MORE SHOCK NEWS: Bill that was going to be in Queen’s Speech will be in Queen’s Speech

Pick and mix your allocation of blame between some Tory right-wing MPs and some political journalists, between deliberate deceit and genuine confusion as you wish, but as the dust settles on yesterday’s political stories about the Queen’s Speech the news is remarkably dull:

  • A Bill that was not going to be in the Queen’s Speech will not be in the Queen’s Speech, and
  • A Bill that was going to be in the Queen’s Speech will be in the Queen’s Speech.

Or in other words, ignore the nonsense about how the absence of an equal marriage Bill from the Queen’s Speech means the government is backing away from it. The plan never was for the Bill to be in this Queen’s Speech, which is after all why the current Home Office consultation on the issue does not close for a couple of months yet. (Have you taken part in it? If not, you can do so online here.)

As Lynne Featherstone put it yesterday:

There will be no u-turn on equal marriage – we are committed as a government to legislate by 2015.

As for Lords reform, that too is proceeding as planned – which means that it will be in the Queen’s speech. Ministers have been saying, shock horror, that the economy is the most important issue at the moment and so in that sense Lords reform is not the “centrepiece” of the government’s plans for the next year. Hardly objectionable, hardly surprising and hardly news.

Even the keenest on Lords reform, such as myself, happily agree that the economy comes first – but simply add the even more obvious point that there is rather more to what the government can do than simply one Bill. Lords reform does not stop a myriad of other actions (especially on the economy where getting new legislation through Parliament is a relatively small part of what can or should be done).

As Nick Clegg puts it today, there are three priorities for him in the coming year – of which number three is political reform:

The historic mission of liberals is to stand up for ordinary people against vested interests. Our radicalism is needed as much as ever. Reining in the banks. Reforming party funding to get the big money out of politics. Cleaning up the media: every Lib Dem can be proud of the part we played in setting up the judge-led Leveson inquiry. And, yes, injecting some democracy into the House of Lords. For more than a century, we have been debating the commonsense idea that the people who obey the laws of the land should elect the people who make them. Instead of getting ourselves tied up in knots in Westminster about this, we just need to get on with it.

I suspect we may get plenty more of this ‘no news’ news served up in the coming months. Whether mischief-making political opponents are encouraged to try that on more and more will be governed by whether journalists swallow the stories and also by how Liberal Democrats react. We can’t control the journalists, but whether our reactions encourage more mischief-making in the future is very much up to us.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/28429 for Twitter and emails.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 23rd Aug - 8:18am
    @ David-1- "I suppose that Mr Dunn, in his innocence, believes those to have been “collective, peaceful, and decisive” expressions of the will of the...
  • User AvatarPaul in Wokingham 23rd Aug - 7:53am
    The inevitable twitter hashtag #LibDemMovies has appeared. Most of them are pretty dire, but I like "The Good, The Spads and The Ugly".
  • User AvatarCaractatus 23rd Aug - 7:50am
    it is an odd idea that Scotland should stay in the UK to help keep the Tories out - well occasionally anyway - ( some...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 22nd Aug - 11:46pm
    Because: (1) Crimea was not and is not a country or a nation, but part of the territory of another independent nation, Ukraine, which did...
  • User AvatarSteveL 22nd Aug - 11:12pm
    "On the critical issue of whether human activity is a cause of climate change, Science has been able to establish that recent climate change is...
  • User Avatarstuart moran 22nd Aug - 10:52pm
    and I am bottom......