THERE was something absurd about the spectacle of the Queen’s Speech on Monday against the wider backdrop of so many pressing issues.
The pageantry distracted from this Government’s inability to actually deliver.
The Government set out an agenda which it has neither the means nor the intention of delivering, treating the Queen’s Speech as a cynical stunt.
And the speech itself was a missed opportunity.
There were some long-awaited and welcome additions, such as an apparent commitment to more money for mental health services, legislation to improve air quality, and other environmental measures.
However, a failure to identify climate change as the issue of our time really showed how much this speech was a missed opportunity to lay out a programme of substance. I recently attended a briefing by eminent scientists that demonstrates that a two-degree temperature rise will be simply catastrophic.
We should not have been surprised at this lack of real action.
The prorogation debacle meant that a year of Parliament’s time has been wasted. Seventeen Bills were dropped, covering important issues such as Domestic Abuse, Agriculture and Trade.
The Queen’s Speech was a distraction from the key issues that are all looming large
The government’s funding plans for public services don’t even make up for the cuts that it has introduced since 2010, and we’ve heard nothing about what it will do to tackle climate change, rising poverty or the housing crisis.
It’s time for action, not distraction. We need to let the people decide on Brexit, build an economy that works for all, tackle the climate emergency and reset our global role to one based on peace and human rights.