South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: Coronation, Pugin and elections

Craig Mackinlay

It is difficult to put into words the full glory of the Coronation of King Charles III, the pomp and majesty of a thankfully rare event laid out in full thanks to the quality of modern cameras and the high definition of our televisions.

How very different from the story related by my late mother whereby her grandmother had purchased a small, flickering black and white set for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Literally billions of people around the world would have watched this weekend’s events with a sense of enchantment that our geographically small nation has significant reach, influence and global appeal. There were very few places available to Parliamentarians to attend the Coronation and I was not fortunate enough to win a golden ticket in the MPs ballot but by way of compensation, the King and Queen attended Westminster Hall on Tuesday 2nd May to meet Members of both Houses of Parliament. I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation with His Majesty and to shake his hand. A true privilege.

Parliament’s Restoration and Renewal Team are visiting many parts of the country as plans advance to commence the significant restoration of the Palace of Westminster. This will be the biggest restoration project in Europe requiring many old skills that are now rare and a complex supply chain of traditional materials. It’s a plan that’s been in process for years but with no firm conclusions as to the form it will take.

The big stumbling block is the prospect of Parliament being shifted out of the estate for many years and for obvious reasons this is not universally supported by MPs and Lords. The other matter is the cost which will run into many billions of pounds. There is no doubt that restoration is needed of this most iconic of the UK’s landmarks but how that form should take will be widely discussed.

Augustus Pugin, the designer of the Palace of Westminster in its high gothic style, was one of our local residents and is buried in a family crypt within the recently renovated Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate. The team came to Ramsgate to look at the Shrine and Pugin’s home ‘The Grange’ built in similar gothic style. It is worth looking up the history of Pugin and one wonders how he managed to fit in so much into a relatively short life. He died at age 40.

Local elections have swept through much of the country. Conservatives fared badly. I won’t even try to put a brave spin on it as local elections, even though very poor turnouts, usually around the 30% mark, way less than half the engagement of a general election obviously give an indication of the way the electorate is feeling. Labour have taken Thanet and Dover District Councils. Not entirely unexpected and most of the boroughs in the county have moved to no overall control. Labour won big in Medway.

We are running a ‘sensible’ national government, battered as we have been by external events of Covid and the Ukraine war, but realistically have we offered any excitement of late to encourage Conservative voters to come out to vote in local elections? Obviously not despite the minority Conservative administration in Thanet quietly doing great things to turn the authority around.

There are clearly lots of Conservative voters across Kent, the General Election of a three and a half years ago proves that. High taxes, no obvious halting of the boats crossing the channel, house building and planning concerns mixed with a general sense of malaise worked against us. We have to change the ground quickly else the country could sleepwalk into a new socialist era of even more ‘woke’, class envy and doubtless higher taxes.

Doubtless lots of discussions around the corridors and rooms of Westminster over the coming weeks. It’s never dull!


  1. I tend to find those who use ‘woke’ as a slur or something not to aspire to are frankly not to be trusted. To be ‘woke’ is to be aware and awake to injustices and to want to put right those things which make our society unequal and frankly under the Tories for the last 13 years, full of despair and a lack of hope for the future. I look forward to the day that Thanet returns Labour MPs and a Labour Government.

    • Your right Adam, in the old days it meant being “Socially and Politically conscious”. These are the very attributes the Tory’s are scared of! They want people to be ignorant and ill informed, that way they can con them more easily ergo Brexit, and the coronation! The rabid right wing mass media have been having a field day filling their newspapers, magazines, and TV glorifying the monarchy, who are only there to make it easier to distract, and divert their attention from pathetic governments. What was it 5 Tory Prime Ministers in 3 years Duuuurh!

  2. Both you and local Conservatives claimed that Thanet was supportive of the dirty polluting freight hub proposal and that Ramsgate Town Council was wrong to support the JR to ensure any decision was made based on the available evidence. This resounding vote proves you were wrong on both counts.

  3. Damage limitation exercise by the MP but plain fact is that the only Tory council in Kent is Dartford. Dover, Medway and Thanet have Labour majorities and in most of the others Labour is now the biggest party. Brexit is now a settled issue and we are not going back. The Tories are the party of the pale, male and stale and couldn’t find enough candidates for seats right across the Isle. Having, tried voter suppression with their ID nonsense they still lost heavily. Things really are looking up!

  4. David just because you’re surname is Green does not mean you have to talk like a weed. Manston Airport will not be “dirty” unlike the area you are supposed to have represented. Grow up.

    • All airports are “dirty” it is the nature of their business. Burning kerosene over the heads of people is inherently dirty. Then on top of that is the HGVs to move the goods around. Far better to let East Midlands keep the smog in the Midlands

    • Ann stop taking drugs, it has rotted your brain out along with all the other tory, pro-brexit, airport fume sucking tw@s

    • “Dirty great airport” is what Ashe Ashby called it.
      She should know, being a bosom buddy of Mr F.

      • So Craig’s, post-election reflection asks:
        “realistically have we offered any excitement of late to encourage Conservative voters to come out to vote in local elections?”
        Realistically? What you offered the local electorate was Manston. Good to see you finally admit that you’ve been backing the wrong horse.
        *Checks Conservative pre-election campaign leaflet,under the massive heading of “Manston Airport”…
        “There is a clear choice on 4th May. Vote Conservative – get our airport back”
        Can we take you comment then, Craig, as a tacit acknowledgement that – contrary to your previous ludicrous and unsubstantiated claims – the people of South Thanet are not at all excited or motivated to get the airport back?
        Far from it, in fact … As your own Tory flyer goes on to say:
        “Vote Labour and they’ll do all they can to prevent it”.
        The voters have spoken, loud and clear. Read the room, Craig.

  5. Seems you have been making a sow’s ear out of a silk purse for 8 years and now your stupidity has cost your fellow Tories their seats.
    How about an apology McMuffin

  6. Opposing ‘woke’ means supporting social inequalities, which sums up the Tory approach to life – selfish and greedy. And using ‘class envy’ implies socialism is class-based, but if you ever went to a meeting of ”lefties” you’d see all classes represented. No, he’s just trying to imply that woke people are after your money, which is rubbish; all that’s wanted is a fair, just society, something the Tories do not want.

    I believe that the people have now become very aware of the Tory agenda of greed, their disregard of society and their corruption, and that is why the vote has swung against them. I can’t see that changing anytime soon. The future is looking hopeful at last.

  7. “We are running a ‘sensible’ national government”

    Don’t make me laugh. You’ve destroyed everything good about our country. Nothing works any more. No money for anything. Prices through the roof. Sewage in every waterway. You’re a spent force, a zombie government, and all you’ve got left is xenophobia and division. I’ve written to you three times and you/your office has been astonishingly dismissive and rude every time in reply. Can’t wait to send you packing.

    • You got a reply aberinkula! I never did, Craig only replies to me if he can refute something in his favour! I only contacted him with national problems, anything else is dealt with by District, or Kent County Councillors. He realy is the Alan B’stard (remember him?) of this Tory party, in it for what he can get out of it!

  8. Well here we are again.Kathy had the good sense to keep this nitwit off the paper during the election.He is still spouting his fake clap trap.In 2019 when he thought he was winning, there was nothing about woke,class envy,or socialism, just triumphalism, and saying Brexit was done or would be done.Now that it is done, the voters are beginning to see it was a bit of a pig in a poke, and some are responding accordingly.If we add to the madness of previous years, and the derangements of two past prime ministers, poor old Craig is looking a bit woeful.What this means for Manston is anyone’s guess, but I suspect that the DFT have better things to be resolving like a bus network in freefall and smart motor ways that kill the unwary.
    Now Craig, how long have you been sitting in that beastly little office at Portcullis House? 8 years is it?
    Yet you still don’t know that Sir James Barry designed the Palace of Westminster after the original burnt down in 1834(see Turner’s painting).The fire was caused by staff burning old tally sticks and the fire got out of control.Westminster Hall was saved by the actions of James Braidwood who is the father of the London Fire Brigade, and died in the Tooley Street fire 30 years later.
    A.W.N Pugin did propose a gothic design for the Palace of Westminster, but it was rejected, and Barry got the gig,which was a bit of a rip off of Pugin’s design.Pugin did deliver the interior and in the process created a new industry for recreating gothic ornamentation.He went mad in the process and Craig is doing the same.
    Kathy, with Craig, less is more OK!

  9. He is still leaning on small boats and a war on woke.

    These poor deluded fools don’t have any other tricks.

    He is cooked. Thankfully.

    This could have been a wake up call. They could have realised people don’t care about their dog whistling antics and prefer to see the rich 5% and energy companies fairly taxed, they’d prefer to see instead of keeping talking about inflation in the 1970s that they’d act on the inflation now.

    We don’t believe or want trickle down. We aren’t fooled by the obsession with the small boats. We want you to actually focus on health, education and Policing and equally stop watering down our quality of life with policy changes that water down our protections.

    Keep banging this drum and we will take anyone over you idiots.

    Clean up your corrupt ways or many of us will never vote for you again.

  10. We must always remember that Mr Mackinlay was UKIP and still is.He and Farage had a dust up but they still are two cheeks of the same backside.

  11. What shocks me is the massive gap between Mack’s appalling public views and how he is face-to-face.
    I’ve not had much to do with him but have followed his career and opinions. How does this work? He writes offensive, divisive and ignorant tropes but has a pleasant manner outside party politics.
    Is he a consummate actor, sociopath or twins?
    On this latest view he suggests class envy is the socialists problem.
    Craig, when I see distressingly bad housing, overoccupied by struggling people its not envy of the billions wasted on the monarchy or similar amounts taken by criminal fraudsters (our government), they simply want a decent life!
    I wonder what your little daughter will think of you when she’s older? Maybe she’ll understand why so few people like you.

    • Utter drivel Pirate Jenny. Most objected to Manston airport are not true locals. Craig is a genuine hard working family man and is a straight talking honest MP. As youngsters we worked hard for small wages . These days many expect to be rewarded well for doing the minimum amount of work regarded as acceptable , with work from home, etc etc. Just be careful of what you wish for as Labour have always left our country in a mess ; strikes, no money left, high unemployment ; the list goes on and on. Plus that was after getting in when the economy was in good shape, not the life changing events , Covid, Russia s war v Ukraine, and raging inflation. If you have faith in Sir Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner, Dianne Abbott & Co to come to the rescue of GB then you are certainly deluded beyond belief

      • You are a foolish old man.
        No the economy was not in good shape,it was suffering under the post Brexit slump in the value of the pound and the loss of market banks were and are booming,the NHS and local Govt were under funded.
        Stop making excuses and face facts.The young are not overpaid,because the only that is rising is rents.Pensioners are getting a fair cut and the young are paying for them.So shut up sit and watch ITV3 and quit complaining about those funding your lifestyle.

      • “Most objected to Manston airport are not true locals”
        I’m not *completely* sure what that means.
        But I am sure that the election result was 100% the consequence of “true locals” actions.
        They took heed of Craig MacKinley’s dire election warning that a vote for Labour was a vote against Manston. And voted, in droves, for Labour.

      • Craig only supports the reopening of Manston because he has shares in a local air freight company. Follow the money.

      • Yeh you worked hard for small wages but houses cost a 10th of what they do now. There is no hope in our current society. Bring on socialism, can’t wait to get shot of the Tories.

      • I f you are concerned just read the reports from medical investigations on the threat from the particulates that fossil fuels produce and aircraft are the biggest producers of this threat that kills people that’s why I am anti airport and I have lived here all my long life.

      • Concerned Thanet Resident your an idiot! Manston was being promoted by Gale and Mackinlay because they thought it would be a vote winner, but now people know it would not have any passenger airlines, only dirty old cargo planes, flying in over Ramsgate Harbour at less than 300 meters high, destroying the hospitality trade, and devaluing property before touch down at just 100 meters high over Nethercourt, and especially in the CT11 postal code area, not to mention all the noise and air pollution throughout Thanet, they voted against it! Oh, and it must not be forgotten Mackinlay owns “Mama Airlines” a paper only company, and has set up a client who has a logistics company in the expectation Manston will re-open, yeah right on Mackinlay, you don’t even live in Thanet, you and Gale are traitors, and the people, especially the “Woke” ones, know it!

  12. The opposite of ‘woke’ is insensible dozing – probably with a fair bit of drooling too.

  13. So Craig, the economy was suffering from the effects of Covid and the Ukraine war? Was there anything else do you think, something to do with putting barriers between us and the worlds biggest single market?

  14. All main political party leaders supported the completely destructive lockdowns, experimental vax now causing even more mayhem and the Ukraine War with its Western regime change agenda (from 2014 and way before), and so show themselves to be puppets. A few MPs spoke out and were slurred, shut down and threatened. Mackinlay did speak out against the lockdowns and I do give him full credit for that, while others were just too cowardly to do so. Let’s see who has integrity, who is honest about what is really happening across the world and who makes a difference amongst all of them. Remember there is a propaganda war waging and Hancock is quoted as saying he wanted to scare the pants off the British public.

    • What “experimental vax”? What”mayhem”?
      I recall that, when the vaccination programme began, controversy theorists confidently predicted that all those who were vaccinated would be dead in two years.
      We’re not.
      Craig MacKinkey is ignorant, and spreads dangerous false information.

      • The biggest anti vaccinators were people who had the most to lose like Trump, who was against any sort of Lockdown because it meant no customers for his hotels, and golf courses! Johnson also kept horse racing open especially for the Grand National, before there was any vaccines available, Duurh! Thankfully the most people who caught Covid, and who died were anti-vaxxers apparently! Over 550 people died of Covid in Thanet alone, before TDC took down their website posting weekly deaths!

  15. When I read the word vax- or vaxx- I always associate it with my hoover. Which is in fact a Dyson.

    Roll on the 15-minute town/city!

    Marva Rees

  16. Seems to me you greatly misjudged by turning the local elections into a de facto referendum on Manston, stating that labour would fight the reopening and only under the Tories would it reopen.In fact the Tories campaign focused on little else. The result being some of the biggest airport supporters like Bayford, Shonk, Ashbee and the Pipers losing their seats. Seems to me it represents a resounding no to a 24/7 cargo hub.

  17. Dear MacKipper,

    After the Conservatives electioneering on the Manston ticket, at least have the integrity to stand up and say it as it is now- i.e. there is no mandate for Manston. You cannot do that you, because you own MAMA airlines and are also in the pocket of petrochemical companies in funding your ‘Net Zero Watch’ group of climate change deniers.

    How else were the Tories defeated:
    1. Brexit- there was no plan & the nutters took over the asylum. Being ex-UKIP & a self-named ‘Spartan’ you were one of them.

    2. Cronyism & misbehaviour- From COVID contracts corruption, to protecting sex pests, to overspending on election campaigns- yet again, you were one of them, your nearby friends such as Gale and Elphicke were others.

    You have zero integrity, your lack of self-awareness displays total arrogance and you only care about enriching yourself to the detriment of others in your constituency… bring on GE 2024.

  18. Genral Election? Labour, LibDem and Greens all did very well at the local elections. But unless they agree to a progressive alliance Lab are not sure to beat the Tory’s. We won’t get rid of Mackinlay without a co-operative effort, Greens and LibDems are for it but Lab National are likely to prevent Thanet CLP’s agreeing it.
    We all need to go back to our respective Parties to sort this now. I’d support an alliance if it guaranteed, just for starters, to remove the wastful and dissenfranchising “voter ID” scandal, introduce PR within a year of the new Parliament, remove the anti-protest legislation and bring all the utilities back into public ownership in a way that prohibits future privatisation.

    • 100% agree, and I’d add to the list, rejoin Europe. Brexit was the biggest act of self-harm perpetrated in the last 100 years.

  19. Reclaim party, that’s his next home. Sounds nice and organic, like some kind of woke, green community organisation. Instead its full of recycled policies, recycled fake news, and recycled washed up, actors and politicians. Craig will fit in perfectly, he can add a reclaimed Manston to their potty pot pourri of nonsensical ideas.
    Populists end up not being popular or capable of fixing anything.
    You can lie to all of the people some of the time, Craig; and lie to some of the people, all of the time ,but it is not possible to lie to the people all of the time.
    Sooner or later you will be found out, and that is what is beginning to happen.
    It does mystify me, that there are supposedly sentient beings that vote or excuse, the incompetence and low standards of public life exhibited by this govt for the last 10 years. Even football supporters, are not that forgiving or uncritical of their teams performances.

  20. While most of Thanet has moved on to bigger issues like – y’know – trying to feed their households, (or trying to buy or rent a house affordably), Craig still spends most of his time and energy trying to pick non-existent post-Brexit fights with the EU, railing against some imaginary “woke agenda” or speaking out against renewable energy when his own constituency is home to what was until recently the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

    The South Thanet Conservative’s election campaign flyer spoke laughably about Manston being “the biggest investment and opportunity in Thanet’s history”. Really? Even if we believe for one second that Riveroak has the £500m Craig & Co suggest, (it doesn’t), this is still dwarfed by the £880m Vattenfall actually invested in the Thanet windfarm.

    If Craig is so keen on promoting international inward investment in high-tech growth sectors in his constituency – pretty high on the job description of any local MP – why is he so openly antagonistic and hostile to one that actually exists, that is genuinely future-facing, with a proven track record and with actual money to invest? Why does he prefer instead to support Riveroak – a company that has consistently failed to provide any evidence of funding, one which 7yrs after incorporation still has no executive board or delivery team – it’s basically a one-man band – and that one man’s track record is a long history of lies, failure and fraud? This versus Vattenfall and London Array? Really, Craig?

    How does Craig square off his very vocal climate change denials and “Net Zero Watch” misinformation campaign with the Levelling Up Funding for Ramsgate that he’s so keen to try and disingenuously claim credit for? A large part of this funding is allocated to a Green Port project, (including “supporting innovation and diversification for wind farm operators”) and a Green Campus to help develop low carbon technologies. So why does Craig take to Twitter on an almost daily basis to bad-mouth this industry that has such a strong foothold, track record and real growth potential right on his doorstep and in his own constituency?

    Thanet deserves better. Much, much better. Roll on GE2024.

    • Superb comment Ben Chester. I can give you the answer to your question in the last paragraph very succinctly. Vattenfall doesn’t bribe CM to support them. They stand on their own merits. The fossil fuel industry on the other hand need useful idiots to promote their lies and find happy recipients of their funding among the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of morons.

  21. I’d love to see Craig even pretend to be circumspect and show a level of accountability for anything! I’ve worked with small children who had a better grasp on taking responsibility for their ages. I can only assume he genuinely thinks that everything that goes wrong is always someone else’s fault; rather than thinking about how he/his party may have played a part in it!

  22. Im not so sure Craig will win the GE in Thanet.I voted Labour in the local elections because of the neglect of road sweeping , litter picking, turfs growing kerbside,graffiti,silted up drains everywhere,potholes,I could go on.The Tories have underfunded everywhere is this borough and complaining to Ash Ashbee and Craig and nothing improves.Thanet looks worse than many a so calldd Third World country,of which I have visied many.So here is a Tory lokking to vote elsewhere at the GE.

    • I know this is old news now. But after burying my head in the sand for some time. Im appaled how stagnant our council has been and our MP’s total lack of basic knowledge of our locals and the struggles we face. The personal side of what mps are suppossd to act upon. Im angered at the response and follow up of how deluded the Tory MP is, example we have poverty within low income families, evictions through the roof, housing in Thanet is impossible to navigate for the last 6 years, our economy has had more distructive hits and waste of time projects lumped in.
      Social housing has remained lowest ever. Private developments are ok though, even allowing them to reduce the social housing quota. Everyone in the department of underling to mackinley. Ie councillors have shown the locals how much they find him un-supporting. Ive spoke to a fair few and all have the attitude we can make it look like we care and help but craigs got us under his thumb. After multiple letters explaining a terrible situation, we were passed over to a councillor, buck passing is what he is good for. When it all goes pete tong, he points at everyone else.
      Im sick of multiple evictions, air bnbs more progressive than the councils build plans. 2bed private rental properties are the price of detached bungalows 5/6 years ago. Now extra incomes to cope are non ixsistant.its pure Wasting time, local issues are what residents care most about. Big country problems we cant blame him for, as a major MP said, he is just a fart in the wind to us big mps, oh look a 36 million pound grant to a folly of a new train station. Nobody needs it, loads of land and its tdc that passes homeless families to medway and ashford and maidstone. Youve got councillors saying weve been informed there is no temporary housing in thanet for families. Now is this a lack of planning or extensive refugees causing a shortage of property?. Either way our council governed by macdingle, wigh no real plan to combat the obvious issues. What a hell of a team. Ive lost all faith in this boroughs ability to fix itself because of the notorious lack of basic ability to manage the situation. Us poor resisents have to swallow. Enough hype and his tripe, youve had the chance and continue to fail us all. Regardless who holds what seats if overall management is wrong our community falls stagnant it refloats over and over same old mistakes/problems. A bigger shakeup is needed. Rich buy our Air bnbs up creating a shortage for needing local homes for families. I do sit and wonder at the funds wasted on the Turner folly pre mueseum, the airport fiasco, the millions wasted giving up Dreamland after its finished, the funds wasted building a road system linking to the airport that promtly closed. With help of local no night flighters, it never made money on commercial flights with our clientel, so only option is frieght and they campained to get that stopped. I now see the same folk trying to reopen Manston. Omg its to funny but seriously deluded. Manston wants flattening and build houses on the lot. Create new infrastruture. How many homes could be built with the £36 million alone i wonder? Meanwhile concillors are saying our hands are tied as the hi ups in the council for social housing are pulling the strings for a tune nobody wants to admit to singing. Cant wait to move up north. Where the stench of bs isnt so prominant. The streets are cleaned and its MPs talk sense and actually do what they say. I was proud to live here & now im not.

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