Political Opinion: Craig Mackinlay MP – Beer and Currygate, elections and back to Parliament

Craig Mackinlay

In my last article I bemoaned the fact that the media was devoting a massive amount of its output to “Partygate” once more. The more cynical might say it was as good a topic as any to damage the Conservative brand in advance of local elections across much of the country. This vacuous debate has now moved to “Beer and Currygate” on the back of videos and revelations that the Leader of the Opposition may have broken Covid lockdown rules whilst on the campaign trail in Durham last year.

My view is that this is all becoming rather silly now but Sir Keir Starmer has backed himself into a corner because of his pious condemnation and calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation merely for being investigated by the police. It is now obvious that different police forces interpreted the rules differently and the rules themselves were in many instances simply daft, hence my objection at the time to many of them. At no time should the police allow themselves to be dragged into political arguments but we are seeing a new and emerging pattern here across political life: use official agencies via complaint procedures in an attempt to destroy reputations with the sure knowledge that activists on social media will re-spin and do the rest.

There were few local elections in Kent last week; next year will be our turn with all-out elections in many Kent boroughs. My Party had a mixed night but not unexpectedly so in a mid-term ballot. Doubtless perceptions of poor behaviour in and around Parliament played a part, keeping many Conservative voters at home, and additionally concerns about the cost of living, some of which have an entirely global dimension that nobody can do much about.

So, in some London boroughs – Westminster and Wandsworth in particular – voting out Conservative councils who had consistently delivered good services at the lowest price over many years and voting in a Labour one who will always cost more seems a strange choice. We need to concentrate on getting the tax burden down as one of the primary levers we can bring to bear to deliver more into people’s pockets and undertake a proper appraisal of what government spends our money on. Is it all really necessary and essential; are we getting value for money; are we getting a better service because of additional spending; would you spend money on it yourself? These should be the limbs of the decision tree throughout national and local government.

Getting the Civil Service back at their desks would be a good start. The situation regarding passport delays has been particularly bad. Obviously volumes increased dramatically as few would have bothered to get a passport or renew across the Covid period when travel was hugely restricted but service from DVLA for driving licences, HMRC for general tax administration is poor and getting somebody to answer a phone call across the public and private sector is difficult, frustrating and wastes valuable time. Covid excuses no longer cut it I’m afraid. I take pride in getting a written response to constituents within a day or two of each and every query with some exceptions for complexity of request.

A new session of Parliament starts this week, I’ll offer a full report on what is in the Queen’s Speech next time. Enjoy the good weather and let’s hope for a bumper summer for Thanet once more.

35 Comments

    • He has already gone back
      Craig will not respond to the facts because in common with his ilk he has to defend his inglorious leader otherwise he will never climb that slippery slope

      • Your so right God Help Us! Mackinlay like many other lick spittle’s, are trying to divert attention from the proven liar Johnson, for lying to MP’s in the Commons, and to us who they represent! Here are the Step 2 Covid Rules at the time when Sir Keir Starmer was holding a work meeting at the Labour Party HQ in Durham, hundreds of miles from his constituency Mr Mackinlay:- The restrictions prevented people from gathering indoors with anyone outside their household or support bubble. However, there was an exemption for those gathered for “WORK PURPOSES” There was a further specific exemption that allowed groups to meet if the “gathering is reasonable for the purposes of campaigning in an election”. What part of that don’t you understand Mr Mackinlay? The meeting was being held to plan a local by election, and there was even a printed Agenda for it, and like most meetings they stopped for a bit of lunch! It is no wonder the police initially took no action, because no Rules had been broken, and its beyond me why they are holding another investigation, unless they have been leant on!

        This was a work meeting, unlike those held In Boris Johnsons flat, or garden, which were illegal, and he was Fined for at least one of them, and there are probably more to come! So, if you get an invitation to go to one Mr Mackinlay, don’t forget to bring a bottle, or preferably a suitcase full! Incidentally I am not a member of any political party!

      • Your so right God Help Us! Mackinlay like many other lick spittle’s, are trying to divert attention from the proven liar Johnson, for lying to MP’s in the Commons, and to us who they represent! Here are the Step 2 Covid Rules at the time when Sir Keir Starmer was holding a work meeting at the Labour Party HQ in Durham, hundreds of miles from his constituency Mr Mackinlay:- The restrictions prevented people from gathering indoors with anyone outside their household or support bubble. However, there was an exemption for those gathered for “WORK PURPOSES” There was a further specific exemption that allowed groups to meet if the “gathering is reasonable for the purposes of campaigning in an election”. What part of that don’t you understand Mr Mackinlay? The meeting was being held to plan a local by election, and there was even a printed Agenda for it, and like most meetings they stopped for a bit of lunch! It is no wonder the police initially took no action, because no Rules had been broken, and its beyond me why they are holding another investigation, unless they have been leant on!

        This was a work meeting, unlike those held In Boris Johnsons flat, or garden, which were illegal, and he was Fined for at least one of them, and there are probably more to come! So, if you get an invitation to go to one Mr Mackinlay, don’t forget to bring a bottle, or preferably a suitcase full! Incidentally I am not a member of any political party! This was in my daily newspaper this morning, so I am not repeating myself!

        • Also, I am baffled why you say “Different Police Forces interpreted the Rules differently, and the Rules were…simply daft! They may be daft to you Mr Mackinlay, but they couldn’t be clearer for any police force could they, and none were broken by Sir Keir, and the others at the meeting for the purpose to plan an election which was perfectly legal!

  1. Sorry Craig but as a Tory voter I will no longer be voting Blue.
    I laughed to myself last week when the Tory Party did a Local Election Broadcast about being the people to trust when it comes to street cleaning.
    My road in Thanet has never seen a broom like most streets.Nor is it ever properly weeded or litter picked.A simple basic of area management. Might look like we have levelled up if Thanet could look clean and tidy like most of the SE.
    Sorry but to many broken promises and not enough action.
    The party is just

  2. CCHQ advised all ministers this morning NOT to call for Keir Starmer’s resignation – they said to instead to focus on hypocrisy

    It sent a terse reminder after Michelle Donelan came close to doing so during the morning broadcast round
    Seems Craig has had the memo

  3. “the rules themselves were in many instances simply daft .. “.
    The rules that your party, your inglorious leader, imposed on us.
    If Keir Starmer is found to have transgressed these “daft” rules, what will you do? Call for his resignation?
    Then you’ll have to call for Boris’ resignation too.
    The tories have had 10 years to put things right. They’ve had their chance.
    High time for a change.

  4. WFH is fine Craig. It’s the modern world. We don’t need to make people travel for hours if they can work from home. The value for tax payer would be not to have massive offices to house workers that can be just effective remotely.

    You are a dinosaur.

    Starmer has not painted himself in a corner. He didn’t make the laws – your lot did not his lot – he did not have karaoke parties, drinks being smuggled in in suitcases. What he is accused of doing is night and day….

    Once again pretty much every word you have dictated here is wrong.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day…. You do well never to be right.

    • WFH is terrible. Two examples I’ve experienced personally are (a) a firm called when I was out, but because they were phoning from a private landline they wouldn’t leave a number to call back on, and (b) a firm couldn’t access my data because they weren’t connected to their central computer, so couldn’t sort out any problems that would otherwise be sorted in the office.

      • Then these people weren’t “working from home”.
        In order to carry out your regular duties properly, you need to have access to your regular facilities, including work’s email, voicemail, intranet and so on.
        A properly organised WFH set-up will be just as effective to the customer as WFO, with the benefit that the employee doesn’t have to spend expensive hours of unpleasant commuting each day.

      • They are two examples where the firm hasn’t set itself up right to work from home properly. WFH is here to stay and technology works. People no longer need bloated middle managers watching over them. You recruit the right people and treat them right and they will do their job wherever they are.

        WFH has been proved to be more efficient. Better for work life balance and keep staff retained longer. WFH was already a thing before Covid – firms have invested and realised WFH is the future and it’s only dinosaurs and property owners(offices) that are against it.

        WFH is going to expand not shrink.

          • Or just judge by their output. I’m not sure you understand the concept of “work” – if people have jobs they do tasks – these tasks can take various forms but there is always a way to see output. It’s a myth that people can laze about at work if the work place is actually a sensible functioning workplace. I certainly wouldn’t work somewhere where it was impossible to see the fruits of my efforts..

            I think this says more about you and your own work ethics and life experience than it does the WFH “brigade”

  5. Craig talks about problems with passports. He seems to have forgotten that British passports are made abroad. Somewhere in the EU, I think. Forcing civil servants back to the office won’t make any changes to the service at all.
    Employing civil servants rather than outsourcing, might improve things.

    • Yes our new Brexit – level up the country – passports are now manufactured in France as when bids came in the British companies couldn’t compete with the French. Ha. That’s Brexit in a nut shell right there.

      Prince Charles today will announce a raft of nonsense and distraction bills none of which will address the problems in the country.

      Craig has constantly proven he does not nor want to understand the issues Britain faces and the biggest being that in five years Great Britain will no longer exist. This government has dismantled the U.K. with its policies.

  6. The average council tax per dwelling in Labour council areas is £1169, versus £1520 in Tory council areas. So Craig, wrong again

  7. “At no time should the police allow themselves to be dragged into political arguments” it was the Conservative MP for North East Durham who asked the police to re examine the claims about Starmer having a beer and curry.

  8. OK, Craig, yet again we have to teach you the ABC of how to understand the world as it is and not as you would like it.
    1. BJ was in charge of setting up the Covid rules, be they nonsense or not.Starmer was not involved.
    2. Starmer is/ was holding BJ’s feet to the fire on his own rules and the Cons are/were feeling uncomfortable, so what do they do? They try to distract by manipulating a side issue known as beer gate.
    3.Losing Westminster,Barnet and Wandsworth was not a mid term election blip, even Blair did not manage that.
    4.WFH is not a big issue but having Capita involved in anything is, which is why passports are not being issued.
    5. Many firms are working from home and you would not know it.Those like the banks and others are crap at customer service, whether working from the office or not.
    6. I haven’t noticed particularly good service from KCC, especially over potholes, and adult social care.They have been Tory since god was a boy, so perhaps Craig, you need to think hard about that.TDC is now yet again, Tory controlled as it has been for most of its existence, so I would be careful what you say Craig.
    7. As always you ignore several important issues, like the cost of living crisis (what is the Tory plan to solve that issue?).What about planning, what great schemes do you have to resolve the growing public disquiet in that area?
    No? I thought not.
    8. Brexit.Exactly how are you going to finesse the NI Protocol, that the Govt willingly signed up for? If I were Theresa May, I would be very miffed after being turfed out by you, for something worse than she had arranged.

    Craig, I know writing this column must be a chore, but please try to find some subject that we might all agree upon.I know you think large sections of the S.Thanet electorate are lefty pinko, woke, snowflakes, but it doesn’t do to show it,as you are supposed to represent the entirety of the constituency, not just 80 year old David, in the North Foreland Golf club.

    • Aye up lad! Tha’s got it reet wrong.
      Ah like to sup a pint at the 19th green, after Ahv’e cleaned aht me ferrits wi me cloth cap.

    • Well written I would also like to understand what’s happening with GP Surgeries that receptionists and not looking down on them are being allegedly trained to tell me if I can or can’t see a GP. Now with that as the receptionist decides that and says no more people are going to A and E as you can get no help from your own surgery. Can this not be sorted out if I have breakdown in the morning I’m my brand nee Toyota (not affiliated) I wouldn’t be expecting the receptionist to tell me it needs a mechanic or not. That’s what I believe needs sorting.

  9. Wasn’t Craig a senior member of UKIP? He’s kept that quiet I wonder why, Oh, yes the biggest pull factor for migrants and asylum seekers trying to get to the UK is because we are no longer a member of the EU! OK, I have mentioned this before, but its worth repeating, when we were in the EU anyone arriving in the UK illegally could be returned to the first EU country they had arrived at. But no longer since we left the EU. So the best way to stop people trying to get here across the Chanel in unseaworthy boats, would be to re-join the EU, any chance Craig?

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