Month: June 2017




UNITED IN SUPPORT OF THE RICH? Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay and Tory councillor Paul Messenger

Now isn’t this rich?

Controversy-confounded Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay has a Tory colleague who believes rich people are suffering from “racism” – BECAUSE they’re rich.

Macca’s mucker, Tory county councillor Paul Messenger,  posted on Facebook: “Do you think Jeremy Corbyn has successfully enlisted the whole country into his racist hate of the rich?”

Mr “Mastermind” Messenger justified his extraordinary comment by saying he believed the left’s“pathological hatred” of the rich is a form of racism!

Now we don’t know whether Craig agrees with his Tory chum’s surreal theory – but it would account for why the beleaguered  candidate for South Thanet is a chartered accountant.

Craig obviously just wants to help rich folks with all that terrible discrimination and disadvantage they face.

Makes you feel lucky to be skint, don’t it?





Old Mole is pleased to publish a reader’s letter concerning the activities of our controversy-compounded Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay ….Anyone else had a similar experience? 


I enjoy ThanetWatch – so keep up the good work.  But on Sunday when campaigning was suspended as a mark of respect, a Mackinlay leaflet came through my door in the Westcliff area in Ramsgate.

I don’t know whether this was an isolated aberration or part of a wider pattern. But as I have an 8 foot Vote Labour banner hanging from my balcony, it seems unlikely I was singled out.

Best wishes

Steve Coombes



A new report from the highly respected Health Service Journal reveals secret preparations for even greater cuts in the NHS than previously  feared.

 The cuts will be aimed in particular at parts of the NHS which are in financial trouble — and this will be bad news for Thanet.

Our local NHS trust, whose hospitals include Margate’s QEQM,  is £24 MILLION in deficit.

If the Tories are re-elected the cuts are likely to have a devastating impact on our local health services


5 JUNE, 2017

Closing wards and services, blocking choice of private providers, systematically extending waiting times, and stopping some treatments are all being considered under a national programme targeted at the health economies with the highest overspends.

The controversial measures are currently being discussed privately by national NHS England and NHS Improvement officials, with senior local NHS leaders, as part of the new “capped expenditure process”. The principle of the process, introduced this year, is to “cap” NHS spending in the targeted areas so that they meet ”control total” budgets in 2017-18.

NHS leaders from areas covered by the CEP have been told to examine “difficult decisions” and “think the unthinkable”, including modelling changes which are normally avoided as they are too unpleasant, unpopular or controversial. HSJ has spoken to senior officials in most of the areas.

One chief executive said it was the most extreme and difficult NHS finance process they had experienced, and that the some of the options – if pursued – would “challenge the value base” of NHS leaders.

Ideas under consideration across several areas include:

  • Limiting the number of operations carried out by non-NHS providers so the funding stays within the NHS. Considerations differ between areas but include both limiting patients’ choice of providers, and reducing work which is outsourced by NHS trusts. In some cases it would require the NHS to find the capacity to carry out more operations.
  • Systematically drawing out waiting times for planned care, including explicit consideration of breaching NHS constitution standards. Some plan to target delays at specialties/areas where waits are currently lower than average.
  • Stopping NHS funding for some treatments, including extending limits on IVF, adding to lists of “low value” treatments, and seeking to delay or avoid funding some treatments newly approved by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.
  • Closing wards and theatres and reducing staffing, while seeking to maintain enough emergency care capacity to deal with winter pressures.
  • Closing or downgrading services, with some considering changes to flagship departments like emergency and maternity – though these would normally take too long to deliver savings this year.
  • Selling estate and other “property related transactions”.
  • Stopping prescriptions for some items, as suggested by NHS Clinical Commissioners earlier this year.

Leaders in the areas have been told to first consider whether they can make further efficiencies by normal means, such as reducing follow-up appointments or unnecessary referrals. But all of those HSJ spoke to – covering more than half the areas involved – said they were also putting forward new “difficult decisions”.

Meetings to discuss the CEP proposals with regional and national officials, including NHSE and NHSI finance chiefs Paul Baumann and Bob Alexander, took place throughout last month. No proposals have yet been formally approved or rejected, sources said.

Decisions are expected after the general election, and some of the officials involved have been told they will be put to the new ministerial team. There is no expectation of details being made public until after the election.





craig at educ hustings 2017

HAS HE GOT A PRAYER? Craig at a hustings in Ramsgate

Poor old controversy-kebabbed Craig Mackinlay, Tory candidate for South Thanet.

The other day he turned up at an education hustings in Ramsgate.

You expect a bit of hoopla  when the area’s former MP and (until recently at least) hot favourite to win the seat again, turns up for a public event.

But the sad chap arrived all on his own.

There were no senior local Tories present.

He was even reduced to buying his own drink.

During the hustings he got no more than a smattering of polite applause.

But he got more than his helping of witty heckling.

And indignity of indignities he was utterly eclipsed by the Green Party candidate.

Trevor, a retired teacher, calmly wiped the floor with the Tory and his government’s abysmal record on education.

Yes, it was a bad night for Craig.

And this was all BEFORE the news broke about his prosecution over criminal offences arising from his spending during the 2015 general election.

Craig is innocent until he’s proven guilty.

But it looks like many of his fellow Tories have ALREADY made their minds up about him.

He’s due in court on July 4.



pip story Diane 2

DIANE: “Died because of benefits system”


TORY candidate Mackinlay: No response 

The controversial Tory candidate for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay, has failed to respond to a call for action on the PIP benefits system which, it’s claimed, drove a local disabled woman to her death,

Diane Hullah threw herself under a train in Margate earlier this year.

Her sister, Helen Young, said it was anxiety caused by trying to fill in a form for a Personal Independence Payment, which was the cause of Diane death – and this is backed up by what Diane wrote in her own journal.

Helen asked all the candidates in the general election for South Thanet  if they will take action on PIP if they are elected – but Mr Mackinlay has said nothing.

Helen wrote: “As a candidate in the forthcoming general election I am asking you to pledge, that if you are elected, you will look hard at this issue and commit yourself to abolish this barbaric system. Unless it is abolished, I am terrified that more will die.” (Full text of Helen’s letter below.)

A week ago Thanet Watch emailed Helen’s  letter directly to Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay.

But Mr Mackinlay, the area’s former MP who has consistently voted to toughen the benefits regime,  has made NO response whatsoever.

The Labour Party’s Raushan Ara, is so far the only candidate to respond to Helen’s appeal.

She’s called for the scrapping of PIP.

She  said: “It’s clear that the anxiety caused by filling in a form for the PIP  played a major part in this woman’s tragic death. We cannot let other people suffer the same fate. We must scrap PIP and replace it with something more humane.”

The Labour Party manifesto includes a commitment to abolishing the PIP system and replacing it with  a personalised, holistic assessment process providing each individual with a tailored plan.

Raushan said that if she is elected she will fight to make this a priority.

She said: “The PIP form seems to be specifically designed to put people off applying for benefits which they are entitled to. This is outrageous.”

She added: “My own son suffers from a disabling form of extreme autism, so as his carer I am only too aware of the needs of disabled people.”


This is an open letter to all candidates standing for election in South Thanet on June 8 asking you to act on a very urgent issue.

Earlier this year my sister, Diane, tragically took her own life by throwing herself in front of a train in Margate.

This was as a direct result of her anxiety over filling in a form applying for the benefits she needed to live on. I have the evidence of this in Diane’s own words written down in her journal.

Diane was disabled by mental health problems which made her incapable of working. 

However, to be awarded any benefits she was required to fill in a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form which, with continuation sheets, is around 50 pages long and is extremely difficult for anyone to complete.

In fact the form, and the system of which it is a part, seems specially designed to put people off from applying. For people with mental health issues this can have fatal consequences, as it did in my sister’s case.

I have heard of a similar case at the beginning of this year and I fear that more will follow.

As a candidate in the forthcoming general election I am asking you to pledge, that if you are elected, you will look hard at this issue and commit yourself to abolish this barbaric system. Unless it is abolished, I am terrified that more will die.

I look forward to hearing your response.

Helen Young, Broadstairs




Blimey! It’s all happening in Thanet – again! Old Mole has received the following report from a spokesperson for an organisation called Thanet Left about a protest against Nigel Farage’s visit to Ramsgate.

“An excellent afternoon for the Anti-Kippers. Farage announced he would speak today in the large, historic Odd Fellows Hall in Ramsgate, a capacity of a couple of hundred. 

He ended up over the road in the tiny Townley Club speaking to barely 50. His speech was hard to hear, we were told, because of catcalls, music and shouting by the South Thanet Progressives, and Thanet Stand Up to Ukip.
And then when he came to leave, we stood our ground and prevented his car from leaving for what seemed ages. We had to outwit the police, his minders and the muscle he’d booked for the day. 
Eventually they went to plan B and stuffed him in a Landrover and pulled off at speed from a gated side entrance.
Well done to everyone, all those who came to the Anti-Ukip Tea Party in town and then came with magnificent flags and banners to speak for the genuine people of Ramsgate. Today was a massive win for us. Farage and his party are a spent force.”