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It’s the final countdown

June 4, 2014

Much to my disappointment I didn’t receive an invitation to the Queen’s speech today for the State opening of Parliament. (I had the most perfect hat as well!).  Cameron and Clegg must have had a lovely day out pretending to be happy families with Miliband looking for a photo-op where he doesn’t look ridiculous.

Today’s farce of lavishness and pomp was about showing that the coalition is still very much ‘coaliated’ and there is no zombie government to see here. For a couple presenting such a united approach, it’s odd they didn’t talk to each other much…or even walk together..but I’m probably analyzing too much…Nick does look a bit pale though doesn’t he?

'Really Dave, the way he follows you is just embarrassing...'

‘Really Dave, the way he follows you is just embarrassing…’

This speech and the next few months are crucial for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. They need to distance themselves from one another. With less than  a year to go before the general election it is unlikely that all 11 proposals will become legislation. It is ambitious.

Reform to annuities was top of the list along with collective pensions (an idea no-one seems to know much about yet). Fracking made a dramatic entrance which will make the Greens sit up and most importantly the 5p charge for plastic bags got in there. Phew.  

One thing that did catch my eye was that there will be a bill offering extra legal protection for people being sued for negligence if they acted heroically or in the public interest. The tort of negligence has always been about compensating people for losses and putting them back in to the position they once were in; not making moral judgement’s.

There a couple of bills I will be keeping my eye on, especially after the Commons debates them on Wednesday afternoon – we’ll know more and have a clearer idea of the tone of the house. However, it all just seems a bit …lackluster.

I don’t expect a grand bill this late in the term, but having lots of little/medium ones that do not target much just makes it seem like they are going out of their way to look busy. Labour has pointed out that the NHS and Immigration were not mentioned at all! But if they had have been mentioned they would only have overshadowed every other bill and the government would have been criticized for ‘only tinkering around the edges’ more. Big bills should come at the beginning.

The approach the coalition is taking is like watching two people slowly unpeel themselves from one another but having to remain slightly attached for the children. It’s painful. With less than a year to go, it will most certainly be interesting to see how these bills develop and which will be the first to be dropped.

What are your thoughts? Which bill won’t make it!?

And to remind ourselves that so much pomp and ceremony can be bad for your health, here is the photo of Charles and Camilla reaching (barely reaching) for a page boy who fainted.

Darling I've pulled a muscle, I can't move

Darling I’ve pulled a muscle, I can’t move

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