Opinion: Craig Mackinlay MP – The election is over and there is work to be done

At the General Election count

I’d first like to thank the voters of South Thanet for my re-election as their Member of Parliament. The national tide was clearly with the Conservatives mainly because of our unambiguous message on Brexit and the clear unpopularity, verging towards fear expressed by many, of any potential Jeremy Corbyn led government.

The South Thanet result saw a swing of more than 5% to me, and a majority of 10,587 and 22%, the type of results not seen since the days of landslide majorities enjoyed by Margaret Thatcher at her peak. We’ve long got used to elections being in the spring or summer; this was the first December general election since 1923. Whereas candidates and their team can usually be spotted for their sun-tanned face and hands, this time it was chapped lips, ruddied faces and sniffles.

The first few days back in Parliament shows it to be a very different place. Lots of new colleagues in good spirits looking forward to the work ahead as we convert, collectively, manifesto commitments into reality. These must include the obvious of getting Brexit done and moving rapidly to new negotiations with the EU on the shape of a new mutually beneficial free trade agreement, but also domestically on delivering an improved NHS which can match the demands of our ageing population and rapid advances, at huge cost, in available medical procedures and pharmaceutical wonder drugs, none of which could have been dreamed of just a generation ago.

We need to have a serious, and I hope cross-party, debate on how the NHS and long term social care can be paid for and what it can best be, and whether just more of the same, simply adding money to the pot is really the best way forwards. I look forward to seeing more police available to us all as the recruitment process gathers pace in Kent and I hope to be part of the process in Budget setting and tax policy. Simpler, flatter and lower are my watchwords.

We have an opportunity with such a healthy majority of resetting the UK to match the new and evolving global marketplace. To me that also means less intrusive government, less bureaucracy, less red tape across many aspects of our lives, leaving us free to make more of our own decisions and choices.

Much to do locally. As the economy grows further, and I believe there will be a major short term boost we will see the fruits of that here feeding into public and private regeneration, more jobs and improving wages. We need a visionary plan for Ramsgate Port away from the sloth hand of local government. Debate will move rapidly in January towards the Manston site as we await the decision by the Secretary of State on its future.

In the meantime I wish all readers a very happy, restful Christmas and a happy New Year.


  1. “Simpler, flatter and lower”? Rather ambiguous adjectives under the circunstances. Especially “flatter”.

  2. Never forget Mr McKinley you are very lucky to be an MP, just as Boris Johnson is lucky to be prime minister.
    Boris was the best of a bad bunch of three with the added help of Brexit. I really hope Boris does not get too big for his boots and leads the UK to prosperity. However if the wheels fall off the bus his landslide will become a nightmare for the Conservatives as well as the rest of us. Boris does not want to run before he can walk. The pound has already dropped back as it were before the election, due to the city getting nervous about the end of 2020. Also one doesn’t need a degree in economics to know if things go pear shape it will hurt the UK far more than he EU.

  3. “I look forward to seeing more police available to us all as the recruitment process gathers pace in Kent”
    If the Tories hadn’t got rid of 22,000 police then we wouldn’t need to look forward. Even so, the Tories are only planning to recruit 20,000, so the UK will still be 2000 short of what we had 10 years ago.
    Did I miss the bit where Mr Mackinlay explaind how he would address homelessness and food bank use in Thanet?

    • No you didn’t miss that bit! Nothing has been said on how he is going to help the poor and vulnerable to improve their lives in one of the worst grott spots in the UK. No visits to Foodbanks, no visits to the Open Christmas event in Cliftonville and no visits to those less fortunate than himself. He must have been thinking more about his Christmas dinner event to worry about the homeless. It is only with luck that Labour had the worst leftie leader in history that gave Mackinlay those extra votes he brags about. How the people of South and North Thanet (Gales territory) voted for the Tories on the brexit issue shows us just how important it is that people do want to be rid of the EU governing us despite the campaign of lies and scaremongering spread by those remainer protestors and helped by the biased national media. Only trouble with this is we are not done with the EU telling us what to do and never will be, even after the brexit! Unless a no deal decision is made we are stuck forever. There would have been much more leverage against those European leaders in Brussels if we started from scratch making deals.

  4. I think the issue of homelessness is to be solved by building more houses. It’s strange how so many of those who are incensed by homelessness are actively campaigning against housing developments. As for food banks, now that the wrinkles have been ironed out, universal credit will start delivering a more streamlined and fairer benefits system. It’s true that you won’t be well-off on benefits but, with unemployment being the lowest it’s been for more than 40 years, there is more opportunity than there has been in the past. What I would like to see is more educational and training opportunities for adults. Many people didn’t do well at school. Now that they’ve had a few years shovelling burgers they realise that they need to acquire qualifications and skills to earn more money. I think they should have the opportunity to do that.

    • The thin bit of your argument about food bank use is that it’s not just those dependent on the not fit for purpose Universal Credit system that use it. Far to many waged people (including nurses) are obliged to throw themselves on charity in order to feed their children.
      The Tory government’s 10 years of austerity has affected us all: the rich have got richer, and the poor poorer.

  5. “ There are more than 185,000 registered charities in England and Wales. The number is rising by 5,000 a year. As you read this, another charity will be created somewhere in the country. The charity commission lists 620 cancer charities alone and more than 200 charities working with homeless people just in London.”

    The above was quoted in the year 2000. I think charities can do more harm than good , in so much as all the time they are there to prop-up those in need the government are happy to turn a blind eye to the problem instead of taking responsibility for what is happening in every day life. Many women are reported to have been drawn into prostitution they would rather do that than be seen in a queue at a food bank or be made homeless by not being able to meet their commitments. There are far too many charities leeching off kind people on the pretence that their donations are going to solve this problem or that problem when in truth it is by their [charities] very existence that makes matters worse year after year. Let those who have been elected to govern take responsibility for policies like universal credit hardship underfunding social services underfunding schools underfunding of the NHS underfunding children services and allowing private landlords to charge high rents. We don’t want Charities we want solutions to the problems in society not a bunch of do-gooders trying to prop things up by camouflaging the real issues and the real truth. Whilst the government play chicken as to what radio or TV station they choose to go on in fear of what questions they may be asked.

    • Charities such ad Dr Barnardo’s and the Salvation Army were formed in response to the appalling situation experienced by poor folk living in the East End of London; deprivation and hardship caused because there was no government response to the situation.
      We’re just about back to square one. This government’s policies have seen dreadful poverty imposed on many many households (the Tories own stats say that 25% of children are brought up in poverty). That is a fact. Children are either cold or hungry, because parents can’t afford to warm the home or buy food.
      What are you suggesting? That if charities stood doing their vital work, and the bodies of starving frozen children start to mount up in the gutters, then the government might do something?
      Putting aside that rather over-dramatic image, there will always be a place for charities and the work they do. Work supporting sport and recreation; community choirs; friends of the local hospital for example. And indirectly the government, through gift aid tax refunds, is providing these facilities.

  6. It’s the existence of charities that makes matters worse? Are you serious? “A bunch of do-gooders trying to prop things up”? I can’t believe that you actually think that.

  7. That’s because Marva you don’t want to recognise the truth. If a government causes hardship by introducing policies that keep claimants waiting six weeks for example with food rent or money to live on the government should be held accountable and made to compensate those who have suffered the injustice. Not leave the mess they ( government) created to others. Charities prolong problems for their own ends many with billions of pounds in the bank yet with all their money the problems are still there. A problem needs a solution not swept under carpet.

    • I do want to recognize the truth. What a rude,insulting person you are! You are using the word “do-gooder” as an insult, aren’t you?

      The truth is that when people are in dire straits there’s no point waiting for the government to get round to improving things for them. We have just seen that most of the electorate has voted for the very government whose policies have exacerbated the current situation. Must we then assume that most people in Britain aren’t bothered by the hardships that so many people are currently struggling with?

  8. Craig must be allowed his day in the sun,it may not last long.I am deeply sceptical that this govt can achieve any of the promised benefits it has trumpeted (did I say benefits?), so loudly.They have a mandate and now they must be given a fair wind to implement it.
    The problems are building up fast and there will be no dodging the bullets this time.The opposition is negligible, so there are no excuses.If they crash and burn, what happened to Labour will seem a positive let off.In truth what happened last thursday was nemesis delayed for a leader ill suited to leadership.It was only Mrs May’s dreadful campaign that flattered Jeremy Corbyn to deceive. Not everything labour offered was unviable, but the lack of direction was evident.
    Craig must now deliver something, anything, for the constituency he purports to represent.He will have 4/5 years to show he can think outside of the Broadstairs/Sandwich bubble.

  9. If somebody wants to plant 1000 trees or 10,000 trees and they want to set up a charity good luck to them RNLI is a good charity many good set up by people with good intentions but when one sees documentary after documentary on television of the real suffering a lot people are having to endure as a result of the Conservative government then you compare that with the majority that Boris Johnson has just got of course most people couldn’t care less about others just as long as they’re alright Jack it’s been going on since the Thatcher government I’m alright Jack was her signature tune care in the community no one in the community cares about anyone else they might do immediate family and friends but Not about people with mental illness or other problems very naive to think they do care. Conservative governments are happy all the time someone else is taking on the responsibilities for the problems in society and all the time charities are paying the bills that the government should be paying the government can use the money that they save to reduce the tax for their rich friends. When one drives along the road and sees a sign that says Road liable to flooding I think why is it liable to flooding why can’t it be fixed so it’s not liable to flooding the same applies to problems in society why should there be very poor kids in poverty families in poverty why? if the charities do so good why is there still so many in poverty.

    • It’s the fact that the charities do so much good that means that people living under the grinding poverty imposed by this government have a little respite.

  10. It is clear that many people do care about people who are not relatives or friends. It is simply not true that “no one in the community cares about anyone else”.

  11. What a true representation of the people of Thanet NOT! Nice to see the failed leader Bob Bayford looking his usual casual (scruffy) self. They look as if they can’t believe their luck, which of course is the case. Even this lot can’t believe that in an area where we have the highest level of child poverty, schools losing teachers, deprivation no one in London would believe yet they are voted in by the Brexit lies. Let’s make sure we hold the tories to their manifesto. See how long it is until they tell us they have had to make difficult decisions, you know, cut public services while handing out tax breaks to their wealthy friends in the city. God help us.

  12. I started the summer kitchen project with others to help children who needed food during the summer holidays, i am also a politician’ trying to introduce policies to eradicate poverty which would mean there would be no need for the project. I believe there should be a society where there should be no need for charities but in the meantime i will continue helping the people of thanet to survive the present situation

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