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The Daily View: The Queen's speech

Clare Spencer | 09:05 UK time, Monday, 16 November 2009

Yeoman Warders in ParliamentNick Clegg in the Independent argues that the Queen's Speech, to be delivered on 18 November, should be scrapped. The Lib Dem leader describes the speech as a waste of time, since there are only 70 sitting days left in parliament and the average bill takes 240 days to reach royal assent. He predicts the speech will be "little more than a rehearsal of the next Labour Party manifesto":

"[A]n attempt to road-test policy gimmicks that might save this Government's skin. It is a waste of everyone's time, and should be cancelled in favour of an emergency programme of reform."

Nick Clegg echoes the leader column in Friday's Daily Telegraph. The argument in the Telegraph is that the Queen's Speech will be used by Labour as an election tool, but many of the proposed bills will never see the light of day, making it a money-wasting exercise. The Times's political editor Philip Webster calls the speech the beginning of "a six-month election campaign" and "one of the shortest but most deliberately political programmes of recent years":

"Several of the Bills will be seen as populist measures that have been pushed forward at this stage to create dividing lines with the Conservatives."

At his personal blog, Conservative MP John Redwood says that he is "old-fashioned enough to think that a Queen's Speech should be for a government to announce new legislation it thinks is needed in the public interest" and remarks of the pre-announced plan to retrospectively remove bankers' bonuses:

"Any politician facing a close election will be tempted to support, given the low public esteem towards bankers. Yet this bill is just another political stunt."

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow wonders at Snowblog whether Mr Clegg's proposal "may have a stronger resonance than at first might appear":

I continue to find, in talking to people, that it is the disrepute into which parliament has been dragged by the peers and MPs' expenses scandal that dominates politics over and above party rivalry.

Nick Clegg | Independent | Don't waste our time... Bring forward real reform
Telegraph | This will be a Queen's Speech too far
Philip Webster | Times | Brown lands a blow with blitz of populist measures to beat Tories
John Redwood's Diary | The Queen's Speech: A case of excessive risk-taking
Jon Snow | Snowblog | Parliament unfit for purpose? Maybe Mr Clegg has a point
MP Tom Harris's blog | Will someone please tell whatsisname to be quiet?

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