ALTHOUGH much of the content of the Queen’s Speech had already been disseminated to the press earlier, Her Majesty attended the opening of parliament on May 18 in full Crown and Ermine in order to formally announce the intentions of her government although for the first time, she and Prince Philip had to use the lift rather than the stairs when going to the robing room.
As Black Rod strode into the House of Commons and shouted “Mr Speaker, the Queen commands this honourable House to attend Her Majesty at once in the House of Peers,” veteran joker and trouble maker Dennis Skinner responded with his regular quip saying “Hands off the BBC!” to much laughter and applause.
Reforms to prisons, universities, adoption and the care system are at the heart of the Government’s agenda for the coming year although much was made of the government’s intention to tighten security, endeavour to increase the financial position of the population, increase availability of broadband and slightly more bizarrely approve the establishment of spaceports, even though they can’t decide on a third runway for London.
Driverless cars will be welcome as will be drones for commercial and private use despite the fact that many countries around the world are banning them.
Prime Minister David Cameron described the package as a “One Nation Queen’s Speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government”, using the opportunities presented by Britain’s strengthening economy to increase life chances for the most disadvantaged.
Planning rules will continue to be relaxed and the concept of the imposition of archaeological and wildlife surveys will be in most part removed thanks to a new bill. Prison governors will have more freedom over the establishment of rules and expenditure and there will be a move to build new and safer prisons.
As newspapers and politicians take their time in digesting all of the contents of the Speech, prior to debate in the Commons, Dan Dare of the Interplanet Space Fleet confirmed his personal approval of the intention to establish British spaceports.