South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: A new PM and big issues to be solved

Craig Mackinlay

With the Conservative leadership election now settled, and mercifully quickly, we have a new PM in Rishi Sunak. We can get back to normal and deal with important issues such as the channel migrant debacle, cost of living pressures, tax and spending.

These are big issues requiring a solution. I hope to find myself in agreement with my government on all issues but I may well have something to say if the Autumn Statement (another mini-budget) on 17th November looks like a path to more tax. I’m not going to cry before I’m hurt, but I maintain there are spending ‘cuts’ which are preferable to additional taxes, not least cuts which are actually nothing of the sort – that is government procuring goods and services better and cheaper, making sure that fraud is rooted out and recovered and taking a serious look at the layers of bureaucratic jobs across all departments with a sober consideration as to whether all are truly necessary or desirable. This isn’t an attack on the Civil Service; many could put their ample skills to better use in the productive private sector. We must never forget that every public sector salary and future pension provision has to be paid for out of the profits and tax receipts generated in the private one.

The government department that could deliver huge budget savings is the DWP. Despite the Governor of the Bank of England doing his best to talk the country into a recession, there are still over a million unfilled jobs available; Kent has more vacancies than available applicants. Rather than reach for the easy fix of simply importing new workers via work visas, it must be a more elegant solution to encourage UK workers to take a job or do a few more hours in existing ones. There are 5.3m across the country on Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit. If a tougher approach was taken, which is not unreasonable, the costs of such ongoing support would diminish and there’d be more money in people’s pockets which would be a beneficial growth measure.

The dominant issue this week is the migrant crisis. The Manston processing centre, now back to a semblance of normality, had been overwhelmed because of the volume of arrivals by dinghy and the decant of 700 from the Dover centre in the wake of the firebomb attack. It’s all very well the usual suspects huffing and puffing but if they have a plan to spirit out of thin air thousands of new beds overnight I’d be pleased to hear of it.

Accommodating these people came closer to home over the weekend with an outsourced company, Clearsprings, appointed by the Home Office, taking over the old Christ Church University student accommodation in Broadstairs and allocating it to asylum accommodation. This has obviously caused local concern.

I’m very unhappy about it, situated as it is close to numerous schools and in a residential area. There is some uncertainty as to whether the building has appropriate planning consents for this use, which is being pursued. This chaotic situation has to stop. French authorities could stop the beach launchings, stopping the people traffickers lucrative trade and preventing the inevitable loss of life that we’ll see again over the winter. Seeking asylum is not a shopping choice, a claim should be made in the first available safe country of which claimants will have travelled through many on the way to the UK. The new dynamic of Albanians making up the biggest single cohort this year, now 12,000, is beyond bizarre. I don’t understand how a refugee claim can be made by citizens from an EU applicant country, NATO member and member of the Council of Europe. Both Germany and Sweden refuse such applications.

All European countries use the same framework of the 1951 Refugee Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights. Why is our interpretation leading to a higher number of successful asylum claims, some five times higher than EU countries? The Home Secretary needs to act to close loopholes, and urgently.

I take part in many political Q&A sessions. I was impressed with the knowledge and depth of questioning at such a session with the 6th Ramsgate Royal Harbour Sea Scouts. Many questions were related to climate change and energy, which must indicate what is being taught in schools. All very relevant at the time of the COP27 conference in Egypt. My interpretation of these annual jamborees is that they are a waste of time, especially as China and India are not in attendance, and the easiest CO2 saving would be for them to take place, if they must, online.


  1. Re: “Climate Change”. They now want us to effectively pay compensation for the Industrial Revolution! Fine, as long as those countries receiving payments return to living in mud huts with no electricity and no motorised transport instead of benefitting from the West’s progress over the past couple of hundred years.

    Rant over (back to work!).

  2. what have they been doing for the last 12 years ? – lots of rhetoric and wrecking the country – thats all.

  3. wow. the hypocrisy. this bloke says that people shouldn’t fly to the climate summit (it should take place online) whist at the same time tries to open an airport over our homes and schools. he says there’s too many job vacancies in kent, whilst claiming need an airport for jobs. and his toxic views on immigration are flat out shameful. vote home out.

        • hi peter concerning the immigrant problem in your neck of the woods and elsewhere and the fact its happened on the watch of the clearly clueless conservatives surely there must be a general election asap…do consider signing and resharing widely all over the uk on social media especialy facebook a petition on the uk government and parliament petition page [google it] call an immediate general election to end the chaos of the current government…if you do sign it? be sure to reshare it widely all over the uk on social media especialy facebook

    • And at the same time his mate the Home Secretary Suella Deville last week flew into Manston on a Chinook helicopter and with have how many “ support vehicles “ with her !
      Talk about hypocrisy !

    • It’s in the arena of difficult decisions – difficulty arising through ignorance or difficulty arising from the intensity of public anger over their increasingly divisive, inhumane policies.

      They will go as far as they can in making the majority of us enslaved through the creation of mass poverty.

  4. Specifically on the refugees, our local MP voted for every cut to the Immigration and Borders Agency, and before that the IND. These trained staff interviewed and assessed claimants quickly, the majority at airports. The worked with other agencies to apprehend overstayers and others not lawfully in the country and took cases to Court where appropriate. Now most of these staff are gone, huge backlogs are the order of the days and cowboy contractors run poor services and often employ some of the people they should be apprehending! Truly a case of “penny wise, pound foolish” – so hang your head in shame Mr McKinley, you and your Tory cronies are entirely to blame for a system that is idiotic, cruel and expensive!

    • Immigration Immigration….it started with the begining of man.Perhaps if we send back anyone whose great grandfather was an an immigrant to this countryand do the same in reverse for all those who emigrated.Pretty much every Australian,Canadian,American,NewZealander and Brits dispersed around the World would probably triple our population. Us Anglo Saxons,Roman,Norman,Picts who have been here since Jesus Christ.
      Wake up and give yourselves a lesson on movements of people worldover.

  5. Climate change is the biggest con known to mankind the climate has always changed and it’s no different now the coast of The UK used to be joined to France dinosaurs walked the Earth are we hoping the dinosaurs come back when all this is ridiculous Climate Change garbage is done with. All what’s Going on in the world we are worried about the climate. The experts said we were all going to die in the pandemic there will be no humanity left now we can’t even get an appointment to see a doctor to check if we are alive or not.

  6. They shouldn’t allow any more migrants into the country, they should be diverted to somewhere else.
    Those who are already here should be given the opportunity to work or go back to where they came from.
    If the government can put these imergrants into hotels, why can’t they put the homeless people in, I mean the English people.

      • If we re-joined the EU they would stop coming here, simples! Its the Brexiteers who are responsible for encouraging migrants to come here, because they know they can’t be returned back to the first EU country they entered. And who was Deputy head Brexiteer? Why it was one Craig Mackinlay, when he was deputy to Farage in UKIP!

    • hear hear surely there needs to be a general election its time the people were heard do consider signing and resharing widely a petition on the uk government and parliament petition page call an immediate general election to end thec chaos of the current government it currently has 895,807 signatures

  7. I wondered when he would appear from under the rock he is using as a refuge.So,am I getting this right.Mr Airport is saying don’t fly to Egypt and that it should all be done online.Well yes,he is correct, and yes, he is a hypocrite, but we all knew that.
    The last time I saw him he had a face like a slapped haddock when he was standing as body guard to another looney right wing ideologue, after the mad queen’s reign was ended.
    Now he is saying that the madness of queen Liz (Truss that is, not of course our revered E11R), did not cause the gaping hole in the nation’s accounts, it was the Bank of England.
    As for sacking civil servants, that did not go to well, when Liz Truss sacked the head of the treasury, who might have cautioned her on her mad blitz of our economic wellbeing.
    Craig supported Looney liz, remember that. At least Sir Rog had sense enough to say that we were heading in a 180 degree direction away from safety.
    I want to tell you Craig, this is a 100% made in the UK, catastrophe of mega proportions, served up by Craig and others who backed Liz Truss. It was not caused by Putin, the EU, migrants, Covid, the BBC,Jeremy Corbyn, the looney left, little green men from Mars, or anyone else. It was carried out by those who sit around dining tables in Greenwich, decrying the working poor for not working hard enough,just like you are doing now,Craig.
    I wish to God that the electorate would end your tenure, but unfortunately you and the slimy toads that mismanage this country, will invent some hopeless, unbelievable story or excuse,and the credulous of Thanet, like Peter Checksfield, will vote you back into office. Let’s face it, your lack of performance and poor judgement would be reason enough to damn you, but no,blind faith, and never listening to alternatives,mean that Thanet, like Sisyphus is condemned for all time to push the boulder of failure up hill.

  8. Craig regularly promotes private enterprise as a solution for our countries ills. Which is a little surprising given that over 2m people receiving universal credit are employed! Clearly the state is supporting private enterprises that cannot afford to pay people what they need to live in this country. This is not a handout to the poor but a handout to private enterprise. Why do the tax payers have to put up with it. Private enterprise should pay a living wage.
    On the same theme I’m sure that Craig a strong supporter of market forces would agree that badly run companies should fail or at least change leadership. Why would the public sector be any different. Incompetence should have consequences.
    Whilst austerity is a good idea for an accountant it is a disaster for an economist.

  9. Economists agree that the current economic melt-down in this county is not just a result of the pandemic or the war in Ukraine but largely caused (or exacerbated at best) by the disastrously negotiated Brexit deal.

    Mr Mackinlay as you know the fantasy of post Brexit sunlit uplands was forced and gaslit by a cartel of far right libertarians and disaster capitalists one to which you belong – the ERG. You will also be aware that between 2010-2018 £340,000 per year of tax payers money funded the ERG along with money in a second bank account for private donations running into millions. You and all other Tory MP paid a £2000 subscription fee to the ERG that you claimed back on expenses.

    So can you explain why no ERG research has ever been published and why Mr Rees-Mogg’s staff denied he was even a member?

    What is so secret about this research and why are members of the ERG so hesitent to confirm their membership? How much of your time as as South Thanet MP do you spend attending to ERG duties? How does the ERG help South Thanet?

  10. How can the jobless, the disabled and infirm, the elderly on state pensions, benefit from tax cuts, when they don’t pay any tax Mr Mackinlay? As usual the right wing extremists like you couldn’t give a damn about the most vulnerable in society, as long as you and deluded cronies can make a fast buck with off the wall capitalism running riot! Its time this country discovered that leaving the EU was the worst betrayal since Munich, when Chamberlin caved into Hitler. It beats me why anyone should vote to leave the EU, when they had no idea what the Terms & Conditions were, Duurh.

    • You are spot on about tax decreases not benefiting the most vulnerable in society, plus we’ve seen the absolute destruction that a low tax economy creates. Mr Mackinlay is coming across as an ever increasingly desperate fantasist in his articles these days. Add to this the news this morning that the PM and the Chancellor are now discussing the ‘unthinkable’ and allowing local governments to increase council tax…….don’t think even the most rabid worshipers, who pray nightly at the temple of the Tory can defend that. The Tories have broken the economy.

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