Queen's Speech cancelled. An abuse of power?

Coalition cancels 2011 Queen's Speech. Is this more than a matter of political convenience?

The Queen can look forward to an extended holiday next spring: the coalition has cancelled her annual address to Parliament. The government claims that the decision is part of its plan to permanently move the the state opening of parliament from the autumn to the spring, meaning the next Queen's Speech won't be until 2012.

Here's Sir George Young's explanation:

[T]he government believes that it would be appropriate to move towards five 12-month sessions over a parliament, beginning and ending in the spring. This has the advantage of avoiding a final fifth session [beginning in the autumn] of only a few months, which restricts the ability of parliament to consider a full legislative programme.

But it's far from clear why the next Queen's Speech couldn't be held in May 2011 (the last was held on 25 May) and Labour MPs smell a rat.

As Rosie Winterton, the shadow leader of the Commons, pointed out on the World at One:

Normally, a government has 12 months, maximum 18 months to get its legislation through. What the government has said is that, because we had got a difficult session ahead, we want two years to get our legislation through ... it's an abuse of power and parliament.

Meanwhile, Speaker Bercow has ordered Young to answer an urgent question from Labour MP Denis MacShane on the subject this afternoon. As in the case of the 55 per cent rule and the proposed boundary changes, it's hard to avoid the sense that this is another example of Cameron introducing political reform with little or no consultation. And given the divisive nature of much of the coalition's legislative programme, ministers have some way to go to convince Parliament that this is more than a matter of political convenience.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland