Current Magazine

Queen’s Speech 2012: Commentators Ask ‘Was That It?’, Accuse Coalition of Ignoring Economic Woes

Posted on the 09 May 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Queen's Speech 2012

Queen's Speech 2012: Disappointing?

The Background

The Queen has delivered her 57th speech at the State Opening of Parliament in her diamond jubilee year – and commentators have been swift to start picking over the implications.

As Chris Mason explained at the BBC, the Queen’s Speech is “nothing more, or less, than the government’s washing-line of ideas for new laws in the next year or so, each bill a peg on that line.”

The 2012 speech set out 19 bills, including legislative reform of the House of Lords – a move likely to infuriate those Conservatives who have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to drop Liberal Democrat-supported plans for constitutional reform.

Other bills likely to garner media attention include public sector and state pensions reform, and flexible parental leave.

But most commentators were dismayed by the lack of big, ambitious plans, particularly as regards the UK’s return to recession.

2012 is turning into a difficult year for David Cameron and Nick Clegg – find out how at The Periscope Post.

Out of ideas?

Let’s look at these 19 bills laid out in the Queen’s speech: “Of the 19 Bills, four are merely draft, one is heading for the sand (Lords reform), and one is about Croatia’s accession to the European Union,” pointed out Roland Watson in The Times (£). According to Watson, the coalition plan was always to deliver the big, controversial ideas, such as welfare reform, early on. But the latest Queen’s Speech still gives the impression that the coalition leaders are “a little short of fuel in their tank.”

Queen’s Speech a ‘damp squib’ (sorry, ma’am)

“The Queen’s Speech (no fault of Her Majesty) was a damp squib, exposing the flaws of our hung Parliament and the weaknesses of the politics of the lowest common denominator – the dreary essence of coalition government,” wrote Nick Wood in The Daily Mail. Wood singled out the Lords reform as a particularly bad mistake by Cameron: “Yet more Lib Dem inspired constitutional tinkering will clog up the Commons and waste hours of parliamentary time.”

Failing to address the economic crisis

“Was that it?” asked Janet Daley in The Telegraph. “Was this collection of worthy – but largely irrelevant – odds and ends, the best they could do in response to an economic crisis which grows more apocalyptic by the day?” Daley argued that the coalition has failed to address the reality of Britain’s economic crisis, as evinced by the inclusion of a proposal to reform parental leave. “Don’t they know there’s a recession on, and that people are now worried less about ‘quality of life’ than they are about being able to afford any sort of life at all?” Daley despaired.

Token gestures, says Toynbee

“In the middle of a double-dip slump, with no breath of life in jobs or stimulus, the gestures here are insubstantial tokens,” wrote Polly Toynbee in The Guardian. Toynbee expressed disappointment at the lack of growth-stimulating economic ideas: “The Queen said the priority was ‘to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability.’ So yes, cuts are the priority with no glimmer of growth policies. And yes, this is the stability of the economic grave.”

Watch The Guardian’s video highlights of the Queen’s Speech below, and read the complete text at The Spectator.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics