A Royal Waste of Time

Three things came to mind while watching the shambles that was the Queen’s speech:

One – The pomp and ceremony of it all. We knew it was a charade before the participants put
on their fancy-dress costumes.

Two – The actual content of the speech sounded like a rubbish comedy routine. It would have
been more appropriate coming from Nish Kumar on ‘The Mash Report’.

Three – Colin Firth did it better.

Apparently, the government is going to ramp up its efforts to meddle in the affairs of
other nations under the guise of “defending its interests and promoting its values” less the
gammons realise the empire truly is dead.

Not to worry though, because the government will also “champion global free trade” – it’s not like they that they have a vested interest in trading without tariffs, right? As we leave the European Union, we also lose the Protected Geographical Indicators (PGI) which have helped our export industry survive and been a requirement of any nation’s trade agreements with EU states. Scotch whisky could be made in Alabama. Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese could be made in Taiwan. Scotch lamb and Welsh beef could be made in South Africa. This will cripple our high-quality export industry which, in 2014, accounted for £76 billion from Scotland alone.

Maintaining a straight face, Queen Liz told us that ‘her government’ is going to create a better, more prosperous and more equal Britain – by ending the free movement of people. Not to worry though because new “measures” (activate jazz hands) will be brought forward to support the NHS as it haemorrhages the not insignificant number of European staff currently employed to care for us. The government will also bring forward “measures” (more jazz hands) to better deal with both foreign and domestic offenders, and to work in partnership with other countries around the world in pursuing criminals – because we’ll no longer be part of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). This is a system which allows the sharing of information and easy extraditions between member states. The UK received over 14,000 requests for such extraditions between 2015 and 2016 and requested almost 250 in the same period. We’ll also implement “a more open visa system” to attract scientists and experts in various fields to the country – something we’ll need because many of these experts and scientists are from the continent. We will need to counter the inevitable ‘brain-drain’ as the Brexit process continues, and people are discouraged from coming here, otherwise our scientific research and development industries will be crippled for years. But don’t worry, the Queen said we’d be fine.

These are not government policies. It is an election manifesto which will be utterly ignored once the Prime Minister gains a majority. I’m not one to agree with Jeremy Corbyn but on this we are in agreement – this was a farce. A Prime Minster with a majority of minus 20, who has broken the law and who even now risks being found in contempt of court over his conduct regarding the Super Saturday vote. We need to remind ourselves in this Trumpian age that this is not normal. This is not excusable.

Some would argue that her majesty deserves sympathy for how recent events have transpired. No. She could have renounced her ‘duties’ or condemned the actions of ‘her government’. She could have refused to allow the prorogation. She did not. This Queen’s speech lacked substance, sincerity and shame. The only positive outcome is that London’s miniver cloak dry-cleaning industry made a killing.

 

Image: National Library of Australia (Hughes, Allan James) via Flickr.

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The Student Newspaper 2016