Cost of living and climate change protest held outside South Thanet MP’s office

Thanet Left protest

People joined a noisy protest outside the Broadstairs office of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay yesterday (May 21) to highlight climate change and the cost of living crisis..

The action was organised by the ‘Thanet Left’ group.

A spokesperson said: “Climate change catastrophe and the rising cost of living pose a terrible threat to us here, yet we have an MP who seems utterly blind to both of them.”

They added: “Thanet is one of the most deprived areas in the country. The people here are suffering as it is, but the cost of living crisis, with rocketing food prices and energy prices, is going to push many of them over the edge. Yet Mackinlay is totally silent on the issue.

“The global climate emergency poses a huge threat, too. Rising sea levels could turn Thanet back into an island within twenty years and devastate many parts of Kent.  But incredibly Mackinlay has gone on the record against green taxes and has links to climate change deniers.”

The protestors said this is only the first of a series of similar events.

Mr Mackinlay is a member of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), made up of backbench Conservative MPs, which opposes many of the government’s net zero policies.

The NZSG says it accepts climate science but the policies for net zero are ‘uncosted fairytales.’

The group has institutional links with the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which says “predictions of unacceptable warming caused by more carbon dioxide are wrong”.

The NZSG  say people will be hit with huge costs for some of the net zero measures, such as heat pumps replacing gas boilers and the switch to electric vehicles.

In terms of energy price rises Mr Mackinlay says the UK needs to use its own natural resources. In a piece for The Critic, he said: “Consumers will need urgent relief from spiralling prices. Relief from VAT and from the cost of environmental levies, which now make up close to 25 per cent of electricity bills, will cushion the blow, but we have to deal with the market fundamentals to get bills down for good else face impoverished families and the final closure of remaining high energy intensive industries as production, jobs and the positive tax-take simply relocates abroad.”


    • He’s the South Thanet MP and more people are needing to use food banks. There are many who are suffering due to the energy crisis.
      EU countries aren’t being penalised by fuel prices but the UK is

        • That’s not unusual although I personally think a MP should live in their constituency .
          Maybe some chose not to as they want a private life where they aren’t approached all the time by Joe public or like in this situation they want to avoid confrontation over party / government politics

      • Esme – You obviously do not travel outside Thanet into Europe. Fuel prices and food prices are increasing everywhere. Please look at bigger picture

      • Esme. The whole world is is the same position as the UK. Please get your facts right before posting utter rubbish. Every Country is suffering from high inflation and rising energy and food costs. There isn’t a single country that is insulated from what’s happening

        The reality is that yes things are more expensive here for the time being but there are many many countries in a whole lot worse position than the UK. Doesn’t matter what political party is in power the exact same thing would be happening. We are in the middle of a worldwide crises so grow up please

    • How many Councillors were there? Notice the usual suspects but is that Mike Garner of the Greens there? if he is maybe he didn’t want to be too conspicuous with the SWP rag being flaunted around now that would go down like a cup of cold sick in St Peters Ward. ’ The wimin there look like they would do well to audition for a horror movie the exception being Sharon Goodyear who is very genuine in her concern for people and does so much good in the community the rest are just a bunch of gobby middle class over the hill well heeled malcontents!

  1. They’re obviously too stupid to realise that fighting all this so-called Climate Change is actually adding to the cost of living.

    Still, I look forward to less obesity (current predictions are that over 50% of the UK’s population will be overweight very soon, something that we as a nation should be truly ashamed of!).

    • Good lord man, it’s obviously perfectly reasonable to deny people the choice of how they heat their homes and travel but in no way can you tell people that being a jabba wannabe is bad for the them, nhs, country and planet. Instead we’ll pour ever greater amounts of cash into the nhs and social care to deal withvtheir self inflicted woes and care not a jot about the carbon footprint of it all.

    • “this so-called Climate Change”
      On the one hand, there is the assembly of the world’s climate scientists, the IPCC, and hundreds of world governments, all of whom agree that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity.

      On the other hand, there is you.

      Your cynicism might be justified: please post the evidence which supports your view.

          • Here you are:
            “Bellamy’s later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views. A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large proportion (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating.[24] George Monbiot of The Guardian tracked down Bellamy’s original source for this information and found that it was from discredited data originally published by Fred Singer, who claimed to have obtained these figures from a 1989 article in the journal Science; however, Monbiot proved that this article had never existed.[25] Bellamy subsequently accepted that his figures on glaciers were wrong ..”

          • Even in the unlikely case that you and all the other doom-mongers are right, there are benefits to global warming, at least in the UK. Imagine peoples’ winter fuel bills if we still had weeks of snow and frozen seas in the winter!

          • Each side can present whatever they want , but its been preordained as to the direction thats to be taken. The powers that be will never allow them to be seen as having been worng what ever the outcome.
            If the dire predictions don’t come to fruition it’ll be because of the brave actions that our leaders took.
            We’ve been told for years that rising sea levels will be a problem, but they haven’t. Local loons currently eschew the view that without action thanet will be an island again, which it would if we took away the sea defences and dredged the Wansum channel, which would amazingly take us back to the coastline of roman britain at which time i don’t believe much in the way of fossil fuels had been burnt. At least they’ve gone full doom and say it’ll happen in 8 years, so we’ll find out soon enough. Though when we’re still firmly connected to the rest of the UK and haven’t got damp socks , they’ll still no doubt be wailing about impending doom totally having forgotten their forecasts of 2022.
            In the meantime another group are worried anout the microbial ecosystem of our beaches and the damage done to it by a bike race. Total tosh of course , they just don’t like the idea of an internal combustion engine inspired race and had a bit of blue sky thinking to find the most absurd reason for it not to happen.
            The only positive in it all seems to be that so many people have no real concerns in life to worry them.

        • I suppose your one of the “let them eat cake” brigade are you Peter! Climate change is affecting the world now, by turning vast areas of arable land into deserts! Many of the millions who depended on subsistence farming, are now starving! This has a knock affect by turning them into migrants, moving to somewhere they hope they can scratch a living. Half the worlds population are still defecating in the open, whilst the worlds richest man spends billions on sending rockets into space, Duurh!

          • “Climate Change”? Perhaps. “Man-Made Climate Change”? I’m not convinced.

            The UK was almost certainly warmer in Roman Times than it is now (they planted grape vines in Kent!), and got far colder by the medieval age. The earth naturally goes through these cycles, and it is merely unproven speculation that it isn’t doing exactly the same thing again.

            “Climate Change” (the man-made variety that is) has become the new religion, with anyone who questions it automatically ridiculed. I’d be burnt at the stake if they didn’t fear that making fires would cause catatastrophies!

    • God forbid Peter that you ever have to take a medication that makes you put on weight. I used to be 7 stone until I started taking blood pressure tablets and now I’m 10 stone. I dont eat any more than I did. I dont drink fizzy drinks or eat cakes biscuits or crisps.

      • I’m certainly not claiming that all obesity is self-inflicted, but the vast majority certainly is… and I DO eat cakes and biscuits and most other things that are “bad” for us – but in moderation, along with exercise.

        Incidentally, I don’t know your gener or height, but 10 stone doesn’t sound much at all. I’m 5’11”, and up until my early 40s I stayed under 11 stone. Now, at 59, I try to keep my weight around the 11 stone 10 lbs mark, so at the upper end of “healthy”.

      • Topcat if you think your medication has made you put on weight then see your GP, I have been on blood thinners for years and am still the same weight I was twenty years ago, just under 12 stone, and just under 6ft tall. I suggest you are eating too much starch, potatoes, bread, cakes, snacks etc, and too much animal fat, including milk, cream, butter, and sugar, chocolate, sweets etc. If you find hitting your head against a wall is painful you would stop doing it wouldn’t you. Similarly if you found eating starchy, sweet, fatty, foods make you put on weight, stop eating it, simples!

  2. He may not be able to help with climate change, but his allegiance should be to his constituents NOT ” BORIS ” !

    • I don’t know about Craig, but that’s something I’ve always admired Sir Roger Gale for. He’s never been afraid to veer away from the party line when he believes in something.

      • Sir Rog at his time of career can probably get away with saying what he thinks unlike some younger more ambitious colleagues .
        One thing that’s always puzzled me is why he’s never been a cabinet minister and I’ve never seen him as being worthy of the knighthood he got .

      • Yep, agree with him or not, Sir Rog sets an example as an mp that many others might use as an example. Send him a real written enquiry and you will get a reply. Ask to meet him and you’ll get an appointment. He’ll pass queries he feels of merit onto the appropriate minister/dept and copy you in to any reply. He plays the political game with aplomb and has such a safe seat that he can do as he wishes within the aforesaid games boundaries. To the delight of many on here he has a deep vein of dislike for Boris and makes no bones of it in his criticims. He has had a rather sycophantic array of dodgy councillors hanging on his coat tails though.

  3. I think most people are just sick of these type of people now. What’s the south thanet mp meant to do about a global cost of living rise? I’m sure the cost of living hardly even effects these protesters anyway

    • He’s our MP, and supposed to represent our interests.
      He could have voted in favour of a windfall tax on the oil and gas companies, but he didn’t. So whilst they (with Craig’s approval) make £Bs in profit, by the end of this year 40% of households will be in fuel poverty.
      This government could have done more. It could have increased our gas storage facilities, instead if cutting them back. It could have encouraged householders to install solar; instead it cut subsidies. It could have invested in nuckear; instead it’s spent the best part of a decade quibbling with the Chinese and the French.

      • Of course this is the oil and gas industry that already pays higher rates of tax, was being harried into reducing exploration and extraction , until the recent tantrum by Putin meant we now want them to sally forth and pump gas as fast as they can. If they are to be billed for making more profit than we deem fit are going to bail them out in the lean years?

  4. Bet all these DOO GOODERS went back to their million pound properties after.. patting each other on the back on a ‘job well done ‘

  5. I MIGHT accept the argument that this economic crisis is hitting the whole world so its not the fault of the current government. But, back in 2008, when the American banks collapsed, owing billions, and took UK and other economies with them, some people were quick to blame the UK Labour government of Blair and Brown.
    As if they had, personally, been responsible for stupid and greedy investments in property made by US and UK Banks.
    Yet, to this day, you get commentators explaining a reluctance to vote Labour by referring to “the mess Labour left our economy in”!
    If we had a democracy in this country, we would actually elect governments to run the economy. So they WOULD be responsible if things went wrong. But, in fact, we just elect hundreds of very unimaginative people to sit in Parliament arguing loudly about how little they all really differ in their beliefs, while the completely unelected oligarchs get on with running the economy via the Stock Exchange. So get used to regular economic crises always getting worse than the last. But always leading to bigger profit margins for the top earners and worsening lives for the rest of us.

    • The comments about the state of the nations finances after labour are often based on the note Liam Byrne left on his desk for his successor “there’s no money left” which is easily translated as “we’ve spent it all”. Gordon Brown threw huge amounts at benefit recipients in the dreation of the local housing allowance and setting it at the 50th percentile. In thanet it efectively raised rents affected by 20% and been a bugbear for the government ever since as if applied as originally envisaged and uprated each year it effectively drove rents up endlessly. Hence its been frozen twice. Blatant attempt to buy votes by Brown. Then there was the creation of the incredibly expensive ( and discincentive to work full time) tax credit system, that has effectively made minimum wage the norm for many jobs and created distortions in the value of skills.

  6. the reason they are delaying doing anything is because according to the OBR a26.2 billion can be made on tax from fuel and 7.2 billion on road tax not a small amount

  7. Cost of living poverty,well I have seen people using foo banks ,all wearing expensive trainers,on latest phones coverersd in tattoos , get priorities right!!!!

    • I’m sorry to see that your circumstances are so reduced that you find it necessary to frequent Thanet’s food banks.
      When you go, take care to put on tatty old threadbare clothes, otherwise narrow minded and blinkered people might jump to the wrong conclusions.

      • I walked past one a few months back, and it wasn’t so much the clothes as the size of the people that shocked me! Yes, I accept that people’s circumstances (even large peoples) may lead to them needing occasional help, but if they’re using food banks for months yet still remain morbedly obese then it is education they need, not handouts. I also wonder how fussy some of them are: for example, tinned sardines are both cheap and nutricious, yet I bet not all would accept them.

        This reminded me of a time I passed a (supposedly) homeless man in Canterbury a few years back. I’d just bought myself a few snacks, so feeling sorry for him, I offered him my yogurt and orange: he replied that he didn’t like that flavour yogurt and he doesn’t eat oranges! Hardly starving then…

        • Peter, Can I suggest you read The Black Report (1979) on inequality in health. It’s a good starting point in understanding links between povety and ill-health. There are many social elements that lead to physical and metal impacts.
          In Thanet people using food banks are very rarely doing so as a positive choice, it’s far more about desperation. With that said they are people and may well have likes and dislikes, sardines or baked beans! And these likes and dislikes, where do they originate do you suppose? Why is so much spent on advertising and brand building?
          On Climate Change you are fatally wrong to think, what the world is experiencing now, is some kind of natural cycle. Archeological science shows us that the Planet has gone through many warming and cooling cycles. When the last (major) ice age ended (around 10,000 years ago) it was a planet warming part of the cycle. However what science shows us is that the natural cyclical process have been overtaken by human activity, industrial processes, fossil fuel use, etc.
          You can choose to beleive the science or not. However, what I find useful is the idea that, whatever is causing global heating, we have to mitigate the effects or face catastrophy. With that in mind our MP and governments should be taking effective action now rather than fudging the issues by pretending to be concerned.
          History has shown us very clearly that commercially vested interests will put shed-loads of money into undermining scientific facts if these may harm their profit opportunities. You might care to look at the tobacco industry, or asbestos use, DDT, thalidomide, etc,etc.
          Whether it’s natural or not the extreme weather many parts of the globe experience are destroying our ability to produce basic foods, are eliminating the ability for people to inhabit massive swathes of land, are causing extreme violence to secure water, etc.
          You and like minded keyboard clicking jokers can be as cynical and sarcastic as you please but this won’t change what we are all going to suffer in the very near future.

          • Peter has heard about education but like the climate crisis he doesn’t believe in it. Great many times he has spouted complete nonsense here for people to post facts and science back at him and he isn’t interested – he is very much in the Gove “we are bored of experts” camp. He likes soundbites, spin, mockery and hatred with a side serving of creepy comments about physical appearances of women.

          • Oh, I’ve just been interviewed via Zoom about one of my books for one of America’s top newspapers, not too shabby for an uneducated old perv! ; )

            And you did today, apart from hide behind aliases to throw around childish insults?

          • Excellent comment.
            And if you take heed of geology as we as archeology you can look at the climate record over an even greater period.

  8. He won’t be bothered by this protest. He lives in Medway and hasn’t been to Thanet since the pandemic started.

  9. Peter, homeless people often do get enough to eat. For example good people, as I suspect you are basically, will provide them with food. Hey, they then have the ‘luxury’ of saying ‘no thanks’ to flavoured yogurt and oranges. But they do not have a roof over their heads and those heads are often in so much chaos, their state of mind is so disturbed, that even moving towards the goal of a having and keeping a home defeats them. Surely you have noticed that life today is incredibly complex and full of apparent contradictions.
    Similarly in a way, fattening food can be the cheapest. It is quite possible to be both obese and malnourished.
    Our society is in real trouble. Education is lacking for many and there are way too many families in chaos. Many kids grow up with perilously little ‘training’ in how to live and are battered by pain and unhappiness beyond the understanding of many of us.
    I’m with you on the virtues of tinned sardines, a canny homeless person would accept all food offered just to keep the kindly offerer on their side, obesity is deadly …. on the face of it you’re ‘right’. But please dig a little deeper.

    • “Similarly in a way, fattening food can be the cheapest. It is quite possible to be both obese and malnourished.”
      This is exactly what this government has just vited for.

      • Why not eat smaller portions of fattening foods then? That would be even cheaper AND more slimming. Still, you could always just carry on stuffing your face and then blame the government, as that doesn’t take any effort on your part.

  10. End of the day-The conservatives dont want to UPSET their rich MILLIONARES AND BILLIONARES FRIENDS-who are donate money to the party. 12 years of this government-SHAMEFUL.

  11. Why is fuel more expensive in thanet.

    I can go to medway and the cost of fuel is around 8p to 10p a litre cheaper.

    I drive all over the uk and thanet fuel prices are easily among the highest in the country

    Yet going by this fact some loonies think having an airport with the most expensive fuel in the country is a winner !

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