Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Queens Speech

I'm going to go through the Queens Speech and tell you what I think about its points. I'll highlight In green anything good, red bad and orange stuff I'm ambivalent about or would like to know more details. i'll be adding comments in these []

My Government’s legislative programme will continue to focus on building a stronger economy so that the United Kingdom can compete and succeed in the world.
It will also work to promote a fairer society that rewards people who work hard.
My Government’s first priority is to strengthen Britain’s economic competitiveness. To this end, it will support the growth of the private sector and the creation of more jobs and opportunities. [Seems suspiciously like stimulus to me.]
My Ministers will continue to prioritise measures that reduce the deficit – ensuring interest rates are kept low for homeowners and businesses.
My Government is committed to building an economy where people who work hard are properly rewarded. It will therefore continue to reform the benefits system, helping people move from welfare to work.
Measures will be brought forward to introduce a new Employment Allowance to support jobs and help small businesses. [This is essentially a tax cut for £2,000 off NI for small businesses.]
A Bill will be introduced to reduce the burden of excessive regulation on businesses A further Bill will make it easier for businesses to protect their intellectual property.
A draft Bill will be published establishing a simple set of consumer rights to promote competitive markets and growth.
My Government will introduce a Bill that closes the Audit Commission. [Hardly a bonfire of the qangos but a good start.]
My Government will continue to invest in infrastructure to deliver jobs and growth for the economy. [I'm not against infrastructure spending but there must be a good business model for it, one which prima face will seem good is super high speed broadband.]
Legislation will be introduced to enable the building of the ‘High Speed Two’ railway line, providing further opportunities for economic growth in many of Britain’s cities. [HS2 is just stimulus, no one will use it and will cost tens of billions more than predicted.]
My Government will continue with legislation to update energy infrastructure and to improve the water industry. [Again infrastructure caveat but even more so in energy as it is likely to be building wind turbines.]
My Government is committed to a fairer society where aspiration and responsibility are rewarded.
To make sure that every child has the best start in life, regardless of background, further measures will be taken to improve the quality of education for young people.
Plans will be developed to help working parents with childcare, increasing its availability and helping with its cost.
My Government will also take forward plans for a new National Curriculum, a world class exam system and greater flexibility in pay for teachers. [The flexibility in pay will be very good as it will reward teachers who perform the best rather than giving all teachers a similar rate.]
My Government will also take steps to ensure that it becomes typical for those leaving school to start a traineeship or an apprenticeship, or to go to university. [We need more highly skilled people but we cannot have a nation of poorly trained academics. We need more apprentices and more people who are practically skilled. I'd like to see a drop in British Uni numbers in exchange for a higher quality of a degrees and an increase in quality and quantity of apprenticeships]
New arrangements will be put in place to help more people own their own home, with Government support provided for mortgages and deposits. [Depends how they give the support, government getting involved is not always the best. This could be an instance of the rule of unintended consequences, I'd like to see the Bill.]
My Government is committed to supporting people who have saved for their retirement.
Legislation will be introduced to reform the way long term care is paid for, to ensure the elderly do not have to sell their homes to meet their care bills.
My Government will bring forward legislation to create a simpler state pension system that encourages saving and provides more help to those who have spent years caring for children.
Legislation will be introduced to ensure sufferers of  a certain asbestos-related cancer receive payments where no liable employer or insurer can be traced.
My Government will bring forward a Bill that further reforms Britain’s immigration system. The Bill will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.
My Government will continue to reduce crime and protect national security.
Legislation will be introduced to reform the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in England and Wales.
Legislation will be brought forward to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, cut crime and further reform the police.
In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my Government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace.[I'm always suspicious of the police getting involved in tracking people on cyber space. Again how far will this go because some of the ideas that have come out of the government go too far.]
Measures will be brought forward to improve the way this country procures defence equipment, as well as strengthening the Reserve Forces.
My Ministers will continue to work in cooperation with the devolved administrations. [As a firm believer in Great Britain I'd get rid of them all as they undermine the country, I'd think a bit more about NI though as there are some clear public safety reasons why that was brought about.]
A Bill will be introduced to give effect to a number of institutional improvements in Northern Ireland.
Draft legislation will be published concerning the electoral arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales. [As I said above I'd don't like devolution to countries in the UK, but if they have to have it they should use FPTP as the electoral system.]
My Government will continue to make the case for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. [I think the Scottish should leave the United Kingdom. I don't think they really want to stay in the UK for any real economic, cultural or political reason. Scotsmen (and women) will decide on the basis of being better off by £150 under the SNP or Labour/Conservatives. But as I have no voting rights in the referendum I don't really care. It is their decision.]
Members of the House of Commons Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
My Government will work to prevent conflict and reduce terrorism. It will support countries in transition in the Middle East and North Africa, and the opening of a peace process in Afghanistan.
My Government will work to prevent sexual violence in conflict worldwide.
My Government will ensure the security, good governance and development of the Overseas Territories, including by protecting the Falkland Islanders’ and Gibraltarians’ right to determine their political futures.
In assuming the Presidency of the G8, my Government will promote economic growth, support free trade, tackle tax evasion, encourage greater transparency and accountability while continuing to make progress in tackling climate change. [code for let's build wind turbines and wreck the energy supply of the country.]
Other measures will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons; I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels. [God Save The Queen]

The Queen is the best lady in the country. Long may she reign.

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