What would be in your Queen’s speech?

As the Queen heads to Westminster and delivers a speech which will go something like “My Government is doing, well, not that much actually. Now that it has ditched the bonkers policy nobody liked in its manifesto, there’s just Brexit really. Oh, and lots of money to Northern Ireland.”

So, as the events in Westminster unfold, what would be your big idea for the Queen’s Speech. What one piece of legislation would you bring in?

I guess the obvious Lib Dem ones are PR and the Standardisation of Letterboxes. I’d like to see putting the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into law as well as serious efforts to help women who want to breastfeed their babies to do so. That would be a massive contributor to the future health of the nation and would reduce future health inequalities as I have written before.

So what would your big idea be? Think as far out of the box as you like and don’t allow yourself to be constrained by current parliamentary arithmetic.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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23 Comments

  • Standardisation of letterboxes certainly made me giggle.

    II feel that people tend to get a bit over-excited about breastfeeding. Some women can’t do it and, to be honest, that’s ok. It’s not the end of the world.

    I think I’ll go with a Mulhollandesque pub protection bill and slashing of import duty on wine. But I’m feeling a little flippant this morning.

  • 1. PR for Westminster.
    2. Allow local authorities to borrow against their housing stock for new social housing.
    3. The EU to be renamed the “Union of Europe” UE. in leaving the EU and joining the UE, the Government will deliver its Brexit policy in full.
    4. Supermarkets to be banned from charging £1 for supermarket trolley hire, instead electric shocks / lazer defence system (to be decided locally) for anyone removing from the area.
    5. Northern Ireland to be physically detached from the Republic of Ireland and to be towed between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight to improve transport links. At DUP request, they can march between Ryde and Cowes to their hearts’ content, thus solving the legacy issues from NI.
    6. Any driveway over a certain length in a Lib Dem held / target ward must move its mailbox from the front door to the edge of the property to protect the health and sanity of deliverers.

    Sorted!

  • Mine would be to require mandatory re-testing of older drivers after the age of 80. This would remove the need for children to have those difficult conversations with elderly parents when we know it is time for them to consider giving up driving.

  • David Evershed 21st Jun '17 - 11:15am

    My government recognises that our country’s wealth and prosperity is only increased by increased productivity. In the long term it is only higher productivity that will reduce costs for consumers and enable workers pay to be increased in real terms.

    It therefore proposes measures to increase productivity by introducing domestic policies to spur innovation, technology adoption, and the reallocation of resources from low productivity organisations to high productivity organisations. This applies equally to public and private sectors.

    As the Governor of the Bank of England said in his speech earlier this week ……

    “While the most productive companies have continued to innovate, others have become slower at adopting those innovations. Speeding up the rate of take-up of new inventions and processes – for example greater product market competition and challenges to management to benchmark against best practice would provide a significant boost to overall productivity growth. “

  • David Evershed 21st Jun '17 - 11:24am

    Re Standard letter boxes and the length of driveway to the letter box.

    An example of increased productivity (see above) would be the increased use of electronic communications by the Lib Dem organisation to communicate its messages to not only a household but direct to individuals. This seems to have worked for Labour in the general election.

  • 1. Proportional Representation.
    2. Scrap the Snoopers Charter.
    3. Cancel Brexit.
    4. Privatise Network Rail, Post Office and greater outsourcing in the emergency services.
    5. Lower corporation tax to Irish rates.
    6. A massive crackdown on hate crime.
    7. Stronger pushes for equal representation and quotas in business.

  • 1 Drop Brexit
    2 Declare a Day of Apology for Brexit, everyone apologises to everyone else
    3 Parliament takes a long holiday while all Politicians go to The Country to get their Heads together.

  • Steve Griffiths 21st Jun '17 - 12:29pm

    1) Land value taxation.
    2) Longer assured tenancies.
    3) End Bedroom Tax

  • The new offence of wasting canvassers time. Violation would include not clearly marking letter boxes at the bottom of the drive and hence enticing the long walk and search process unnecessarily before inflicting loss of self esteem for not spotting it in the first place. Fines based on per foot of drive.

  • Philip Rolle 21st Jun '17 - 1:01pm

    I’d abolish reading menus out loud in restaurants!

    Are you really in talks with the Conservatives, BTW.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 21st Jun '17 - 1:43pm

    Are we meant to go for serious or flippant with this?
    Serious :
    1 Scrap Trident
    2 Universal basic income
    3 Outlaw ageism in job recruitment – Some will say it’s already outlawed, but the news hasn’t yet reached some Lib Dems, judging by some comments on the forthcoming leadership contest.
    Flippant :
    I’m not so good at flippant, but suppose, for a trial period, all political leafleting through private letterboxes is banned – as is actually the case in some countries. All parties would be forced to think up more creative ways of campaigning.

  • OK seriously.
    All land is brought into public ownership, control of which is vested in local authorities. Local authorities the have right of first refusal on transfer as valued on ‘current use’ market rate. Right of compulsory purchase at ‘current use’ market rate. The LA can then re designate use and offer for resale. The profit on land transactions can then be used to buy back housing on the development for public rental or restrictive resale. End result; increased in integrated local housing stock, not concentrated on what become sink estates. Use of housing stock to influence housing market.

  • Please, please, good people, STV and the standardisation of letterboxes – height AND size. “PR” is not precise enough, and is what leads to miserable little compromises like AV.

    And yeah, stop brexit, and stop being so bloody silly about immigration.

  • If I had to choose just one thing I would choose the replacement of the Income Tax Personal Allowance with a Citizens Income at the same level and give it to those of working age who receive out of work benefits. I would set out the aim to expand the Citizens Income at least to those aged under 27 during the next five years and increase it towards the current Job Seekers Allowance rate as soon as finances allows and to roll it out to those of working age not in work and not receiving benefits as finances allow.

    If I could have more than one, I would scrape the sanctions regime for those receiving employment and support allowance and reform it for those healthy enough to work so that they only loose a small amount of their benefit for very short periods of time, with the aim of abolishing it even for these people within five years. I would also give responsibility for helping people to find work to district and unitary councils and look at ways abolishing Job Centres.

    I would also bring in measures that when a company recruits someone from a foreign country they must train a UK national to do that job or provide the finances for a training organisation to provide the training and then provide work experience after the training.

  • nigel hunter 21st Jun '17 - 9:56pm

    With the serious manifesto proposals, social care etc left out of the speech they are ‘frit’ to tackle politically damaging issues. They proceed with Brexit which looks more and more complex. Is it time that the Conservative Party was no more and they vote themselves out of existance in the next Queens Speech?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Jun '17 - 10:03pm

    Jennie, that comment sums up why I love you so much:-)

  • > Jennie wrote:
    > Please, please, good people, STV… “PR” is not precise enough, and is
    > what leads to miserable little compromises like AV.

    This remark seems odd, but perhaps I have misread it.

    AV is what you get when you degrade the proportionality out of STV by using it to elect only one representative.

    So if asking for “proportionality” leads to a degenerate, non-proportional form of STV, why would asking for “STV” lead to a different outcome?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Jun '17 - 3:52am

    Catherine

    I agree with two of your three serious, and your, shall we say , silly but sensible is marvellous!

    I have , briefly, mentioned Sir Vince being too old, not because that is an issue, really but because I would like a period of leadership that is more than a waiting game for the young Turks, or the young Scot, if some have their way too soon ! I was a , by the way, huge enthusiast for Sir Ming, and kudos, to Sir Vince, he is ignoring the media, who made life difficult for our previous leader on the grounds of age , but I wonder if they shall do it all over again !

    My Queen’s Speech, would be featuring policies , inspired by the words of one of my favourite songwriters, Leslie Bricusse, from the musical, “Pickwick, ” the song as once upon a time sung by Sir Harry Secombe in the leading role…

    If I ruled the world

    Every day would be the first day of spring

    Every heart would have a new song to sing

    And we’d sing

    Of the joy every morning would bring…

  • Adrian, the Electoral Reform Society and campaign groups like ‘Make Votes Matter’ have a lot material on the problems with AV and why it isn’t proportional, and we shouldn’t let people claim that a vote on AV was a vote on PR.

    I reckon we push for a government that represents the people, and make sure to mention STV as the way to do it. Too many people think that PR means a long-list with no parliamentary link and too much party control, or that we already had a vote on it. As far as I can tell, the public mood in changing, and we are getting vocal campaigners within the Labour party, and while it’s good to let them make progress without being hindered by the idea that it’s one of those niche LibDem policies to be ignored, and yet if we let them dominate the debate, they also dominate the influence.

    My priority for this Queen’s speech would be proper investment in the NHS and better integration of health and social care. And more than lip-service towards compliance with environmental regulations, especially things like air, water and land quality.

  • John Probert 22nd Jun '17 - 9:41am

    Legislate that when a public company declares a dividend, at least 25% is allocated for distribution to its employees as the fruit of their labours.

  • Implement screening for Group B Strep the biggest cause of infection in new born babies (causing illness and/or impairment to up to 1,000 babies a year and killing between 60 and 100 babies each year).

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 22nd Jun '17 - 11:34am

    Lorenzo, I hope that when you are Prime Minister you include the actual words from the musical into your Queens Speech.
    On these occasions, the queen’s expression is invariably inscrutable – an expression that she has obviously practiced and perfected, until no trace can be detected of her real feeling about what she is reading. But imagine if she had to read out : “My government will make every day the first day of spring. My government will also ensure that every heart has a new song to sing…”
    Even she would be struggling not to smile 🙂

  • > Fiona writes:
    > we shouldn’t let people claim that a vote on AV was a vote on PR.

    I agree that opponents of proportional voting shouldn’t get away with “AV = PR” arguments.

    But the problem is, any opponent who is artful enough to attempt that deception is probably artful enough to run an “AV = STV” deception as well.

    This is the point I was making in the first place. It seems odd to demand the label “STV” just because the label “PR” might be misconstrued, when in fact either could be.

    > we are getting vocal campaigners within the Labour party, and while it’s good
    > to let them make progress without being hindered by the idea that it’s one of
    > those niche LibDem policies … if we let them dominate the debate, they also
    > dominate the influence.

    Salient, I think.

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