, although the Labour Party did support it enthisiastically. This was organised at very late notice, so ia actually a surprisingly big turnout. We didn’t expect that many, in fact. There were no leaflets, no posters, just a Facebook event posted at about 9pm the night before.

  3. Normally Parliament goes into recess during conference season however the normal work of Parliament continues during the conferences.
    What Dominic Cummings is doing with his BoJo puppet is unprecedented in modern politics and in Parliamentary terms is extremely useful.
    Dragging the Queen into it is rather silly however but then Cummings doesn’t give a toss one way or the other

    • Suspending parliament for over a month is an abuse of power, it normally only happens for a few days. The thing is that the Conservatives are in a real bind as they have no real majority. That is because the country has not given them one – ie the people were not prepared to vote for them in numbers that allow them to govern without compromise. This act of prorogation is simply an avoidance of opinions that Boris doesn’t want to deal with and an act of vote-dodging. He can’t win the game, so he stops it. It’s highly undemocratic, and it semms that people from all political leanings recognise it for what it is – crushing dissent, denying the voices of the country as a whole, undemocratic, and a big step towards dictatorship.

  4. Democracy, do not make me laugh, What have the conservatives done the last three years ? sat on their hands ! ! Give Boris a chance, at least thinks positively, and is trying to get us out of this dreadful mess, so help him all we can.

  5. Longest session of parliament since the Civil War, opposition calling for Queen’s speech and when there is a suspension as there normally is in September and October, you all protest about suspending democracy. What about the democratic result of the referendum?
    The talking has been going on for three years, everything has been said, everyone wants to move on. The country is in a damaging limbo.

    • There was no democratic result on the Referendum! The turnout was 72%, and the Leavers gained 52%. What is 52% of 72%? Its 37.44%! That means less than 38% of the electorate are being allowed to create political, and economic chaos throughout the UK, Duuurh! So get this right, it means just over 62% of the electorate did NOT vote to leave the EU, which is hardly a democratic reason to do so! Johnson is unelected by the people of Britain! Only a small majority of the Tory party members elected him to be leader, and as a result Prime Minister, with a majority of just one MP, even taking into account the Northern Irish DUP members, again Duurh!

      It looks more and more like a Johnson led dictatorship is on the cards! He has no real majority, or democratic mandate to lead this country, and if Parliamentarians do not seize back control, then we will be ruled by dictate by Johnson, a man with no moral rectitude, a proven liar, and who has always managed to gain high office by winging it! He won’t even say how many kids he has when asked! Its too late for me, I am in my eighth decade, but you young ones MUST get out their and protest about the undemocratic system that has allowed this to happen, and change it!

  6. I really can not understand the problem. In 2016 we voted to come out of the EU. maybe by a small amount, but out was the winner. We have tried to get a deal with Europe. This deal was voted out by the MPs. several times. Europe has given us the date to leave 31st October. They have said it is the only deal on the table. So the only possible thing to do if Europe will not give us a different deal is to leave without one. There really is no other option.
    The MPs. have three years to sort it out. So what is the point of them sitting for a few more weeks just to cock it up again. We voted out on the Thursday in 2016 David Cameron should have started article 50 on the Monday. Instead of running away.

    • Exactly.
      I am fed up with hearing the views of remainers for 3 years.
      It is time to leave, however it is done.
      Leave won in a binary vote, we mus leave and Parliament must respect that decision by the voters regardless of their own individual belief in the matter.

    • The problem is Tony, no one knew what they were voting for in the Referendum! If you thought you did know what the Terms & Conditions were to leave, why didn’t you tell Teresa May, the Government, and the rest of us? It has taken over three years to work out what the T & C’s are, and they still haven’t agreed them! So people who voted to leave, didn’t know what they were voting for, simples! Its now time to reassert parliamentary control over the government, and oust an unelected would be dictator, Johnson! We should not leave the EU without knowing what the T & C’s are, and they still haven’t been agreed, so we should have another Referendum to decide if we should leave without any deal. If we do leave without a deal it will lead to more political, and economic chaos and you had better start getting used to living on a bowl of rice a day, because it will be a race to the bottom! Without tariffs in place, all the major economic bloc’s like China, India, and the USA will start dumping cheap exports on us, putting our manufacturers out of business because they won’t be able to compete, so good by jobs!

  7. Democracy?
    So 17.4 million people isn’t considered a democratic vote. People like this make me laugh.
    Get a life. Get on with what happens in a democratic vote as we have all done up to know.
    Oh no. Not if it doesn’t suit some of you…….

    • The only problem with “out means out” is that anyone with a bit of common sense knows that leaving Europe will be bad for the UK, leaving with no deal will be a catastrophe. There is a long list of significant people and organisations with this view. Amongst them many MPs of every shade. That’s why we’re still In , and not Out.
      The handful of people driving Brexit are the strange ERG lead by Rees-Mogg and the even stranger Nigel Farage.
      The claims for Brexit ( putting aside nonsense such as “Our Sovereignty “, blue passports and taking control of our borders) all involve economic advantages in trading with the rest of the world.
      Despite Favif Davies’ assertion that trade deals would be straight forward after 3 years we’ve got a couple of dozen, including South Korea, Iceland and the Pacific Islands.
      USA? Not yet. But according to Mr (America first) Trump, there will be a very, very good deal very very soon after Brexit. Good for whom?

      • How do you ‘know’leaving the EU will be bad for Britain? Or that no deal will be ‘çatastrophic’ – do you have a crystal ball that lets you see the future? More scaremongering by the REAL antidemocrats,those who won’t accept the referendum result…

        • I don’t “know”, other than what the Treasury, the Govenor of the Bank of England, the CBI, the TUC etc etc say. I know nothing beyond watching Barclays move £B business from the UK to the Republic of Ireland; car plants closing down in Sunderland and relocating to Europe. £M’s being spent on resources at Dover. £M’s more being spent by the government in an advertising campaign explaining what to do on 1st Nov (now that is scary!)
          Did I mention MP’s reluctanceto whole-heartedly embrace a hard Brexit?
          Other than that, Dr Jones, I know nothing

        • Tell that to the million or more people already living, and working in EU countries, who have only now just begun to realise they won’t be getting any free health care if we come out of the EU without any deal! Pensioners living there are bricking it because they won’t be able to afford private health insurance, if they have pre-existing medical conditions, and many I know are trying to sell up and come back! Ironic really as many of them were conned into voting leave! Then there is the issue of Ireland, which could mean a restart of all the bombing, and shooting again, is that any reason to leave the EU without a Deal? And then there are all our exports being stuck at border controls. I was married to a German, and when we visited my wife’s family, several times a year, before the borders came down, we had to queue at the borders of France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, and repeat it again on the way home. That was because there was no freedom of movement like there is now. I once cadged a lift back to the UK off a German truck driver, and we sat at Ostend for 17 hours waiting for Customs clearance, this could all happen again without a deal, Duuurh!

          Then there is multibillion pound services that will get stuck especially banking, and medical supplies, plus how many people know their UK Driving license won’t be valid without a deal? It gets worse, because the same applies to aircraft/ cargo flights, as new permits will need to be installed, I could go on, but I am tired now so make your own list, and all of this will be due to the numpties who voted to keep foreigners out of the UK! Well done all of you, and I hope your leader Nigel Farage gets into parliament and sorts out all the problems with Education, the Health Service, the prison service, the police, the armed services being seriously under strength, the police ditto, the railways, and a any amount of serious problems this country has got itself into in the last ten years with the run down of public sevices! Oh! sorry of course he can’t do that can he, because the Brexit party doesn’t have any policies, other than to leave the EU, Duurh again!

      • The said not joining the Euro wouĺd be “catastrophe”. Lucky we didnt. Come on guys stop worrying about your holiday homes and think about it properly.

  8. Those people make me laugh. They should join the rest of the “elite” on traitors row. Couldn’t attend to show my support for Boris and the suspension of parliament and his government respecting democracy, because some of us actually have full time jobs.

  9. Hardly looks like a serious demonstration or a crowd, more like a bunch of bored pensioners who could perhaps be making better use of their time!

  10. My understanding was that many people wanted to leave the EU because of issues around sovereignty and the feeling that there was a lack of democracy in the union which impacted on the U.K.. Interestingly these same people seem quite happy to ignore these same precepts and prorogue Parliament something Johnson and every major minister in this administration said they would not do………oh but that was only a month or so ago..

  11. Parliament is closed down every year (except last year) prior to the queens speech. Normal action, nothing sinister.

  12. Some people just follow the crowd! ! Most probably do not even understand what is going on more power to your elbow Boris

  13. As a former Thanet – both Margate and Ramsgate – Labour Party member and expelled in 1991 from the South Thanet CLP it is very heartening to see the protest outside the Conservative MP’s office by the Labour Party. Now I live in Scotland, and have for the past 9 years, and during the EU referendum I campaign on a socialist Leave and voted to Leave on the day of the referendum; I also may add that I campaigned in the Scottish Referendum for an independent socialist Scotland and Yes vote and against both the SNP version of independence and the Scottish Labour’s Better Together campaign with the Tories and Lib Dems.

    Nevertheless, is it really about ‘democracy’ – which is in reality quite an ambiguous word depending on who is using it? The Prorogation was just a legal parliamentary manoeuvre to stop the pro-Remain Tories, Liberal Democrats and pro-capitalist Labour MPs who are desperate to defeat the prime minister, but at the same time even more desperate to prevent the leader of the opposition – Jeremy Corbyn – coming to power.

    It was in order to achieve these twin goals – stop Johnson and stop Corbyn – the representatives of opposition parties attended a meeting called by Jeremy Corbyn and argued to try every parliamentary manoeuvre possible – except the only one that could clearly succeed which had been proposed by Corbyn: a successful vote of no confidence in Johnson, then a short term minority Labour government extending Article 50 and calling a general election. Liberal Democrats leader, Swinson, was prepared to be part of a vicious pro-austerity government with the Tories for five years, but won’t support a Corbyn government for five weeks! Were there any Lib Dems on this demo at the MP’s office?

    The gap between rich and poor in Britain has reached astronomical levels. The wealth of the richest 1,000 people increased by £47.8 billion last year alone, while wage restraint and poverty continued for the majority. Tories, Lib Dems who joined a Tory government, the Tony Blair-supporting ‘Labour’ MPs who privatised our services, went to war and introduced tuition fees in England – these MPs will never act in the ‘democratic’ interests of the working class majority but will continue to defend the ‘ democratic’ interests of the billionaires, millionaires and their hangers-on.

    The reality is the Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party and the trade union leaders need to state that clearly, and launch a mass working class campaign for a general election to kick them all out! Such a campaign could shatter the parliamentary manoeuvres of all stripes of capitalist politician and transform the political situation. Labour could win by a landslide, provided that it adopted a fighting socialist programme. The 2017 manifesto could be a starting point but the manifesto should also include, for example, reversing all cuts to council services, scrapping universal credit, and a pledge to nationalise Honda Swindon, Ford Bridgend and British Steel under democratic working class control, along with any other companies who carry out closures and job cuts in the name of Brexit or otherwise. A pledge to renegotiate Brexit in the interests of the working class – refusing to accept the EU’s pro-privatisation, pro-austerity laws – would form an important part of such an approach. This should be combined with nationalisation of the major corporations and banks to really take the levers of power out of the hands of the capitalist saboteurs that would otherwise do all in their power to prevent the implementation of pro-working class policies.

    After reading this it reads like one of my letters I used to send to the ‘Thanet Gazette’ in the 1980s and 90s. hahahahaha

  14. Are there any good practical reasons why people want to leave the EU and make themselves dependent on countries such as America and Saudi Arabia, rather than working together with the other EU countries? What do they think is so bad about being part of the EU?

  15. Once again, many people choose to ignore the actual result of the referendum.
    Over three years ago, 37% of the eligible voters chose “Leave”, 35% chose “Remain” and 28% did not vote. That is hardly a resounding victory for anything. No wonder the MPs are thrashing around trying to find a version of something that will please as many as possible. But, in vain. Because there wasn’t a majority of the population for anything!
    Put another way, if we were in a room of ten “typical” British people (I know, I know, there’s no such thing!), only three or four would have voted to Leave. How could we insist that their view should prevail?
    Predictions are difficult but I will make two :—-
    1)if the UK “leaves” the EU on October 31st, far from it being “all over” it will be a “Starter for ten” for years of wrangling over trade deals and customs arrangements. We’ve seen nothing yet!

    2)if the UK is to stay outside the EU, the 37% who voted to Leave will have to keep grimly voting Tory till their dying days because , if they die too soon, or they relax just once, there will be a Labour or Labour/Lib Dem coalition government coming to power with the clear possibility that rejoining a reformed EU will be high on the agenda!
    I, for one, will be campaigning to rejoin the EU and I intend to live long enough to see it happen.

    • Is there really any need to be so very rude to people? Above, I said “Don’t be silly” to someone because his or her posting just was silly, but “Loser Clowns” and the 1.18 a.m posting by one of our local Andrews are unnecessarily insulting. Why don’t you just put forward your case for leaving the EU?

      • They can’t, because there aren’t any (other than regaining our Sovereignty and getting blue passports). If there was any sort of argument in favour we would have heard it 3 years ago.
        P.S. I’m the other Andrew

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