How the Queen's Speech got my goat

 

Oh dear. The Queen's Speech has already got my goat. Let me explain.

I reported this morning that the Gracious Speech is written on vellum with ink that takes three days to dry so it cannot be amended at the last minute. True... until recently but, apologies, I now learn it is not any more. I regret to have to report that the goat has fallen victim to the age of austerity. This year's speech will be written on plain - or, in truth, rather posh - paper.

"Going goat" is still a phrase used in Whitehall to describe the moment when the Queen's Speech has to be finalised and sent to the Palace for Her Majesty's approval. That is several days before it is delivered.

This year that meant it was completed before not after the local elections which, as I reported, meant that the measures announced could not be a response to UKIP's triumph at the polls.

Analysis right. Fact wrong. Sorry.

PS I blame Fergie trauma for my error...

UPDATE 2pm: When is a goat not a goat? When does a mea culpa become not so culpa after all?

Just when you thought Goatgate had been cleared up, along comes the official line: It is not on vellum anymore. It is on "goatskin parchment paper" but confusingly it's not actually goatskin. However it is very high quality, thick paper, which is why the ink takes several days to dry, and it then needs to be bound into a booklet, before being sent on to Her Majesty for signing. So it did have to go to the printers last week. And the paper does have the watermark of a goat....

That's enough goats - Ed

 
Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Brown calls for three 'guarantees' for Scotland

Gordon Brown is calling for three "guarantees" for Scotland to be "locked in" before voting takes place in the referendum on Thursday.

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 61.

    53. Its been a very long time since there has been even a semblance of representative government.

    The BBC if it wishes to support the idea its reporting is unbiased should question the relevance of a party system in a progressive democracy.

    I think a delegative system in which parties have no place is the way to go. But it will be a long haul to educate citizens to become participants.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    I thought your coverage of the State Opening very chippy, Nick. Every opportunity was taken to trivialise the traditional side. I am surprised no-one has demanded to know the cost of it all.... Same old BBC....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 58.

    #44. jon112dk
    "After years of successful oppression, a non-nazi party openly raised the issue we are not allowed to speak of.
    I'm not that keen on UKIP as a national government - but well done for this."

    Is that the sound of a closet door opening?
    Your old adversary Steve_M-H will be chuffed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 57.

    37saga
    Come on, let's not scapegoat Nick for the BBC's lack of hard news and analysis:
    ~
    But with so many goats around, he should be able to count to three with a calendar. Even if he doesn't use his fingers, goats have four legs so that should have the Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon count from the elections sorted. ;-)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 56.

    49.Strictly Pickled
    Goats ? Who are they trying to kid ? More like the Nanny state trying to ram the usual rubbish down our throats.
    ~
    But this is serious! It may mean Nick is no longer the goats-to commentator of choice for BBC News when they are trying to farm political opinions for news programmes.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 55.

    I am not racist or tory, but it cannot be right that someone entering the country is able to claim benefits and gets first call on public housing above someone who has been born, raised, worked, and paid taxes here. Britain needs immigrants that will contribute to society, it does not need those who come solely to sponge. Stopping these abuses will vurb the rise of the right.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 54.

    So the descendant of German immigrants is co-operating with her government to introduce tighter controls on immigration. You couldn't make it up.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 53.

    I pity her, having to spout rubbish that the General Public know is non-sense,but then it's all part of the 'Pomp and Show' of high public office. The Queen wasn't elected, and most MP's represent an actual MINORITY of their Constituents-unless they got more than 50% of the vote! These people don't represent the Nation, they represent their Office or their Party. Representation in the UK is dead.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 52.

    With a huge media circus having to keep highly paid journalists in shirts and the politics gravy train and it's entourage of highly paid journos, gosh they could go on all night on one soundbite.

    Thousands of them all having to spin like dervishes to fill 1/2 hour.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 51.

    Well, the great soap opera called politics in this country rumbles on. I wonder how much this non news costs us every day and how many people on the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 floors are employed to keep this show on the road I'll bet it costs us millions every single day, otherwise what would the broadcasters talk about???

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 50.

    I am not amused.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 49.

    Goats ? Who are they trying to kid ? More like the Nanny state trying to ram the usual rubbish down our throats.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    I think the queens speech has had it,s day can we not stop this pomp and just have the prime minister of the day read it out.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 47.

    Cameron wrote the speech why carn,t he tell us whats in it with out the pomp and yes a goat did write it Cameron.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 46.

    I know you have to justify your existence Mr Robinson, but commenting on the material upon which the monarch's speech was written hardly comes into the category of journalistic expertise. Would UKIP,or dare I say it, the Labour party have sunk to such a level ? Ordinary paper indeed ; what has happened to this nation ? Are goats scarce, or have they all been sponsored off to Africa ?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 45.

    Nick, you've been around long enough to know that when you've got nothing to say you should say nothing. Please give the goat thing a rest.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 44.

    Oops!

    The cork popped out the bottle.

    After years of successful oppression, a non-nazi party openly raised the issue we are not allowed to speak of.

    I'm not that keen on UKIP as a national government - but well done for this.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    "Several days to dry"?
    Methinks they're taking the urine out of you media lot, Nick.
    24 hrs, maybe.

    #38
    Why not go back to the old sus laws? If only there wasn't that meddling European Court of Human Rights.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 42.

    41
    They are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 

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