The Staggers 25 May 2010 Dennis Skinner’s best Queen’s Speech jokes The finest republican quips by the Beast of Bolsover. Print HTML Dennis Skinner's republican quips during the State Opening of Parliament have become as much of a tradition as the rest of the occasion. Today, as the Yeoman of the Guard (Black Rod is ill) summoned MPs to hear the Queen's Speech in the "other place", the Labour MP joked: "No royal commissions this week," a none-too-subtle reference to Sarah Ferguson's unfortunate offer of access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, in exchange for cash. So, in tribute to the Beast of Bolsover's verbal agility, here is a selection of his finest Queen's Speech jokes from the past two decades. 1990 Skinner quipped: "It tolls for thee, Maggie", a reference to Margaret Thatcher's imminent departure. 1992 As pressure grew on the Queen to pay tax on her personal income, Skinner ordered Black Rod: "Tell her to pay her taxes." 1997 Skinner cried out: "New Labour, New Black Rod", an adaptation of the campaign slogan "New Labour, New Britain". 2000 Skinner shouted out, "Tell her to read the Guardian" after the newspaper launched a new campaign calling for Britain to become a republic. 2003 Following a series of break-ins at Buckingham Palace, Skinner asked: "Did she lock the door behind her?" 2006 In reference to the new film The Queen, Skinner asked Black Rod: "Have you got Helen Mirren on standby?" 2007 After two protected hen harriers were shot dead on the royal family's Sandringham estate, Skinner cried out: "Who shot the harriers?" Prince Harry was questioned by the police but no charges were brought. 2008 Skinner quipped: "Any Tory moles at the palace?", a reference to the recent arrest of the Tory MP Damian Green in connection with Home Office leaks. 2009 As Black Rod arrived in the Commons, Skinner joked: "Royal expenses are on the way." PS: If you missed it at the time, you can read our special anti-monarchy issue in full here. Special offer: get 12 issues of the New Statesman for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling. › There is no good reason to scrap the Child Trust Fund George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean? John Gray on the future of the state on the NS Podcast Could Labour lose the Oldham by-election?