Sometimes the hardest thing is to read a speech that you didn’t write.
In the Westminster tradition that is the job of the Queen as Head of state.
Yesterday like countless times before during her 60 year reign she did precisely that.
Light was made of the rituals that preceded this address that signals the Opening of Parliament with footage relayed of the Crown taking a member of the House of Commons to Buckingham Palace to ‘hostage’ to guarantee the safety of the Queen should she enter a ‘hostile’ Parliament.
The hard-hitting late evening quarter-backing that followed her delivery to a packed House of Lords was also part of the ‘circumstance‘ of the State Opening.
While some tried not to equate the paucity of her government’s legislative agenda to the ‘virility’ of Her Majesty’s ‘coalition’ others were more direct in their derision.
For them the Queen’s Speech offered less than anticipated because rather than concrete initiatives to lift Britain out of its recurrent recession the agenda includes:
1. The reform of the House of Lords;
2. New laws to give police access to email and allows courts
to hear sensitive intelligence in secret
3. Tougher community sentences including ‘booze’ bans and ‘full-time’ community
4. A new ‘drug’ driving offence;
5. An Enterprise Bill aimed at cutting red-tape by overhauling
employment tribunals and limiting inspections;
6. New banking laws which would ‘split’ the high street and
7. A Child and Families Bill to provide for more flexible
parental leave; and
8. A revamped state pension system to give that a £140-a-
week flat rate for new pensioners.
Others pointed to the fact that the agenda announced two years ago when the last Speech was made already contained the essential elements to spur the British economy and these were still in train.
Whatever the nuances of the ‘political’ divide there is unanimity that the future of Britain’s economy and the many economies tied to it lies in the content of the Speech and not often repeated though intriguing customs that attend it.