Opinion with Craig Mackinlay MP:Lockdown 2, child hunger and the US election

Craig Mackinlay

A significant indicator that life is far from normal was evidenced this weekend with the limited Remembrance Sunday gatherings. I attended the Ramsgate service at St George’s Church and then laid wreaths at Broadstairs and Sandwich. We are fighting our own war this year, with significant losses, against an enemy that we cannot obviously see, but we continue to remember the sacrifices made by our brave armed services across the many conflicts that enabled liberty, freedom and democracy to return and flourish. Lest we forget.

We re-enter a semi-lockdown once more. I raised my concerns forcefully on the floor of the Commons last week. I have doubts about the quality and accuracy of forecasts; what will ‘good enough’ look like in terms of infection rate and hospitalisations by 2nd December to enable an easing for the festive month, and the obvious anomalies across Church services (banned) while big retailers operate as normal.

The ‘Wilkinsons’ Conundrum’ looms large whereby such large stores selling essential and non-essential goods can sell the brushes, pots and pans but the independent store next door, despite investing in Covid secure measures and in any event, at the best of times, having low footfall but just selling the brushes, pots and pans is forced to close. Across a number of reasons, not least issues of freedom and the lack of data on other health effects and the economy I voted against the government.

I have no doubt about the rise in hospitalisations and the pressure upon the NHS and staff this brings but there is a broader mix to consider. From local reports that I am getting, and first-hand narrative from my brother-in-law who is an A&E Consultant, I am sorry to say that limited face-to-face consultations by some GPs is not assisting what should be a team effort with patients understandably choosing A&E for support out of desperation. This adds to the perception by hospital administrators that services are overwhelmed and feeds in to the Department for Health as it recommends costly lock-downs.

Child hunger during this pandemic is, rightly, a topical theme. I won’t rehearse why I voted against Labour’s purely political and opportunistic opposition day debate motion, save to say that this is the nature of the, at times, specious gameplaying at Parliament. I have long had my doubts about a blank ‘voucher’ system based simply on a historic benefits status – it is too much of a blunderbuss approach.

I am therefore pleased that the government is implementing a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme on top of previous grants providing funding to local councils, and most importantly those local groups providing holiday activities and food clubs which are well placed to deliver real support to families that they know. This is a game-changing move that I welcome.

Despite an extension to the full furlough scheme, the numbers of unemployed in East Kent are rising and many will, perhaps for the first time in their lives, need to access the benefits system. There are a huge number of support schemes and training opportunities being made available and my office, working with the local Jobcentre Plus, with whom I am in regular contact, can help signpost you towards the help and opportunities that are out there.

Finally the US Presidential elections. If you ever thought that our system had its issues it now looks positively golden. Differing approaches and voting rules across each State, law suits and rowdiness. I was never a cheerleader for President Trump but as the right of centre choice I’d have voted for the slate of Republican candidates last week.

The tide turns back to the Democrats for the Presidency and for the Republicans in the Senate, which is never a good start for decisive government but that’s the mad system that the founding fathers of the US Constitution constructed. I wish President Elect Joe Biden well – I hope to meet with him during his term of office. There is much that unites the UK and the US, I’m sure that will continue.


  1. CMK 2020-Despite an extension to the full furlough scheme, the numbers of unemployed in East Kent are rising and many will, perhaps for the first time in their lives, need to access the benefits system.

    His voting record-Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
    Show votes
    0 votes for, 8 votes against, between 2015–2016

    Consistently voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
    Show votes
    23 votes for, 0 votes against, between 2015–2016

    CMK 2020- I wanted the children to starve.

    CMK 2020-If I were American I would have voted Republican last week.

    Vote this clown out next year.

    • Your right John, Trump is the greatest fraud/con man that ever managed to get elected in the US, and thats saying something. He is a pathological liar, with over 20,000 recorded lies, a sex offender (he is on record as grabbing women by their genitals and forcibly kissing them, uuugh!) A child abuser, forcibly separating children over the age of 2 from their parents, who happen to be seeking refuge! And his family are enriching themselves by awarding themselves government contracts. He is racist/fascist, the only excuse for him is he has arrested development, although gifted with animal cunning, he acts like an adolescent, a 13 year old. This was the age his father sent him to to military school after being expelled from a previous one! Oh! and don’t forget Mackinaly voted to reduce nurses wages!

      • America failed the IQ test two elections running-first by electing Trump & then giving him more votes than any other serving president in history despite everything he has said for four years making him look like a total imbecile who throws temper tantrums like a 2 year old. Every fraud & crime he has committed in his life etc.

        You can see why a greedy, power hungry, solipsistic, right wing crank like MacKinley admires the Republicans so much. His voting record shows he only cares about his own interests & those of big business & while he voted to reduce the lifeline keeping the poorest in society barely afloat, one his aides was cooking the books for his 2015 election campaign.

  2. The lesson of American democracy was the high turnout due to people voting from home with the ability of postal votes. This must be copied here instead of having to get to polling stations on a certain day.

    • Postal voting leads to fraudulent votes as was encountered at Peterborough. God only knows how an investigation and prosecution was avoided despite all the unwavering evidence. But hey . . .

      • Is that Peterborough where police investigated & found no evidence of any crimes having been committed? Then it was the Tories & Trump brown noser Farage making baseless allegations, now we have the worst right wing nut of the lot demanding recounts before the results were even announced in certain states, demanding the voting was stopped, filing frivolous lawsuits because his pathetic ego cannot stand losing at anything. Think there is a pattern developing here.

    • So easy to commit voting fraud with postal voting with the current systems. That’s pretty obvious from past cases. Lots of dead people voted in this current US elections! Whole lists of them to see.

      • No there wasn’t, an investigation found only a few hundred false votes were made, which were eliminated, so the system works! Trump has no dignity, only a huge ego, and its worrying what he will get up to once he is escorted out of the White House! The Republican party will be more scared of him than Biden, with 70million people voting for him, he could start his own political party, like Farage! Who knew there were so many losers in America, that they fell for Trumps lies! Then again we have a proven liar as a Prime Minister!

  3. Oh dear Craig,
    yet again you have shot yourself in the foot.Had you aimed at your head, nothing would have been harmed.
    Child Poverty- The Tory party has painted itself into a corner in Dickensian technicolour and has deserved the opprobrium for the public accordingly.Yes,its not the best of solutions, but having used the old austerity reducing ray on Sure start, its the least worst option.
    If you and HMG walked into an elephant trap set by the opposition, more fool you, for walking into it.Don’t bleat about opportunism, when this Govt has been based on nothing but exploiting grievances from all and sundry.
    You voted with 25 others over lock-down, yet you offer no solution to the rising infection rates apart from misunderstanding scientific evidence.
    Remembrance Sunday – yes you laid wreaths, but has it occurred to you about the sacrifices made in 2 world wars by non armed services,Police,Fire services, hospitals and most of all the Merchant marine, which took massive losses in both world wars.Heard of Convoy PQ17, have we?

    USA -The founding fathers of the USA made very few mistakes and it ill behoves a state with no codified written constitution to lecture others on the ways of democracy.Our system is not all its cracked up to be. Yes, the electoral college is a bit outdated, but it was designed to allow a division of power, so there could be no tyrannical leader or King elected. Remember in 1786 the Americans had a real dose of the Hanoverian autocracy,British style.At the time we were stringing up people on the pretext of committing over 200 different capital crimes, most of which would hardly warrant a fine today.
    As for postal voting being fraudulent, no evidence was found in Peterborough, there is a paper on fraudulent voting practices in the UK, by the Electoral commission in 2014. The very few cases that were uncovered were carried out by rogue elements in both main parties.
    impersonation at the polling station on the other hand has been well documented in the past, but yet again, steps have been taken to combat this deceit.
    I am afraid it is Trumpian falsehoods put out as fact by some, for their own reasons.

    • All the Tories have done the last decade is blame Labour for everything because of ‘the mess they inherited in 2010’-fine to a point for a couple of years, or even at a stretch a few years maybe, but a decade later?

      Mackinley is just upset the right wing, gun loving nuts who enjoy building walls & locking kids in cages, filling their pockets in any way possible etc will very shortly be out of power & his incompetent, right-wing rabble will have to deal with a sensible human being who doesn’t share their odious views like CKM-who voted against measures to prevent climate change 12 times from 2016-2020 & incentives to companies to reduce their carbon footprint in 2018-what sort of human being actually wants the planet to cease existing?

    • Oh Yawn! george nokes the guy with the ‘ology’ expert on the Founding Fathers of the USA, Electoral Commission, electoral fraud, postal votes, World War 2 etc etc . You name it George has a view and is an expert and he wants you to know it!

      • Do you have a problem with people knowing facts? It’s easy to google tnings but you have to be careful of confirmation bias.

  4. I see that our glorious MP cannot be bothered to comment on why Thanet has one of the worst covid rates in the South East. Just shows how relevant he his to this constituency.

  5. Craig Craig Craig.

    Only a man like you would lend your support to Trump right now.

    Your opinion pieces are always ridiculous and I hope Thanet stands strong and put you out in the cold as soon as possible.

    Your voting against disabled people’s rights is enough to show what sort of man you are and I wish you were given a platform here to spread your nonsense and hate

    • I am glad he is-it shows people what he really is, as does his freely available voting record which is frankly appalling. Let’s hope people who keep voting for him finally wise up to what he is & as his leaders popularity decreases rapidly as we are seeing most likely his minions will as well.

  6. CMK has “doubts about the quality and accuracy of forecasts;”
    Why? On what science does he base his doubts?
    It really is GCSE level maths. If the “R” number is above 1, then, without intervention, the number of infected people will double every so often. With a higher “R”, doubling will happen more quickly.
    I would have thought the Craidmg, as an accountant, would have understood growth rates.

  7. I applaud any MP of any colour who voted against the last lockdown as these will kill more than the virus itself, as evidenced by medical experts world-wide, and will destroy many businesses. However, the US elections are not over and the amount of propaganda in the controlled corporate main stream media in the US and globally is breathtaking to see. There is substantial evidence of fraud being investigated with many detailed reports on this coming out of the US if you research and also have good US contacts. Why would main stream media call election votes before so many votes were counted per state? Why were the pollsters so wrong other than to try to skew the belief of the public ahead of voting? This is not finished by a long way and that’s true democracy.

    • The “MSN” (as well as anyone else with a smidge of common sense) can call the outcome.
      For example: suppose 10,000 votes have been cast for 2 candidates. After 9000 votes have been counted, 5001 are for candidates and 3999 are for B.
      If ALL the remaining votes are for B, he will only have 4999.
      So, even though theres a bunch of vites still to count, it’s possible to say who the winner will be.

  8. Loved your recent TV appearance, Craig, where you were asked what was causing the high rate of covid infection in Thanet and your best offer was “It’s inexplicable”. I guess blaming poverty would have made you responsible in some way. Being sympathetic would have been a human thing to do as well but I saw no evidence of that.

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