The Queen’s Speech

Political events today have been dominated by the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech. This is when the Monarch opens the new session of Parliament and sets out the measures which the Government of the day propose to introduce and try and have passed by Parliament. Although it is called the Queen’s Speech the speech is in fact written by the Government of the day so today’s Queen’s Speech was written by Gordon Brown and the Labour Government.

I was up early this morning as I had to be in the studios of BBC Manchester to give a live interview on the Alan Beswick’s Breakfast Show on Radio Manchester.
My view was that, from the advance leaks, the Queen’s Speech looked as though it would be more about what was good for the Labour Party than what was good for the Country.

Some of the proposed measures appear simply bizarre. For example it appears Labour plan to introduce a Bill that would give a legal right to a good education to every pupil. This raises a number of interesting points. Firstly, it seems to me that this is a terrible indictment of Labour’s education policy over the past 12 years. They appear to be admitting that many pupils are simply not getting the education they deserve. Secondly, what does a parent do if they feel their child has not received a good education? What will the process be? What redress will a parent and a child have? Thirdly, for every right there has to be an obligation. So, how will it be decided whether the obligation has been met or not. Fourthly, what sanctions will there be if it is decided that the obligation has not been met.

It all looks like a bonanza for litigation lawyers. This measure simply has not been thought through. The Conservatives proposals for education are for radical reform to allow any suitably qualified organisation to open up new schools. A new pupil premium would mean schools would receive more money for taking pupils from the most disadvantaged areas. Discipline in schools would be improved by giving Headteachers the final say on exclusions.

Finally and incredibly, despite the problem of M.P.’s expenses being so high profile in recent months there is no mention of any Bill to bring into law the proposals of the Kelly report designed to clean up the expenses system.

4 thoughts on “The Queen’s Speech

  1. Hi David,

    Can I ask you about some “Bury” things?

    Do you agree with the Conservatives approach to Civic Halls – namely to put Radcliffe and Prestwich at risk whilst keeping the Elizabethan Suite and Ramsbottom CH open despite them being less well used and less profitable than Prestwich?

    Also, do you agree with the Bury Tory Council policy to rotate Local Area Partnership managers every two years, which has happened without consultation and despite local opposition?

    Both of these Conservative Council initiatives have been opposed by Bury South Tory PPC Michelle Wiseman. What do you think?

    • Hi Man of Bury,

      Thanks for your questions.

      As for the Civic Halls there are no easy answers and the Conservative Group is trying to do the best for all the residents of Bury. I understand a group of Councillors looked into the whole topic of the Civic Halls and as I am sure they studied all the issues involved at much greater length than I have time to do it would not be appropriate for me to second guess their findings.

      As for the rotation of Local Area Partnership Managers in politics you can only have one policy at a time. Once that policy is decided there seems little point in going over it. Again what I am interested in is ensuring that local residents receive the best service they can from the Council.

      David

  2. Thanks David,

    I think I agree with you on Civic Halls, but I really don’t understand your answer about LAP managers.

    You say “in politics you can only have one policy at a time. Once that policy is decided there seems little point going over it.” How can you, a Conservative PPC, say that when your entire raison d’etre is to challenge the policies of the government and try to replace lots of them with ones you think better?

    Also, you say you’re interested in “local people receiving the best service they can from the Council.” So, do you think this is what will happen when Local Area Partnership managers begin to rotate every two years? Local people seem very much against this Tory policy, and it doesn’t seem to make much sense to try to make a real difference to communities in just two years. What do you think about those things specifically?

    Michelle Wiseman has come out against it. Lots of people think it’s wrong. Do you?

    • The point I was making about only having one policy at a time refers to this Council policy. The Councillor in charge has made a decision now which has been implemented. If I had been responsible for making the decision I may have reached a different conclusion. Michelle is the Chairman of a Local Area Partnership and is therefore very closely involved in these matters. Although you say that local people are very much against the policy I doubt if we went out canvassing we would find even one person in a hundred who even knows about the change. In fact no member of the public has ever mentioned this issue to me.

      Local people are concerned about the state of the economy, the threat of unemployment, the fact that Bury will be losing it’s Maternity Department – these are the issues that people talk to me about – not who their Local Area Partnership Manager is!

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