programme of legislation for the coming year
INCLUDING A Deregulation Bill in the Queen's Speech is a joke. The damage has already been done with all the extra red tape companies have to deal with courtesy of Big Brother. Twenty-eight new Bills gives the impression the Government is extraordinarily busy. The reality is that our leaders are extraordinary busybodies. Why can't they let us get on with our lives in peace?
SPEAKING IN the Commons, the Prime Minister devoted more energy to extolling the economy and attacking the Conservatives than he did to the coming year's programme. Tony Blair, of course, has to make his political capital as and wherever he can. But with an election perhaps only 18 months away the Prime Minister should probably be worried that his administration has so far made such little impact on the key public services. Labour ungrammatically entitled its last manifesto "Because Britain deserves better". Two and a half years later, it still does.
TWO INSTANT conclusions suggest themselves. First, the Government is not running out of steam. Second, parliament still knows how to put on a jolly good show. The speech itself exhibits a pattern visible in the Government itself: good intentions in key areas, marred by a frightening streak of authoritarianism.
THIS SPEECH was supposed to be the launch pad for Tony Blair to win back his party's core vote - while hanging on to Middle England. But overall I got the impression that the Government is running out of things it wants to do. The Queen's Speech could have been edited down. Her Majesty's real message was: "My Government intends to stay in power as long as possible, and if that means giving the odd bauble to pressure groups, so be it. Now shove off. My ministers are busy." At least that would have been more honest. (Paul Routledge)Reuse content