Wednesday, 18 November 2009


"What is the point of this Government? What else has he got to do? This is the shortest Queen's Speech since 1997. They have run out of money, they have run out of time, they have run out of ideas and we have just seen from the Prime Minister they have run out of courage as well."

So said David Cameron after the Queen delivered the Speech from the Throne today. What indeed David?

Apparently the centre piece of the legislative programme, which in itself is a bit of a farce on the basis that only 30 days of legislative work in the House of Lords exists between now and the last possible date of the next election, is an obligation to halve the government’s massive deficit, without there being any actual means by which this may be achieved.

Lord Mandleson, who seems to be the de facto Prime Minister these days, explains, with a straight face, that the legislation will enshrine in law a duty upon this and future governments to act in a fiscally responsible manner. Yeah, honestly, he said it with a straight face. He also indicated that taxes would have to rise to pay off the huge debt. No? Surely not?

So, we are all going to have to pay out more of our hard earned cash, leaving us with less to spend, in order that the likes of the Royal Bank of Scotland can continue to refuse to lend us our own money and continue pay its executives massive bonuses. Up until now, of course, it has all been a bit pie in the sky. We have known that the banks had been irresponsible and that they were paying themselves massive amounts in bonuses and that we had had to give them unimaginable amounts of money, but we weren’t personally feeling the pinch for it. Well, get ready to.

Hilariously after a stall of many years, there is to be some further movement in constitutional reform. You see, in the midst of the crisis that we find ourselves in, we are going to be able to find parliamentary time to allow Life Peers to renounce their titles. Not very important you might think, until you remember that one such Lord is a certain Peter Mandleson who might wish to stand for parliament. Well, we can’t have mere law getting in the way of the career of Peter Mandleson.

Truly, this republican felt sorry for Her Majesty today, having to get all dressed up in a long frock at 10 o’clock in the morning, put that huge crown on her head and read out that self serving drivel.


  1. I suspect you listen to the Radio 4 today prog....
    with love and respect

  2. I wouldn't expect any of this legislation to get passed between now and the next election, there isn't the time. It was just a massive government electioneering propaganda exercise a sort of see what we're going to possibly have in our manifesto. The advantage being that the opposition doesn't get anywhere near the publicity in reply.
    Just more me, me, me, publicity from a broken and disgraced government who should have done the decent thing and left last year.

  3. Tris..

    I only saw the Queens speech or parts of it on the evening news. I was to busy picking my nose at work to be bothered watching the dross.

    I think Cameron hit it spot on when he said this gov has run out of ideas, money and summit else.

    Indeed, 7 mins long the speech was and the old boot had to get all dressed up like a 97 year old expensive clown just to read out Labour pis#

    The Labour benches were empty apparently, They ken the game is up but only Brown will live it out to the very bitter end.

  4. Erm .... yes Niko.... doesn't everyone?

  5. QM. You're quite right. It was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party, performed by the Queen. Probably nothing will be enacted.

  6. Lordy Spook, they work you hard at your place... All that nose picking must make you absolutely knackered by the time you get home at night.

    It was all a waste of time and money. The Queen and Phil could have a nice wee day in front of the fire, like they should be doing at their age, all these horses and the bonny coach could have been back at the stables and the soldiers could have been given 24 hours leave.

    The moronic politicians could have had another day's holiday or back in their officed filling in their expenses forms. And we all could have saved millions of pounds that this silly spectacle costs... in this case for absolutely nothing.

    Mind you, I know one reader of this blog who loves it when Black Rod gets the door closed in his face... Don't you 1st Earl of the Ozarks?

  7. Republicans feeling sorry for Brenda?? A dangerous precedent indeed. I suppose we are all aware of the puerile or hilarious (depending on how you look at it) comments by Ben Elton in Oz. Where he called Brenda a “sad little old lady”, not so sure why everyone is so shocked at that, in as much as she never smiles and is an 83 year old female. Phil the Greek is a “mad old bigot”, well he is certainly a bigot and old, the mad part, well if he were in a normal family I think he would be considered to be senile at best and part mad at worst.

  8. I was surprised at Ben Elton's comments Munguin. He's been such an establishment figure now for the last 10 years or so, collaberating with the Noble Lord of song and dance (no not Mandleson), Lloyd Webber, and actually being a guest at Price Edward's wedding. I fear Mr Elton will not be welcome in that company again, given what he said about Prince Eddy.

    Poor old Benny no mates when he gets back from Oz.

    Anyways, you can be a republican and feel sorry for her having to come out and read that load of rancid nonsense. Lordy, I'd feel sorry for the Yorkshire Ripper if he had to read that!"

  9. Oh I guess you mean the bit where he said Eddy took it up the rear. No I don’t suppose he will be getting a Christmas Card from the noble Earl this year never mind the fact that, that has been the subject of speculation for years.

    I never feel sorry for Royals, no matter what happens. If Brenda doesn’t like it (and it sure looks like she doesn’t) she ought to abdicate. Her uncle did, obviously duty was not so important to him as an American divorcee. If I were him I would have insisted on having Wallace Simpson be Queen, no matter what. After all Big Ears is married to a divorcee now, so it’s only out of the question until you do it for these people.

  10. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 19, 2009 2:08 am

    Yep Tris, I always watch the spectacle here in the States. (Congress is pretty dreary by comparison of course.) Black Rod having the door slammed in his face (and Dennis Skinner's comment) really is the best part.

    But I always watch with bated breath to see if the Lord Chancellor will trip as he backs down the steps.

    Making the PM stand at the rear always seemed to me to be a nice gesture from the Noble Lords. Not even a folding metal chair can be found?

  11. The bills announced are all simply more of Browns artificial dividing lines.

    I mean honestly, would it not have been better to have already had a GE, then let our monarch deliver a fresh speech to a new parliament [one with more credibility] rather than this rather sad and desperate electioneering speech?

    Your right Tris- this was a complete waste of time for our 84 year old sovereign. She should have been left alone to have a nice mug 'o tea and a trip out with the corgies!

  12. Ha Ha Nobleness.

    The possibility of Jack Straw falling flat on his butt fills me with joy, and old Dennis (was here there this year? He's ill now and won't stand next time I think) is one of the joys of parliament.

    As for making Brown stand at the back, sounds like a good idea to me. We might find him a bean bag!

  13. Munguin: Quite so.

  14. Yes Dean. Unfortunately politicians never seem to want to give up the power of office. It seems that under the stupid Westminster system, the Prime Minister can as for a General Election at a time most suiting to his political fortunes. This is usually after 4 years, but he (or she) has the right to stay on for 5 years. It seems that only when the game is up do they stay on till the last bitter moment. And then it is a bitter moment. Mr Major did the same.

    It's bad for the country because everyone knows that the government is dead, the prime minister has no authority (he can't even have a reshuffle) and he's pretty roundly hated and ridiculed in the country. (All this would be true of Major too.) But politicians for all their fine words about duty and serving seem to care more about clinging to the trappings of power and the serving is really self serving.

    Once this is over, the meetings with important people like Obama and Hu are over. Brown will be nothing. He wants to hold on to it for as long as possible regradless of how much harm it does to the other 60 million of us.

    Time the system was changed. Why can't we move with the times?

  15. Danny Ozarks:

    Is there any ceremony at all in Washington, or the state capitals. Is the year's legislative programme unveiled in any way?

  16. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 19, 2009 5:50 pm

    The American Congress convenes at a date of its choosing, usually during the first week of January, each year. The "ceremony" is little more than the pounding of the gavel in both houses....and then on to business.

    And under the American system, the executive power of the president and his executive departments (the "government" in the British sense of the word) is constitutionally separate from the legislative power of the Congress. So, the president can't actually lay out an agenda for the Congress. He just proposes certain things....most importantly the yearly federal budget....and Congress may or may not decide to act on them if and when it pleases.....or not....LOL.

    But separate as the President and Congress are, the Constitution explicitly requires that the president "shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

    In modern times, this Constitutionally mandated report to Congress has taken the form of a ceremonial personal address to a joint session of both Houses of Congress. The address is now referred to informally as the "State of the Union Address." It generally occurs later in January, and is the political event of the year. It's the nearest thing to Her Majesty's "State Opening" that we have. The president does outline in this address what he would like Congress to consider during the coming year. But he doesn't really have the authority to lay out any kind of a formal agenda for the legislators. As the old saying goes, "the President proposes, and Congress disposes."

    (Generally, the Governors of the States follow a similar pattern of addressing their state legislatures about state matters, soon after the legislatures convene.)

    But the State of the Union Address certainly lacks the glitz of Westminster. Cars instead of Horses and Coaches. Business suits instead of robes and costumes. And, the nearest thing to jewels is the American flag lapel pin that is de rigueur for American politicians. The flag pins have very tiny (and fake) rubies, diamonds, and sapphires for the red, white, and blue. By contrast of course, the Queen wears many of the major jewels of the world on her head. The second largerst diamond in the world, (the largest is in her sceptre back at the Tower), and the Black Prince's Ruby....which adorned the helmet of Henry V at Agincourt. Now how cool is that....historically speaking. Maybe the Queen would let the President borrow it next January for his State of the Union....LOL.

  17. Wow, Danny, your grace.

    Thanks for that explanation. I've seen and heard the State of the Union speech, when Bush has gone along to talk to the joint houses. Of course this will be Obama's first. Well, at least it should be more entertaining, and informative than Bush's.

    So, the president may propose some legislation, but presumably so can the senators and congressmen/women? And the same things in the state legislatures?

    I'm not entirely sure that Elizabeth will let Obama have that crown though mate. I think she's holding on to it for her old age pension!!!

    Besides, I'm trying hard to imagine Mr Obama in the crown. And failing. I imagine that Mrs Obama would make a very beautiful queen though.

  18. Yea thanks for that. Tell you what why dont you take her off our hands altogether.

  19. Only kidding of course. How could we ever bear to be parted with our dear Queen and her brood, for all their faults we love them yet. Well no actually now I feel sick.

    I guess that the President is the head of state and of government then all roled into one. I just do not see the need for a titular or powerless head of state in the 21st Century. Roll it all up into one person and let him delegate.

  20. Yes Munguin, you are right.

    After all the Queen is head of state. Yesterday she read all this guff from the government without having any input into it, and that is wrong. She was used to add glamoutr to the occasion, at very great cost.

    Then she is head of the armed forces, although of course she has absolutely nothing to do with deploying them, or their pay and conditions, nor does she have any control over the equipment that they get.

    Next she is head of the law. And yet she cannot change the law, she cannot pardon, or increase sentences. Judges may act in her name, and owe their allegience to her, but she cannot interfere with their work.

    Finally she is head of the Church of England, but she may or may not believe in that church, or in its teachings. She may be knowledgable about some of its teachings but she is not a theologian. She cannot interfere with the decisions taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the council of bishops, or anything else. The hArchbishops is in fact appointed byu the Prime Minister, who in this case is a presbyterian, but who may be jewish, or muslim, or of no religion.

    It's actually very insulting for her to be titularly head all of these things and yet not have any power in any of them.

  21. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 20, 2009 9:31 am

    Yes, Tris, you're right. The Imperial State Crown on Mr. Obama's head just wouldn't work....LOL.

    Any member of either house of Congress can propose bills. The President works with members of his party in Congress to push his legislative agenda. As powerful as the Congress is, any bill which is passed must be approved by the President before it becomes law. A presidential veto requires a 2/3 majority in Congress for an override.

    I imagine that most of the states have similar legislative rules. But since each state has its own constitution and legal code, you can't really generalize. One state, Nebraska, has a unicameral legislature.

    As for taking the Queen off your hands as our Head of State, there was a time when DybYa had the job that there might have been quite a bit of popular support for that. The negotiations might hinge on whether or not she would bring along the Crown jewels....LOL.

  22. Danny, thanks again for these explanations. The system is very different from the UK system. Although in common with Nebraska, the Celtic countries' parliaments have only one house.

    There's no chance we could let the crown jewels go. At the end of the day it's probably all that's keeping the country afloat, the knowledge that they could be sold to an Arab King somewhere to pay off our debts!

  23. I'm sure we could do a deal. You take the Queen and her blood sucking brood, we keep the Crown Jewels and you send us George W to be our head of state with a lifetime supply of pretzels. His shambolic antics would go down a storm at the trooping of the colour. Such a shame that he has given up the drink, that comes in handy for a British Head of State. How is his wife in the role of mad, racist, bigot? These three are musts if she is to take over from Prince Philip.

  24. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 21, 2009 5:35 pm

    Hey Munguin....

    We might actually be able to do a deal on that exchange of the Queen for our beloved ex-President George W. He does seem to have given up the drink....and maybe even the pretzels for that matter, since the time the idiot almost killed himself while munching on them.

    We had hoped for the crown jewels though to defray the expenses of the Queen and her brood who are high maintenance people....financially speaking. Getting her to leave the palaces and live in the plain little White House may take some serious negotiating. It would surely seem something akin to servants quarters for her.

    Taking over the role of mad racist bigot from Philip would be difficult for Laura Bush though. She is by all accounts a rather nice lady who simply married poorly. At least "nice" by Texas....and Republican.....standards.

    But we can surely negotiate this sticking point on our deal involving the crown jewels. Mostly I just want that ice cube sized diamond and the Black Prince's Ruby from the Imperial State Crown. They could be easily popped out of their settings and replaced with nice modern reproductions.....LOL.

  25. Danny:

    I'm sure an earl could manage to get his hands on that small trinket being close to royalty.

    I liked the idea that Laura Bush had simply married badly, and that she was nice by Texas, and Republican standards...

    I take it that doesn't count for hell of a much!!!!

  26. What a bargain, a few useless baubles and we get shot of Brenda and her entire blood sucking brood. I'm not sure the USA is aware of what it's getting. But there are so many more people over there to insult and fleece.

    What do you think Tris?

  27. I'd certainly be happy to trade them for the Obamas. President Obama of Scotland, how cool would that be?