Good morning Mumsnetters, Newsnight's Michael Crick is coming to visit and wants to know about what we all think of the government's plans as to be revealed (but of course already heavily trailed) in the Queen's Speech Today.
Good to see clampdown on bankers' bonuses but I'm deeply cynical about whether they are planning something that will have a real effect. Bet there's plenty of wriggle room.
And it's about far more than bonuses anyway. We need to bring the banks into line and make them recognise that 'too big to fail' means they are social goods with a responsibility to the public, not solely private sector enterprises to make money for bankers and shareholders. (And that includes the ones that weren't officially bailed out - none of them would still be standing without public intervention and a massive injection of funds into the market as a whole.)
Home care for elderly - good in theory but again need to see the details. Social care is already being increasingly restricted to those with the most extreme needs leaving everyone else without support - will this make it worse? Will it actually be something that is helpful, or just spin? Is Niall Dixon right that it will just conflict with existing policy?
The Tories are probably right that most of this won't make it onto the statute book anyway, especially as they are planning to hold it all up in the Lords.
It's all just hot air and posing isn't it ? The political equivalent of 'my tonker is bigger than your tonker".
I'm all for free social care - but it needs to be high quality, consistent care, not patched together by private companies who are all trying to make money out of it. Social care should be an integrated part of health care, and therefore should be run by teams who cover health and social needs both in the community and in residential settings. With their own OTs, physios etc who can be called on to make rapid changes and treat when necessary.
I have already ROFFLED at the 'right to a good education'. It is totally barking up the wrong tree. Education is never improved by establishing more procedures against which users can give feedback and complain. And making it a legal requirement will simply make it much more difficult to recruit teachers and good headteachers I imagine.
Am I being dim here? In what circumstances is taking a school to court going to improve the education my kid gets?
I like Mandelson's point that he made in the pre-speech press conference about the Tories objections to this as being a divisive speech were GOOD, in that it shows that there IS a big division here between the two main parties and it is not a matter of voting for the Tories because you are bored of the current government.
I hope that Cameron's banging on about the diviseness of the speech is something that people note - there IS a huge division, particularly over things like elderly care/the Social Care Bill.
I do worry a bit about the promise to halve the budget deficit though - would like to know how that is going to be achieved, exactly, as it's rather a massive plan...
Am NOT impressed with the Tory peers announcement that - hohoho they plan to scupper everything - how arrogant to happily play games by blocking the plans of a democratically elected Government!!
Colditz - there's a very funny blog post by Danny Finkelstein (Times) here that pretty much makes that point:
'In Westminster there is fevered discussion of so and sos prospects given the latest to-ings and fro-ings. Out there? Recently the Times pollster Andrew Cooper, of Populus, asked a group to name another prominent Tory apart from David Cameron. Ed Balls, replied someone. Yes, and his brother, Ed Miliband, said another.
A group in Nottingham were probed on Michael Howards Jewishness. Did it matter? When asked if they could recall any Jews in British public life there was a long silence. Then came one confident reply: Whoopi Goldberg. '
"Bribery Bill - make it offence to bribe foreign officials and for business to fail to prevent bribery". Nice idea, not sure how it will work in practice, but very likely to spike some of the arms traders' marketing plans.
To dismiss it as a 'political exersize' is a bit off though. It is not as if the Government coudl just say, "Oh, we are going to be voted out next year so we just not bohter. Lizzie, stay at home and have a cup of tea."
Yes, to the banks being held responsible for their actions. I agree wiht Edam that we should review our whole thinking on the banking sector. Who decided that RBS is so big that we cannot allow it to fail? What happens with other big companies who go into receivership? Do we go in an rescue them all? DH's company is having a terrible year due to the crisis caused by the banks. They are getting not one dollar of financial assistance from the US Government. Why should the banks?
Pledge to halve the deficit in four years (Fiscal Responsibility Bill) I do not agree with this at all. This is going to be a pledge enshrined in legislation and therefore if the target is missed the Government could be sued. That is crazy. Political aspirations have no place in any legal framework. Of course the Government should work to reduce the deficit but I am very much against the new trend for enshrining economic rights in legislation. There are three reasons for this: (1) it carries a great risk that the courts will interfere with political/parliamentary judgments about priority setting (Government must be responsible for economic policy, the courts lack expertise and are not elected); (2) it means one Party trying to hold future Governments to its own aims by enshrining them in legislation and (3) if the target is missed then there will be a long and expensive judicial review process - more public money into the pockets of lawyers.
Seriously policywonk, it would be funny it it wasn't so tragic. My local MP got this message posted on his wall: "after yesterdays tv blunder saying the Queens speech is a waste of time???? they just lost pretty much my whole neighbourhoods support aswell as everyone i know at work"
I found myself thinking "Why HAVEN'T Labour got rid of the House of Lords? Wasn't that The Plan?" but then I remember that we DO have Mandelson trilling cheerily about his ermine robes and I'm sort of glad they didn't