The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Was That Worth It?

Posted by The Futility Monster on November 19, 2009 @ 08:35

Do you feel lucky?

Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech was seven minutes of tedium.

The event itself is worth watching, but mostly because I would love it if something went wrong. Maybe the crown slips just a little on the Queen’s head. Maybe Jack Straw falls on his arse because he can’t bear to turn his back on the Queen. Maybe Lord Mandelson comes dressed as a drag Queen because he can’t bear all the competition.

But no, as usual, another flawless execution of pomp and pageantry. Oh, except from a bum note from the trumpeter when the Queen entered the Royal Gallery. Yes, folks, that really was the highlight of my day.

Otherwise, was there much to write home about?

Well… there might have been, had Labour had some courage. Nick Clegg vaguely had the right idea when he suggested that perhaps this should have been a very short programme of reform bills to tidy up the mess before the new Parliament comes in. It makes sense: we are currently squandering our greatest opportunity in a long time to have the public engaged with questions of how we make our politics better.

Instead, it has been kicked into the long grass as usual. Which means nothing ever changes. The new Tory government will be no different. Indeed, I think it was Andrew Neil who said that the Tories pledge on an elected House of Lords was a “third term priority”.

Instead, we got a clutch of bills that would deaden even the liveliest of cocaine and amphetamine-fuelled pulses. As you can see from my neat little picture above stolen from the Guardian website… (see: newspapers steal from bloggers, bloggers steal from newspapers)

Is this the vision of the country Gordon Brown wanted to set out? Recall when he chose not to call an election in the Autumn of 2007 that he’d “decided” it would be better for the country to see what he is like as a Prime Minister first, which was a very convenient excuse for the suddenly disastrous poll ratings…

Of course it’s not. It’s a Queen’s Speech devoid of purpose, buffeted by events with no inspiration whatsoever. One might have thought, given that final year governments since time immemorial have used the last Queen’s Speech before a General Election to set out their stall, that Brown would have done the same. That it would be a revealing little list, showing us what a new Labour government would be working on. Tempting, teasing us into voting Labour. Letting the dog see the rabbit…

It’s events like this that reinforce my continued belief that Labour is doing its very best to lose the election, and are merely going through the tradition motions of uncontroversial governance that keep the country ticking over.

After all, the next election is not going to be fought over the Flood and Water Management Bill, or the Digital Economy Bill…

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