Purpose amid the pageantry?

Saddle the horses, polish the brass, dig out the tiaras.

This was the day Her Majesty travelled down the road from the Palace to Parliament to open its new session...the day when, beyond all the ceremony, the Queen had one simple job - to read out her government's "to-do list" for the year ahead... the day the government must try to impose a theme on 15 disparate proposed new laws.

In truth, the year in politics will not be shaped by any of them. What will stir political passions is what concerns people outside - the state of the economy and of family finances. That, this government believes, is less about legislation and more about government actions.

No wonder Her Majesty began with these words: "My ministers' first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability."

What stirs passions at Westminster but not outside is reform of the House of Lords.

Many Tory MPs who doubt the wisdom of embarking on something which has proved impossible for the past century were reassured by the promise simply to bring forward proposals, NOT to drive through change.

David Cameron is painfully aware of the dangers of proposals on this and more besides which look at odds with the anger and the aspirations of voters increasingly disenchanted with their politicians.

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