Opinion with South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: Looking at the year ahead

Craig Mackinlay

A literally warm welcome to 2022 as we experience unseasonably temperate conditions, but with it a good amount of rain. The extended holiday period and our increasingly sensible move not to impose the most extreme restrictive measures has proved itself with our coastal towns benefitting from fairly good trading with a large number of visitors coming to Thanet.

The limited measures introduced under Plan ‘B’ may not on paper have amounted to much but the fear of Covid unsettled most everybody, keeping people away from hospitality over the essential Christmas and New Year period. A new ‘Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant’ amounting to £1Bn was launched on 21st December to try to soften the effects. Across the country this amounts to a limited amount of money per qualifying business but welcome none the less.
The more draconian measures introduced by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are looking increasingly daft as the high number of Omicron infections are simply not translating into extreme pressure for the NHS.

My father, aged 87 has unfortunately caught Covid, having avoided it across the previous waves. He is, fortunately, triple vaccinated and is making good progress at home. Where and how is something of a mystery but given reports that a Belgian scientific research station in Antarctica has been hit by it, despite all being triple jabbed, double tested and in isolation before taking up their posts, one wonders realistically what can be done to slow the spread.

In other countries, despite extensive vaccine passports, curfews and lockdowns, infection rates are no different to England and in many instances worse. My view is that we simply have to ride through this, hope that infection continues not to translate into serious illness and perhaps look back that infection with Omicron amounts for many to a fourth natural ‘jab’ giving even better levels of protection into the future.

It will be refreshing to be able to talk about something else again in 2022. For me that will be energy policy. I have led a campaign over this week for VAT and the green levies, amounting to 25% of electricity bills, to be at least suspended until a more normal price returns to the wholesale energy markets. We cannot be buffeted by international price volatility in this way; we need a new energy policy that accelerates new nuclear and allows for the supply of domestic gas, of which we have decades of potential reserves, away from a reliance on foreign suppliers. Paying Putin’s Russia billions of £s and euros to enable him to re-arm and threaten Europe’s external borders and mass well-armed troops on the Ukraine border seems to me geopolitical madness.

A further hope is that we will stop the people trafficking via cross-channel dinghies once the new Borders & Immigration Bill becomes law. One can’t help but think that French Presidential elections have a similarly powerful role to play in stopping this foul trade as a significant amount of ‘playing to the gallery’ goes on in what looks to be a hotly contested election.

My plans for the Constituency in 2022 are for us to see tangible benefits from the Levelling Up fund grant that we’ve received. There was a further £75m national allocation just last week for the ‘UK Seafood Fund’ to modernise the UK fishing industry. I’ll be looking at this very closely with a view to making an application for our Ramsgate fleet, already part of the Levelling Up allocation. I want to see Ramsgate having a thriving fishing fleet, a wholesale and public fish market which will further expand our visitor appeal and bring new spending to Thanet.

Parliament reassembles this week for what will be, I’m sure, a lively session until Easter.

Happy New Year.

41 Comments

  1. “The more draconian measures introduced by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are looking increasingly daft”
    And
    “one wonders realistically what can be done to slow the spread.”
    Nope.
    Most of us know exactly what can be done to slow the spread.

    “The more draconian measures introduced by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are looking increasingly daft as the high number of Omicron infections are simply not translating into extreme pressure for the NHS.”
    Meanwhile, “Lincolnshire hospitals declare ‘critical incident’ over staff shortages” [BBC].

    ” I want to see Ramsgate having a thriving fishing fleet” – but you voted for Brexit!

    The man’s not got a clue!

  2. RG. You`re welcome to your opinion, and to jump to conclusions, however wrong they both are.

    PQ. Your ability to misunderstand our MP`s clearly written prose is quite astounding.

    • Really? He has been an absolute liability as MP for Thanet South. An extreme right wing so called libertarian who has a voting record that has consistently backed Tory austerity and run down all our public services. He now supports making it harder to vote and wants less scrutiny of MP’s conduct. He enthusiastically backed Johnson as PM and has consistently downplayed the terrible effects of Covid, as he is still doing. Difficult to see how after a year of Brexit this country has benefited as Mackinlay promised and he opposes effective measures to try and deal with climate change.

    • Peter the mans a Pillock! I emailed a reply to him about this newsletter, and his views on nuclear power, as I am not in favour because I was an engineer on a nuclear power station in the 70’s and 80’s, as the Engineer responsible for the Maintenance of the Stations Structure & Fabric, Safety, Security, Fire Prevention, and Transport of nuclear waste. I had a budget of £1 million pa probably about £10 million today, and a staff of 65. I resigned from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority after I discovered that used uranium fuel was still being used to make nuclear weapons!

      But the most important thing is that no one has yet come up with any sensible method to dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel rods or waste! In the I newspaper dated 27th November 2020, it states that the Public Accounts Committee estimates it will need some £132 billion over ten years to deal with the waste generated to decommission all the nuclear sites! This should be paid for from the customers energy bills, but it isn’t! Also I pointed out nuclear power can only be used for base load, as it can’t be raised or lowered as demand rises and falls daily, so a great deal of the power generated is wasted! Also, nuclear power stations are more costly to build than conventional stations, as some plant has to have more back up plant, and even back up back up plant! Not a lot of people know that, and I await his reply with interest!

      Taking this as an opportunity, I also reminded Mr Mackinlay he hasn’t replied to my email dated 2nd December about asylum seekers risking their lives, and the lives of their women, children, and babies crossing the Channel in unsuitable boats, because it was Brexiteers that caused it! Mackinlay was a member of UKIP, and he was an enthusiastic Brexiteer, so I asked him his view that this has created the “Pulling Power” for asylum seekers, because since we left the EU they can’t be returned to the first EU country they arrived at! Before we left the EU any asylum seeker could be sent back to the first EU country they arrived at, but thats not the case now we have left! Asylum seekers know this, so thats what is attractive for them to come her! Incidentally, on BBC 2 News Night of the 22nd November last, it was stated that more people leave Britain than actually arrive! So far Mr Mackinlay hasn’t replied, why is that then?

      • Well if you voted for Mackinlay you must be supporting the underfunding and decline of public services : that is fine if that’s what people want but you really shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of staff and resources that are seen today in local government, social care, the NHS, education, the prison service, the legal system etc. Extreme right wing Tories like Mackinlay want to shrink the role of the state even further and continue to keep the UK as the most unequal country in Western Europe

  3. Now for something completely different, how about starting the new year helping local disabled people to get around town,
    Try talking to TDC task force and the police about the complaints from people unable to walk along footpaths due to parked cars rightover the paths and most of the time parked on paths with double yellow lines, when you drive round Thanet this year just look it won’t be long before you see cars parked on paths and on double yellow lines, so if you do one thing this year put a stop to this.
    I have photos for you to look at if needed.

  4. Peter and Craig are on the same page. News that will shock no one that reads these comment sections often.

    Craig as usual talking twaddle and sounds completely out of his depth which is what he is. Thanet south has suffered greatly under his time as MP.

    I’ve unfortunately personally had to deal with him professionally a few times and he really isn’t fit for purpose.

    • I take that as a compliment.

      Further more, the good people of South Thanet must agree, as he gets a progressively greater share of the vote every time there is an election:

      2015 general election: 18,848 votes (38.13%)
      2017 general election: 25,262 (50.8%)
      2019 general election: 27,084 (56.1%)

      Proof, if needed, that most of those who comment on here don’t represent the majority.

      • “Proof, if needed, that most of those who comment on here … are critical thinkers, who see through Mackinlay’s chicanery.

    • Considering MacKinlay, was a parachute candidate ( like Roger Gale back in the day), I cant understand why anyone would vote for a candidate who didn’t live and work in the area.
      It’s the old story of partisan party politics; you can run anyone under the Tory or Labour banner in a safe seat and the electoral result becomes a fait accompli.
      It would be interesting to hear our erstwhile MP’s opinion on the devastating rise in food banks in the UK.
      There were < 100 food banks in the UK in 2010, now there are nearly 3000, all under the sociopathic guidance of the “ I’m alright, Jack’, Tory party
      The poor, working poor, elderly and disabled are nothing more than statistical fodder for the ideologically obsessed Tories ( particularly pre- Covid).

      • Unfortunately people think voting is like supporting a football team Candianinthanet and support a party no matter what, usually blind to policies or outcomes. Most people in the U.K. agree with the principles they want to live with and when polled on topics most of us are centre. Unfortunately far sides of both spectrums have completely over run media and politics and everyone is waging a cultural war that doesn’t exist.

        Craig is a big player in manipulating this narrative. Ex-UKIP parachute candidate that has ruined Thanet unfortunately

  5. I do hate it when he starts giving an opinion as they are often pointing in entirely the wrong direction.
    Peter C and ‘Chris’ will no doubt continue to support the current Govt, even when it sinks below the waves, as the torpedoes of inflation, tax rises, cronyism, and I am afraid incompetence, hit home. They will also have to support TDC and KCC as they meander on their merry way, with continued poor services, fly tipping and retrenchment; as they too are run by the same political party.
    Its all true that Craig M, has been returned to parliament a number of times, but his tenure is not immutable. No matter how much money is spent, or charismatic electoral leadership is wielded, or the ability of the opposition to disunite and shoot itself in the foot is encouraged, at some time, the wheel of fortune will turn against the Tories. At the beginning of the Millennium, the Tories were flattened, but they bounced back, and it is in the nature of things that the same thing may happen again.
    Just in the same way, that football clubs rise and fall, so it follows in politics.

    • The only way Labour may return is if they imitate Tory policies, just as Lord Blair did and now Keir Starmer is likely to do. The old style socialists of yesteryear are now unelectable, as Labour found to their cost with Corbyn.

      • The way the jhonson comfy club is stabbing the over 60s in the back along with rising utility billsis going to cause a political earthquake soon, all the irrelevant comments on here mean diddly squat to most voters

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