Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Queen's Speech Overview

It's a pretty well accepted fact that anything announced in today's Queen's Speech is unlikely to make it on to the statute books before the General Election. That doesn't of course stop papers like the Guardian pushing the line that it will be the evil Tories in the Lords stopping bills being passed. However, to be honest, who would really want half of the crap that's being trailed anyway?
  • Fiscal Responsibility Bill - a binding law on successive Parliaments to halve the deficit. A triangulated bit of politicking by Brown. If the Tories oppose it he can say they're not fiscally responsible and/or lying about their true intentions.
  • Financial Services and Business Bill - The regulation of private individual pay by private institutions. How 1970s is that? If the Tories oppose the line will be that they are only interested in helping their wbanker friends.
  • The Flood and Water Management Bill - Alternatively called the "Cnut Bill" as it will apparently give councils powers to prevent it raining and thereby flooding people's home.
  • Social Care Bill - A piece of law that will give the "neediest elderly" care in their home. Basically the exclusions will be so wide that hardly anyone will get covered by it, and you'll probably find if they do they'll lose other benefits so it won't be worthwhile. Another nifty piece of triangulation, if the Tories oppose it they're bastards that don't care about the elderly.
  • A guarantee that you'll be seen by a specialist within 18 weeks of a GP referral - how in the name of every thing holy anyone can think saying that you'll be guaranteed an appointment with a consultant within 4.5 months of requesting one is a "positive" step or populist is beyond me. Makes a mockery of the claim that the NHS is the "envy of the world".
  • Bribery Bill - No this one has nothing to do with MPs, but it will apparently make it an offence for a business to fail to prevent bribery. That's a bit like making it an offence to fail to prevent your child from being a little shit when they're not with you.
  • Digital Economy Bill - A £6 per year addition to everyone's phone bill for fixed lines. I'm sure the mobile provider will be pleased with that. Also nonsense about downloading which I will come to later in another post probably.
  • Energy Bill - An intention to give the regulator the power to control prices and keep them low. How very 1970s yet again. Ironic given that the Digital Economy Bill guarantees to put the prices of fixed telephone lines up. Swings. Roundabouts.
It's rather clear I;d say that what we're going to get today is a little more than a list of supposedly eye-catching initiatives that in reality are little more than intended to sound popular and provide the Government with a "Tories oppose X therefore they don't care about you" line.

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