Political opinion with Craig Mackinlay MP: Jubilee celebrations and reaching threshold for PM vote

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay with PM Boris Johnson (pre-covid)

I have always been a staunch supporter of the Royal family and consider that a constitutional Monarchy is the best system of government.

The Monarch realistically exercises no real political power; it is the people, through the ballot box which forms the government through the processes we are all familiar with. What passes between the Queen and the PM of the day (14 so far) at their weekly audiences is never aired but I am sure it is within these meetings that the stabilising influence is exercised, advice, and as necessary, annoyance, is candidly expressed.

Governments may change but the stability of our system keeps us strong. A constitutional Monarchy is far from unique but it is more commonplace internationally to have a President either elected by the people for a fixed term or appointed by the Political Parties.

If elected, as in the USA or France, the President has extensive political powers. If merely selected by the ruling Party or elected by political leaders as in Hungary or Germany, the powers are limited and they often become the mouthpiece of the political flavour of the day.

What is without question is that Heads of State selected under presidential systems of a republic rarely command popular support because of the politics involved. There was an interesting poll in a Republic of Ireland newspaper that suggested that our Queen, obviously having no status at all in that country, is more popular than any current political leader in Southern Ireland.

Our system, strange but not unique, simply works. The amazing Jubilee weekend showed a country unified in support, respect, affection and great thanks to our Queen for her tireless devotion and service to us over 70 years. A role that landed through dint of historical outcomes, a role over which she had little choice but taken up flawlessly out of duty to the nation, the then Empire, Dominions and Commonwealth.

The depth of that affection was evident across the street parties, civic events and services held across every corner of the UK. Without doubt the glue of Monarchy linking past, present and future was evident and inspiring. I am sure many around the world look in awe and with some jealousy at the constitution we have, the centuries old traditions and stability we enjoy. Long live her Majesty.

I write my regular article on a Monday morning as a turbulent week unfolds. As I write, the threshold causing a vote in the Prime Minister has been reached. The media have managed, very effectively, to keep ‘Partygate’ alive across many months with, in my view, the purpose of deposing a Prime Minister. Putin must be laughing into his breakfast.

I had felt that the matter of our EU membership and Brexit would no longer be an issue that brought another Prime Minister down as we saw across Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron. The issue should have been settled at the 2016 referendum and by the 80 majority delivered at the 2019 general election. There will be a mixed weave as to why colleagues do what they do.

An analysis, if it were possible, would show a variety of grievances – some will be re-fighting the Brexit battle hoping a new leader might soften our stance; others will be aggrieved because they were re-shuffled out of government; there’ll be those who have their eye on the main chance. My South Thanet constituents are not short of advice to me. I’m receiving opposition to Boris from those who hate Brexit, are Labour supporters or those who write to me about all and everything and some from Conservative voters angry about the social gatherings in Downing Street.

There are similarly those who wish Boris to continue because of his record of getting the UK out of a constitutional mess, managing the Covid period in as good a way as was possible and putting the UK back on the international stage particularly over the Ukraine war. Be careful what you wish for: winning elections is key. If we were to lose there’s likely be a grand coalition of the left, even higher taxes, the break-up of the UK, changes to the voting system and a slow inexorable return into the orbit of the EU.

I have been critical of many aspects of current policies. I’m not at all happy at what went on in Downing Street but more so at many initiatives that to me are not particularly Conservative – on tax policy, and most notably on energy policy. That’s the way of the world, that’s my right as a backbench constituency MP, that’s the broad church of the Conservative Party.

Whilst I was at the forefront of activity to remove Theresa May as Prime Minister, that threshold has in no way been reached. We need a return to steady and effective government and to consider again the impeccable service offered by the Queen over these past 70 years and get on with the job.


  1. Dorries for PM! Or failing that, Patel or Truss! It’s about time we had another female PM (something that would NEVER happen with the sexist Labour party of course!).

    • That’s the SNP of course. Point is, Labour is pretty much the ONLY major party never to even have a female leader – even UKIP (very briefly) had a woman in charge! For all their faults, the Tories have many women and/or ethnic minorities in major cabinet roles.

    • Dorries and Patel wont be PM for obvious reasons. Truss possibly but she has lacked the gravitas necessary as Foreign Secretary. The moment she got tricked by the Russian Foreign Minister really stung. Penny Mordaunt has been mentioned as a “unity” candidate.

    • Peter, the present PM is chancer, an incompetent, a habitual liar, a rogue, I could go, but no one elected him except the blue rinsed brigade in the Tory party! I am not a member of any political party, but as Johnson has surrounded himself with 5th raters, and got rid of anyone who is honest, who has integrity, and intelligence in abundance, why not Rory Stewart? He may no longer be an MP, but thats a good thing isn’t? He won’t be tied to any political allegiance, and would act on behalf of the people, and not for himself. I don’t see why a non MP can’t be Prime Minister, it has a lot going for it in my view!

  2. I’m a conservative and always will be! As you mentioned the “party gate” issue has been the only thing the media has emphasised again and again, ok it was wrong and the PM apologised, he recognised it was a party meeting after many decisions that needed to be made in such difficult time back in 2020 it was a break from work!
    I was really surprised at Roger Gale’s comments this morning, He is where he is because of us!
    Tonight I wish the PM good luck and PLEASE let’s get on with the job which is what he wants to do!
    I wonder who created this drama in the first place, some Members of Parliament wants to desperately get in to power (just saying)

    • 15 partygates and not all have been investigated

      Culture of sleaze

      Dorries opens up party wounds in the mistaken belief she is helping

      and Mackinlay sits on the fence not saying who he votes for

      a normal day in Thanet

    • Lied, apologised over and over again. If that’s what the current Tory party wants…..says more about them than it does the body of people wanting him out. This months bye elections likely to be a Tory disaster unless he goes. The public will show their displeasure

    • I agree entirely with your comment. Boris Johnson has apologised for the “office parties”. The media have persuade this relentlessly for days, weeks and months. We need to call a halt to this relentless persecution of Boris Johnson. I think he has done a splendid job considering all that has happened over the last two years or so.
      When he became Prime Minister I’am sure he had many plans to rejuvenate this country in so many ways. Little did anyone know what was to come. The Coronavirus and all it’s effects worldwide and the utterly evil Russian invasion of an independent Innocent country Ukraine. Give BJ a chance to carry on making this country prosperous.
      I would so like him to win one more General Election and stay our Prime Minister. Then choose the next person/party you would like to win the General Election and be our Prime Minister.

    • What about the NHS workers that would be fined for being in the same break room? Or does it not matter, even though millions across the country listened to the diarrhoea he dribbled from his mouth while ignoring what he said himself.

      “Everyone is Equal, but some are more equal than others.”

    • Boris is a liar with his pants truly on fire. Is that who you voted for? Sad it is. As for me I will never vote Tory again. Bunch of liars and charlatans

        • Yes, Peter, taking us to war on a pack of lies.

          I am sure we all broke the rules over the last two years.

          I thank him for the vaccination programme.
          I am sure it saved many, many lives.

          I also think the BBC has a lot to answer to for their relentless attacks on Boris Johnson.
          They are supposed to be impartial.

          You never hear them running the Labour party down like they do the Conservatives.

          Hardly any mention on the BBC about ‘Beergate’

          As for Roger Gale, he bever stops running Boris down. I have no time for him RG at all.

          • The BBC are impartial, and report only the truth, which you don’t seem to like James! Its in their charter, to report balanced opinion which they seem to do quite well.

  3. Lol. Yes Craig the media are to blame.

    Boris and his actions are to blame and do not underestimate how annoyed the public are and it’s not just party gate

      • If you are a Labour supporter, it is impartial, because the corporation, its interviewers and journalists are aggressive with Conservatives and anything to do with that party and easy on Labour.

  4. “Party gate” is just one of many lies Johnson had told over the years. Sacked from three previous jobs .
    Johnson has made it clear has “no idea” what he is doing.
    If I wake in a morning and say have a hangover its because I drunk too much the night before, I do not have to have my reason investigated or looked into or employ some people to ensure I don’t do it again.
    The people who took pictures were the ones who didn’t get back handers.
    Johnson cannot have it both ways , he either lied to the house or not a clue what he is doing.
    So which is it?

      • Is that because of any particular qualities that Johnson has, or because he paraded in front of a bus promising millions for the NHS if we left Europe, and people believed him? Perhaps they thought he would take back our borders, regain our Sovereignty and make Britain “Great” again? (He hasn’t done any of those things)

      • That’s not saying much though is it! Bit like saying England beating, say, Luxembourg is a great win

      • He won the election by lying Peter! Don’t you remember him swanning around the country in a bus which said on its sides “£350 million a week can be paid to the NHS if we stop paying it into the EU” That was lie Peter, and it never happened, but what Johnson did do was cut the wages of all NHS staff instead, by not increasing their salaries by the inflation rate, and that was after the NHS saved his life from Covid! He didn’t “Fix” the social care problem either like he said he would, instead those people who can pay £86,000 for their care will still have to, but if someone doesn’t have any funds or property, they get the same care for free! Then he sent 20,000 elderly people to their deaths because they were sent home from hospital still contagious with covid, I could go on but I am depressing myself!

    • Untrue the booze is hidden in them suitcases and leftovers left on the floor/ wall for the cleaners to clean up.

    • And Corbyn went from Leader to Loser. But both statements do nothing to improve anything other than illustrate the endless inanities that abound in politics.

    • Before you started knocking Boris Johnson, you should have looked back at the M.P’s and Prime Ministers in your own party Cllr. Lewis.
      I will say it again
      Tony Blair, Corbyn and Starmer. He could not seem to remember what happened ar ‘Beergate’
      I suppose that is O.K then, because it is Labour.

      • James, I never supported blairs new Labour, and i have publically said that starmer must resign if he is fined over “beergate” its up to tory members to decide who their leader is. I rather talk about policies than individuals.sorry you did not find my joke funny,

    • Joke to coke – the whole Cabinet should be forced to take a drugs test without any forewarning.

  5. So our MP believes that a serial liar, who deceived the house, the Queen and the public, is a fit and proper person to be prime minister. The party of law and order is now the party of chancers, friend of lobbyists, Russian oligarchs, multinational corporations and tax dodgers, and not fit to run a whelk stall. The sooner all of them go the better.

  6. He like Kermit the muppet at this time “how far up or down” depends how much cash he can give out , he got about four hours.

  7. It was Boris who created this drama in the first place.
    He’s lied, cheated, deceived, philandered, mislead, blundered and buffooned his way through Pariament.
    Many of his fellow Tories are sick to death of him; many of the electorate are sick to death of him.
    He’s the *only* criminal sitting PM in the history of these Isles.
    Craig Mackinlay suggested that Putin would be laughing into his breakfast.
    Not so.
    More likely are to be heard gasps of astonishment and dismay from the world’s leaders as the clown capers at the despatch box.

  8. Let’s wait until this evening 7/8pm when we will know the results.
    As for a woman being PM? Which I will agree with, nothing beats Maggie Thatcher, now that’s what I will call a very strong minded lady, no nonsense!!!

    • Lucy it was the Parliamentary Tory MP’s who sacked Thatcher remember, after she caught mad cows disease which was rife at the time.

  9. Fella seems out of touch with just how the public feels about the Johnson leadership, including Conservative party members.

    • Whilst there is great anger in threads like this , the vast majority of the population don’t give two hoots about what he’s done ( if asked they’ll disapprove of his actions but it’s not a make or break issue). When he won the GE everyone knew he was a duplicitous affable oaf, it was part of the attraction.

      • For completeness, could you please give the source of this opinion of the majority of the population, which research are you referring to?

        • No source , just as you state an opinion. You could create a poll for this thread and come up with something like 85% of respondents deeply disapprove of Boris and insist he resigns , which would be true , but like most polls totally irrelevant to the nation as a whole. All the little pieces of info ( true or false) are just cogs in the big game, at the moment the in the big game Boris has had a spanking, there are lots of irate people , but many more who have a lot more to worry about than which dishonest disreputable purveyor of half truths and wayward ideology runs the country. There is no such thing as a totally honest politician or government and never will be, we just have a clamouring rabble spending too much time pointing at the other side trying to score inconsequential points in order to win the next election. The electorate will throw a few curve balls at local elections and a few will voice opinions to pollsters, but in the end its all decided by the moderate majority who spend most of their time working to provide for their loved ones, silently put a reasonable amount of thought into who gets their vote and largely ignore the peripheral nonsense. Which is where Boris wins, he like many in the nation had no belief in lockdowns or the measures taken for covid but he had no choice as the doom mongers and “scientists” drove the narrative, whilst the country lapped up the free money. But Boris being so obviously flawed can be seen as nearly human amongst the hordes of political robot clones differentiated by their party colours.

          • So what you are saying is this is your opinion, since you cannot provide evidence that it is shared more widely shared. Then if challenged you resort to anti-anti-intellecutalism ie: polls are wrong, ‘scientists’ as an attempt to prove your point?

          • I’m merely offering an opinion like just about every other comment on here, then i’m quite happy to explain why i’ve come up with my viewpoint, people can read it or not and give it as much or as little consideration as they like , it really is of no importance and never will be , just another piece of confetti at the wedding.

          • This is my point, it’s your opinion. You have no evidence that it is the opinion of the majority, as you claim in your original post. You cannot speak for others if you have not asked them, surveyed them or some other means of gathering data. It’s your opinion, own it.

      • I would disagree that Johnson is in any way ‘affable’. ‘Duplicitous’, (Definition: Dishonest and deceitful) certainly, an ‘Oaf’ (Definition: Rough, clumsy and unintelligent) without a doubt. However ‘Affable’ (Definition: Friendly and good natured) certainly not. How many affable people do you know who would conspire to have a journalist beaten up as a favour for a friend, deny the existence of a love child until caught out, or conduct an affair whilst their wife was undergoing chemotherapy?

        Johnson pseudo affability is a self-serving charade which many seem to have fallen for.

        Are these really the qualities you look for when considering who is best placed to hold the highest office in the land?

      • Judging by interviews on the telly, an awful lot of people are sick to death of Boris’ lies.

  10. sadly most of the votes will be due to the whips threats , or perhaps worse still what jobs or promotions they will promised , the whole thing stinks of corruption and always has. they twist everything to suit themselves – not unlike some people on here ?

    • Working Class people (at least in the South) have voted Tory for decades. Back in the 80s I worked as a scaffolder’s labourer on London building sites, and pretty much everyone – including me! – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

    • At street level it really boils down to two views in life,

      Those that want to work to provide a better life for themselves and their loved ones, they want to retain as much of their earnings as a functioning state will allow and make their own decisions as to how to spend it.

      The others are more interested in working but having the state make all the big decisions for them and provide everything on a plate, don’t mind paying lots of tax as they think they’ll get more back in the long run.

      The vast majority of people want everyone to do well and there to be a safety net, politics is just what decides how that’s achieved.

  11. Craig after a Cabinet post, by any chance? Heaven help us. Integrity is in very short supply these days, it seems.

    • More a case of there being no obvious successor who’d have any sort of appeal to the man on the street. Tories are no longer conservatives in the accepted sense as a result the UK has drifted more towards Personality Politics than Policy Politics , so the front man/woman is all important. They learnt that lesson when they stuck May in the big seat.

    • Move on to what?
      Build 40 hospitals?
      Recruit the 20,000 police officers to replace the 22,000 he got rid of?
      Pay the NHS £350M a week?
      Reclaim our borders?
      Regain our Sovereignty?
      How is that possible, when everyone (including 150 of his own MPs) knows him to be a aerial liar and a charlatan?

    • I agree with Lucy, lets move on to other things! I have got all the way to here and no one has mentioned anything about the Mackinlay’s love of monarchy, well I have been a staunch Republican most of my life, but did take a look occasionally at the crowds, and my guess is 80% to 90% were made up of women! Oh! and by the way as I saw reported, the monarchy is worth about £72.5 billion, and all the poor people were waving at a 96 year old great grandmother, with a hat on her head made of diamonds! PS, much of the money the monarchy has came from selling people ie: slaves!

  12. L do wonder why Craig writes this column he only shows how absurd our electoral system is in voting such people into office.His understanding of the constitution is quite poor.Through the Monarch the PM wields significant power through a variety of means such as the prerogative.Our constitution is written but un-codified, and has a poor division of powers.
    In the last 70 years the UK has supported ‘Queenism’,which stands for reason, the rule of law,democracy,decency,integrity and fidelity; all things that Johnson is the antithesis.
    Even if the Royal family is more Johnsonian than old school monarchism, with its divorces,dodgy friends and distasteful legal cases, the Queen remains revered.This may change in the coming decades, with succeeding monarchs if they do not change their ways.
    The Monarchy in 1952, is not the same monarch in 2022,but appears eternal.That is the secret.I am not sure the Prince of Wales understands this and I am not sure he understands that the monarch is above interfering with policy making.William may do,but he has other issues.
    The fact that some here support Johnson come what may, says more about them, and how desperate they are to retain what they believe are the gains from Brexit.
    Keeping up their spirits by banging on about Corbyn, only shows how little they understand what is happening in the country.They are in fact, the mirror image of Corbynism, which the public is slowly beginning to twig.
    Middle England does not like liars,cheats, or bounders.Neither do they like high taxation and bungling, incompetent, ministers.
    Corbynism was a never-never land of rear window thinking. Johnsonism is merely a variant,of that wishful,reactionary thinking. Johnson is badly damaged, with a divided party and serious economic problems ahead for the country.
    If he turns the situation around, he will indeed have performed miracles,but with 140 Tory MP’s turning their backs on him, and Dorries and Rees-Mogg seeking out traitors at every turn, it is a poor outlook.
    Whether change is on the horizon is a different matter, we may be in for a period of deep division and possibly coalition govt with a vengeful Johnsonite band becoming evermore Trumpian in its actions.

    • How wonderful it must be
      George Nokes, to be as pure as the driven snow, to have made no mistakes in life as you come across.
      Let it rest for goodness sake.
      You would obviously love a Labour government, who like you do everything by the book!
      Have you forgotten what Tony Blair did!

      • I have made many mistakes, but I have fessed up and taken responsibility, that’s the problem here.Boris Johnson does not know right from wrong, he only knows being caught out and not being caught out.
        Why don’t those who excuse Johnson’s behaviour deal with it, and accept it for what it is,rather than make up stories about the BBC putting the boos in the Jubilee service news story, or bringing up ancient history about the wrong doings of Blair.
        Yes, Blair probably did lie and cheat over the dodgy dossier in his effort to please the US.That doesn’t make him a war criminal, just someone who could not accept that the UK has a diminished role in the world, and has done since 7th Dec 1941, when Japan attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour.
        Blair in his own way is no different from some of you, who think a nation’s greatness comes out of a barrel of a gun,or how much territory it occupies.
        Britain’s greatness comes from the talent and good sense of the majority of its people.The Queen merely reflects this deep down common sense and ability to change,and adapt. The problem with some here is that change is the word that dare not be speak its name.It is far easier for them to rail at the modern world and look forever backward.
        Johnson picked up on that tendency and ran with it with all his might, but he could have easily done the opposite, he did write two letters to be sent to Cameron at the time of Brexit; one for and one against.
        He is above all else an opportunist, and he will tell you a tale that you want to hear.That’s what he did for the Tory party and for the Unionists, and now he is beginning to be found out and found wanting.

        • My goodness you are on your ‘soap box’. Tony Blair is not ‘ancient history’ and I was not referring to the BBC’s coverage of the Platinum Jubilee.
          I am talking about their almost daily rants about anything the Conservatives do particularly Boris Johbson. Their hatred of him, like yours and many on this thread is unbelievable.
          He made mistakes, but at the end of the day he has apologised
          There was hardly any coverage of the Keir Starmer episode.
          I do not need a history lesson on this country and it’s politics and I reitetate, Tony Blair taking us into a war is NOT ancient history.
          I have as much right as you to voice my views.

          • “There was hardly any coverage of the Keir Starmer episode.”
            That’s because there wasn’t one.
            On the other hand, it’s difficult to ignore the 126 fixed penalty notices dished out to No 10.

          • I don’t see hatred for Johnson on this thread or on the BBC. I think the feeling is strong disapproval, rather than hatred.

      • I’ve made plenty of mistakes.
        But I’m not the PM. I haven’t lied to the Queen, Parliament or the people.
        Unlike Boris.

        • Well as far as I am concerned there certainly was a ‘beergate’
          Whether it is 1 or 126 they all need investigating.
          The BBC are left leaning, pander to the woke brigade and are certainly
          NOT impartial.

          • The BBC is impartial and that’s why the Tories don’t like them – they report the truth, not the party line. . And irrespective of any perceived political bias, anyone can contribute to “Have your Say” and either make comment or uptickor downtick comments. And almost every recent post about Boris has been critical, and the ratio of pro-Boris to anti-Boris “ticks” was about 1 to 10.
            And the government, no matter which way it leans, is the one making (or failing to make) policies, and so is in the sights of the media.
            The Durham police investigated claims of partying by Keir Starmer, and found that there was no case to answer. The investigation has been reopened because of huge pressure by the Tories to deflect attention away from the law-breaking at No. 10.
            I note that Keir Starmer has given an undertaking to resign if a FPN is sent his way; in stark contrast to Boris, who thinks it’s quite ok to lie to Queen, Parliament and the People.

  13. How shameful for any conservative to support a liar and lawbreaker.

    Someone tell the member for South Thanet, that his party was once the party of law and order.

    Honesty used to be that one thing we British could be proud of, all our leaders were honest (excluding election campaigns).

    It seems that corruption is now rife, look at those disappearing billions of taxpayer’s money during Covid.

    How sad, we’ve just celebrated our monarch’s Jubilee, and even the most ardent Republican generally admires the Queen’s service to the country, but now we are tainted by Boris Johnson’s antics.

    Think on Craig, are you not ashamed of your Prime Minister.

  14. Gotta say, Boris on charge is now Labours best weapon. They can put the Tory mp’s anti Boris quotes on their next election posters! Let’s see the outcome of this month’s by-elections

  15. You’ve got to wonder about anyone congratulating Boris on the outcome of this “No Confidence” vote.
    The vote was brought in the first place by disenchanted Tory mps, his colleagues, his team; some, no doubt, because they are heartily sick of his unprincipled behaviour, some because they’re sure that if Boris is still in charge at the next election, the Torys will be booted out.
    211 of his colleagues voted to say that they are still confident in him as leader. They want to throw their hats into the ring with a person who has lied to the Queen, lied to Parliament, lied to the people.
    I don’t know what sort of country Boris’ supporters want to live in, but it’s certainly not one where high principles are held in high regard.

  16. It’s good news, the longer they keep Bozo in power the greater chance of Labour & the Liberals turning the country around in the next General election. Thank you Boris for being the greatest advert for not voting Conservative.

  17. Our local MP has already confirmed his disregard for honesty and integrity. I hope Thanet voters remember this at election time.

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