South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: EU deal supposition and local health provision

Craig Mackinlay

We’ve had two weekends of supposition about a new ‘deal’ with the EU to resolve the status of Northern Ireland. As ever, the discussions merely focus on trade and the complications, which should never have arisen, in the movement of medicines, goods, trees and even pets between GB and Northern Ireland. It is quite ridiculous that the low risk and small volumes of potential onward movement of such items into the EU’s Single Market should have even registered as a serious problem. If EU borders were that important and secure how is it each and every country across Europe is awash with illicit drugs? If the ‘deal’ resolves perceived problems then all well and good, but my concerns are more constitutional with the hard-won Good Friday Agreement bringing peace across the communities at the pinnacle of what needs to be preserved and respected. The writ of EU law should not apply in any part of the UK and there should be no difference in the status of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within our Union.

Health provision locally is a big issue with complex difficulties. I want to understand it and improve it, particularly whether it is GP provision, which many are finding delays in accessing that is not operating as it should? To that end, I held a meeting with one of the larger local GP practices. I came away reassured, if not shocked. Out of a patient base of 19,000 the Practice had held close to 12,000 appointments over just a three-month period. Take that in if you will. Some appointments may be the same people multiple times but to think that close to 2/3rds of a patient list goes through the door each quarter is quite something and I was left unsurprised that intense pressure exists.

I’d like to see the figures for other jurisdictions like France, Germany, Israel, Ireland and Australia. They have a more mixed model of health provision with some charging but fundamentally universal in that nobody is left behind. I bet the numbers of GP appointments per head are not on the scale of what we see locally. The senior practitioner I spoke to did say that many who did come in for appointments would probably have been dealt with more effectively and quickly by community pharmacists. It comes down, as ever, to that old adage – ‘If it’s free, I’ll have two’. All governments shy away from a proper debate about the NHS, preferring to throw more money and bureaucrats at it (there are now 650,000 of these employed not involved in frontline care) hoping for better results that never come rather than have an honest cross-politics debate about what we want to achieve from a universal NHS that we all want and how to get there. All the while, the amount, as a percentage of GDP spent by the Department for Health now exceeds Germany and France and yet we have waiting lists and outcomes way worse.

Continuing on health, I had an online meeting with the CEO of the East Kent Health Trust, mainly on the issue of ‘bed-blocking’. An inelegant word for the simple problem of expensive NHS beds being occupied by patients that could be at home with support, in residential care or in a step-down ‘cottage hospital’ style facility. Whilst hospital beds are unnecessarily occupied, strain on the way in at A&E and ambulance waiting because of bed shortages blocks the whole system, puts additional pressures on staff, worry and uncertainty for patients and their families. It would be fair to say we had a purposeful and productive meeting with a good deal of accord on the issues and measures to solve them requiring a greater degree of ‘working together’ across the entirety of health bodies, KCC and private sector care providers. I highlighted similar issues when I was a Councillor in 2007; let us hope it doesn’t take another 16 years before we can finally pull the threads properly together.

On Manston, I’m hearing reports that the local lobby, seeking further crowdfunding to continue a costly legal fight against the airport are running out of steam. Let’s hope so. After 9 years of closure, I want this local asset creating the jobs and opportunities we deserve. The added benefit is that this is a true ‘Levelling-Up’ project requiring no taxpayer funding.


  1. What if you don’t want to live near a filthy, stinking cargo hub? Ramsgate is my home and I will fight to protect it.

    • Your right Gary! I have donated thousands to the Crowd Funding to stop this monstrous idea of re-opening Manston, that will destroy Ramsgate hospitality industry, and devalue homes, especially in the CT11 postal area. Mackinlay (& Gale) have their own nefarious reasons promoting the American Hedge Fund behind re-opening Manston, for instance Mackinlay owns Mama Airlines, and his accountancy practice has a big client who’s set up a logistics company in the expectancy Manston will re-open!

      But I am convinced both Mackinlay, and Gale are promoting the re-opening of Manston because they think it will be a vote winner at the next election! Well it won’t be once people realise there will be pathetically few jobs for local people, except sweeping the runway, as no passenger aircraft are planned. Mackinlay was Deputy to Farage of UKIP fame, and is rabidly anti EU, and look where thats got us! No one knew what they were voting for when they voted to leave the EU, and thats why its taken 6 years to try and solve the Northern Ireland/Ireland problem, that may start a whole new IRA war, Duurh.

      Then there is the constant problem of small boat migrants which didn’t exist when we were in the EU, because asylum seekers had to claim in the first EU country they entered! Leaving the EU has been a disaster especially in the Care and farming industries, where there is now a massive shortage of labour! If you want to stop the UK from falling into 3rd world status, which it very nearly is now, just look at the state of the roads and pavements, vote Mackinlay out, he is only in it for what he can get out of it! He’s our very own Alan B’Staad!)

    • Mackinlay is well-known for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick and believing things which just aren’t true.

  2. Thanks craig you have just LOST the next election by indicating you want to charge people to see a doctor thus ending the n h s mantra that it is service regardless of the individual being able to pay.

    • He won’t mind if he loses. He will be entitled to money as an ex MP and a pension. The first entitlement to help him settle into city street following the loss of his position as an MP

    • Keir Starmer is a liar and will put the desires his billionaire corporate donors before the needs of the public. Vote for a local independent MP that cares about Thanet.

        • They are also Tory MPs so you’d never catch me voting for them regardless of whether they live in Thanet. Vote for a decent independent MP, not a Tory or whatever careerist Keir Starmer happens to parachute in from London.

    • Funny, because the NHS is not free, it is free at point of use. For three years now people have been paying into the NHS, yet are unable to see GP’s or a dentist. Their only access to treatment is to roll up in A&E & wait anything up to a day to get seen there.

      Craig & the Tories answer-well, we want to do away with the NHS & have it run by more of our useless friends, perhaps Baroness Mone can cash in again by running it even further into the ground. If the peasants cannot buy Tomatoes then let them eat Turnips, as my good friend the woman in charge of food said, even though they aren’t in season & cannot be found in the shops either.

  3. Still blaming the EU.Well at least we got our Sovereignty back and can govern ourselves.So we get the jokes that are Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.
    Then theres the massive NHS queues,a nation that cannot produce its own fruit and veg,the filthiest littered country in the World,polluted rivers and seas,housing crisis.highest inflation levels in Europe,staff shortages in nearly every business… you want me to carry on? Oh and by the way Im a Tory.

    • The chumps who voted to leave-overwhelmingly from racist/xenophobic red top headlines, fed to them by the Tories who had just illegally deported swathes of West Indian people who had lived & worked here for decades, because they didn’t tick a box in the 1950’s & 1960’s, claiming immigration would fall rapidly-were unsurprisingly the first to complain when the nurses & food pickers went back home as requested, combined with the logistics issues & they couldn’t get their parents looked after any longer, nor get their strawberries & guess what-immigration is at an all-time high.

  4. So there you have it – our M.P. is an extreme Orangeman opposed to the Good Friday Agreement that recognised an Irish dimension to the settlement that bought peace and should have ensured “equality of esteem” of traditions in the six counties. The island of Ireland requires special arrangements to reflect this. Craig’s real problem is of course that his pals in the DUP are now a minority party and Sinn Fein won the majority of seats. Michelle O’Neill will be the First Minister and after the next general election Sinn Fein will be the largest party in the 26 counties. A United Ireland is coming. Get used to it!

  5. Mr McKinley I will give you just one credit since you became MP
    you have successfully supported the re-opening of Manston Airport. Other than that you have been drawn into the silly boys club of the harmful ERG in parliament who are a disgrace to the true Conservative Party and utter waste of public money as MPs
    I trust you will lose the next general election.

    • The fact that MacKinley supports Manston shows what a bad idea it is. Everything else that he supports is bad for Thanet, bad for the electorate, bad for the country. Manston is no different. We should be encouraging modern, green, high-tech industries to Manston, not polluting old cargo planes.

      • He has consistently voted against anything to benefit the environment, along with voting for more privatisation & various cuts to the poorest in society.

  6. I agree with Craig that the whole issue of N.Ireland protocol is ridiculous. It is the result of the contradiction arising from Brexit. Without Brexit – and as N.I voted for Remain – it would have continued without a problem and no risk the Good Friday Agreement, no need for protocols and the ‘Red Tape’ which Tories claim to hate.

  7. Turns out the oven ready deal Craig campaigned for wasn’t oven ready after all. If he didn’t want red tape and trade barriers between UK and NI he shouldn’t have campaigned for them and voted for them in parliament.

  8. Brexit has been and continues to be a complete disaster for Britain. What a lot of people don’t realise is although everything we send to the EU is checked by the EU very little is checked by the U.K. on incoming goods because if more checks were done by the time the goods arrive in the shops the use- by-date would be at there limits.

  9. The only idea Craig ever had of his own was a park of statues of slave traders disposed elsewhere.

    The mind boggles as to who else he wanted in his avenue of oppression.

  10. The investors in Manston are very quiet, busily observing the downward trend in commerce since Brexit. It would be ironic if it was brexit that scupered the airport.

    The airport is not a foregone conclusion.

    • I expect they will be looking to invest in an airport in Northern Ireland given the trading advantage the region now has.

  11. The man once again proves he is a moron. He hasn’t even a basic grip on facts he uses xenophobia and project fear to try and make all his points.

    Just say no.

  12. Although not admitted Craig believes that NI should never have been left in the Single Market thereby ensuring total GB control. This would have created a Land Border within the Island of Ireland contrary to the core basis of the GFA.
    NI represents the ultimate Brexit Check Mate against the ERG and DUP and hopefully this initiative is a preamble to SM membership for all of the UK.

  13. So basically Craig has only just discovered after 3 years that people cannot get GP appointments, but the one surgery he visited finally are seeing people again-so everything is fine & of course back to the Tory mantra that the peasants should pay to see their doctors-even though we currently pay into the NHS which then provides nothing in return other than sitting in A&e for up to a day to get seen. Of course Craig is all right as he can go private.

    Craig is desperate for Manston to go ahead, because he is the boss of a dormant freight & commercial air transport company called Mama Airlines & wants the work from RSP-no conflict of interest there.

    Perhaps Craig could put aside his obvious personal interest in seeing it open, put his local people cap on & ask why his close friend Tony Freudmann is making ludicrous promises for local jobs that he made for Wiggins when it reopened in 1998, that were constantly downgraded & ended up with 100 odd mostly part time jobs, why people keep falling for the same lies over & over, why both KCC in 2014 & an independent review in 2021 after multiple operators lost over 100 million, with none breaking even let alone making a profit & vast taxpayer cash wasted, both came to the same conclusion-that Manston is not viable

  14. Mc Kinley and his ERG chums have well and truly stuffed this country for good. Unable to feed itself as farmers are left without support that the EU gave. Unable to run the NHS after 13 years of underfunding. Unable to run a decent Police force that we can have trust in. Unable to have a decent care system that has been falling apart for years. Mate you have so stuffed yourself on yer ideology you can’t see the damage you have done. Good luck staying in power, you will need it.

  15. With the Boundary Commission report to Parliament in July I wonder if we will get East and West Thanet constituencies that replace the current North and South? MP Mac had a 10K vote lead over Labour last time. It seems very likely that, even without the constituency changes, Mac’s majority will be far less but I want to ensure he is kicked out of office.
    He doesn’t understand Northern Ireland and why a hard border is a really bad idea. He seems to want a health system based on payment up-front rather than free at the point of use. He doesn’t get why a Manston cargo hub is not feasible. He stil can’t see how Brexit was, and continues to be, a disaster. He also doesn’t seem to understand that if you follow the money you can see why all these, apparently daft, decisions were made by his political and business associates. He doesn’t get that so many Thanet Conservatives are really unhappy with him and his like.
    The UK is in the grip of politicians who are asset stripping as much as they can, they are not governing the country but using their position to grab all they can for their personal advantage. We need a progressive alliance across the UK. So long as the Labour Party refuses to engage with this principle everyone who wants the Tory Crazies out will campaign for their own candidates, Green, Lib-Dem, SNP, PC, SF or Independent. Can Thanet lead the way in this? We are in the throes of a National Emergency that is only going to get worse. It is crucial that we see this and act accordingly.

  16. Garry. I completely agree. Progressive alliance is the only way.

    Labour MUST coalesce with others and stop being so dogmatic and arrogant.

    Locally we really need this even more.

    • Why ?

      No fuel grid, no infrastructure, poor location. Has anyone financial business should any interest in investing 500million yet ?

        • Who’s paying for the new 4 lane thanet way and M2 ?

          Who paying for the new rail freight hub and where is it going ?

          Who’s paying for the fuel grid to be put in from Essex ?

          Who is pumping in 500million ?

          How are you going to improve the geographic location ?

          I must have missed all of this when reading about the airport can you point me to where I will find this please

  17. I know where I would like to stuff a giant turnip, or I would if they were in the shops!
    Really Craig, you really are the most ridiculous individual. What is all that garbage about drug dealing, or are you trying to blame the EU for county lines criminality.
    You want to understand healthcare Craig, well start with the Beveridge report dating back to 1942 and before that Seebohm Rowntree’s report on poverty in York in 1901, because that is the society we are heading back to, with ever greater divides between the rich and the poor.
    Want to know why there are not enough doctors and nurses?Look at their pay rates, what they owe in student loans and the cost of housing.
    Want to cut govt expenditure? Start taxing land and wealth more effectively, and use the receipts to build more social homes, not affordable homes which are affordable only from the point of view of an oligarch. If large numbers of the working and middle classes live in good quality, energy efficient housing , for which they are not charged a fortune, housing benefit can fall, wages can be relatively low because workers are not working harder to become poorer, to pay for high rents/mortgages and energy costs.The better off can then be persuaded not to sink all their money in land and housing, so that industry can receive the investment it needs.
    It’s time to create a virtuous circle for all, not just your friends.
    What you and your fellow ERGs advocate is a faustian pact with the devil of neo conservatism, which really means I’m alright Jack! and let them eat Turnips!

  18. So Craig why are Rishi, Andrea and Steve Baker (all Brexiteers) going round saying Northern Ireland is now such an attractive business location because of being in the single market – something denied to the rest of the UK?

  19. So caring and loveable Craig thinks “if it’s free I’ll have two” is in the minds of people trying to get GP appointments. He understands human nature as profoundly as glove puppet in the hands of Nigel Farage

  20. I like Mackinlay, him and his collegues bring a reunited Ireland ever closer.

    Come on Craig, nearly there!

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