It has been impossible to post anything to this blog for the last few days. Our internet service provider (“ISP”) has one of those dreadful call centres which provides revolting popular “music” down the phone lines instead of actually answering the call and dealing with the problem.
Mind you, most UK utility companies behave rather like the Conservative Party.
State Opening of Parliament 21 June 2017
Our Sovereign Lady the Queen went to Parliament yesterday morning to read the speech (written by Teresa May) setting out the Wicked Witch of Westminster’s legislative programme for the next two years. However, this was not the state occasion to which we have become accustomed. Much of the pomp & circumstance was dispensed with. There was no carriage procession to the Parliament, there were no royal robes, HM The Queen did not wear her Crown.
This report in the Daily Mirror asserted that the “unedifying mess of a semi -state opening” was caused by the Wicked Witch of Westminster, Teresa May, because:
- she pressed on with the speech despite not winning an overall majority in the general election;
- she had to drop many Tory manifesto plans because they wouldn’t survive a rebellion from her own MPs; and
- she delayed the speech for the first time in nearly 100 years as she struggled to form a power deal with Northern Ireland’s right-wing DUP (which, as yet, is not concluded).
The Independent has this: “Queen’s Speech: Dennis Skinner jokes ‘get your skates on’ to Black Rod ‘the first race is at half past two’” a reference to the fact that HM the Queen had had to take time out from Ascot for the convenience of the Wicked Witch.
The Independent also has this: “Queen’s Speech: Brexit dominates Theresa May’s legislative agenda with eight bills planned – Crunch votes loom on crucial aspects of EU withdrawal, including immigration and future trading arrangements”
Also this: “Corbyn is primed to play politics after an embarrassingly threadbare Queen’s Speech for Theresa May – May mishandled negotiations with the DUP, arrogantly assuming on the morning after her election disaster that a deal would easily be done. She should have known that a hardline party like the DUP would play hardball. Now the clock is ticking on whether this speech will manage to get through Parliament“.
Perhaps the one good thing was that there was no mention in the speech from the throne of a state visit by Donald Trump (aka “Mr Toad”). Hopefully, that may mean that Her Majesty and her subjects are to be spared that embarrassment.
Fall-Out from the Speech from The Throne -22 June 2016
The Conservative Home site has a post by Paul Goodman: “May’s Calendar Girl Queen’s Speech” with this assessment of the Wicked Witch’s position
“A pessimist – no, we will declare our hand: a realist – would reply that the Government has no majority; most Conservative MPs believe the Prime Minister should leave Number Ten before the next election; there is no obvious successor; Cabinet discipline is breaking down after a period of excessive restraint; Ministers’ Brexit negotiating position is weaker; a collapse in Tory confidence has left the Government with no coherent economic plan; fewer bills should not be confused with an inability to carry them through Parliament and that, whatever the Fixed Terms Act may say, administrations that go adrift tend to float towards the rocks – these being, in this case, another election. Oh, and the Party Chairman who presided over the worst Tory campaign in modern times is back at CCHQ.”
There were this interesting responses from readers:-
- “I still think she’s being given an criticism-free ride by the cabinet to get Brexit properly sorted before leaving to a secretly agreed timetable. It’s surely the only reason surely she’s not being challenged or openly criticised. It’s a genuine shame what happened and I like her style but that doesn’t detract from the election campaign and the last couple of weeks being an utter shambles.”
- “For God`s sake think again on Brexit – the vast majority of the country does not want Jeremy Corbyn in but with Brexit being rammed down the collective throat of business, families, the exchequer, Liberal opinion and the majority who now say they DO want a second referendum what could be worse ? Offer something to remain. I warn you now if the Conservative Party lacks the ability to adjust now it deserves to die and a perfect storm is brewing of an angry betrayed country who will not blame themselves they will blame the Conservative Party. It was tempting of course to abandon Liberal moderates for new UKIP friends but it was an explosive act of arrogance that may plunge this country into night. Does anyone seriously think with more cuts and worse news to come that this is going to get better, what on earth will it be like out of the EU ?”
The Daily Mail has this: “Scots could derail May’s Brexit Bill: PM faces ‘legislative war’ as diehard Remainers vow to fight her ‘every step of the way’ after she admits Holyrood may have to give ‘consent’ for her plan“.
Torygraph Telegraph has this: “Theresa May faces constitutional crisis as Labour and Lib Dems vow to vote down manifesto pledges ‘which failed to gain public support’”
YouGov, which successfully predicted a hung parliament has two interesting poll results:
The Guardian has this by Rafael Behr: “The Queen’s speech has made Brexit Britain an international laughing stock – The world looks on aghast at a once highly regarded country affirming this tragic folly with all the state pomp and pageantry it can muster”
Also this splendid cartoon by Martin Rowson: “The Brexit Negotiations Begin“.