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The Queen's Speech - was it Family Friendly?

(20 Posts)
Jinsei Thu 10-May-12 07:40:30

So an unelected government write a speech for an unelected monarch/head of state.

And i bet you 5p that loads of people think she does write it herself.

Depressing, isn't it! sad

And no, the bet's off - I'm sure you're right, as some people truly have no clue.

KatieScarlett2833 Thu 10-May-12 01:21:31

I watched and thought

a) Tosh
b) How much money do we spend perpetuating the myth that her presence today actually meant something. I found the crown and golden shizz offensive when so many are going under in the current economic climate.

EchoBitch Thu 10-May-12 00:08:32

So an unelected government write a speech for an unelected monarch/head of state.

And i bet you 5p that loads of people think she does write it herself.

Jinsei Wed 09-May-12 23:24:26

I don't think anybody does believe that she actually makes it up, do they? confused Frankly, I wouldn't be happy if she did. The queen isn't supposed to have opinions, she is just a mouthpiece. I wouldn't want the government to be following priorities set out by an unelected monarch!

Instead they are following priorities set out by the unelected coalition government.

<ponders whether or not absolute rule by the monarch might be a better option after all>

EchoBitch Wed 09-May-12 23:19:40

It would be interesting to know if Her Maj or Phil ever even changed a nappy...their experience of parenting must be very different from most peoples.
I wonder if they had nannies. grin

It's just mad that she gets her speech written for her and spouts off what the government of the day want her to say and then we all believe she thinks this stuff up for herself.

Solopower Wed 09-May-12 22:16:53

Jinsei - I have exactly the same concerns.

Jinsei Wed 09-May-12 21:46:27

I'm basically in favour of allowing parents to share mat leave as they think fit, this will certainly help to promote more equality in the workplace (assuming, of course, that it is actually used by men too). But I do have some concerns.

Some women have very traumatic births, and probably need some time at home to recover, as well as caring for the baby. If they have planned for the father to take all the leave, would they need to take sick leave? Could they change their minds after the birth? Personally, I'd worry about women being forced back to work for financial reasons before they're really ready.

Also, wouldn't this lead to a potential drop in the number of women who breastfeed?

StealthPolarBear Wed 09-May-12 21:27:17

Oh I didn't realise something similar was already in place, my last baby was 2009.
So what happens when the dad works but the mum's a SAHM? Seems a bit unfair on the dad and implies that the leave is a mother's entitlement that she can grant to the father if she so wishes.

AubergineKenobi Wed 09-May-12 21:22:51

The flexible parental leave thing is the tiniest change to the existing law, so small I am flabbergasted it was put in the Speech. It shows how little they are doing that they have to dress this as a flag ship change.

As things stand the father can take up to 6 months of mother's 9 month SMP leave. Under the proposedchanges they might be able to opt for the full nine months. That's it. A sensible but minor bit of tinkering.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Wed 09-May-12 20:56:41

'Royal succession rules would be fit for the 21st Century'


(sorry, I know this isn't the bit we were meant to be commenting on)

MrsMicawber Wed 09-May-12 20:35:49

No it wasn't. It was overindulgant Tory waffle.

Deargdoom Wed 09-May-12 20:30:05

I can't see anything family friendly in this- not that you can ever extract much of substance from one of HM's speeches anyway. She is just a voicebox for whoever is in Westminister and the current incumbents haven't exactly improved living standards for most families, have they.
As for the bit about changing legislation on child contact, there already is a presumption in the legislation that kids have a right to both parents unless there are good reasons to the contrary so I suspect that is just another bit of smoke and mirrors.

madwomanintheattic Wed 09-May-12 20:26:57

same thing happened before the short breaks fiasco. everyone had their respite cut a few months before, and then it was reinstated as 'new', with a huge fanfare as an improvement to respite provision, and lots of lovely statistics about how much new respite was swilling around for families.

load of old bollocks.

LadySybilDeChocolate Wed 09-May-12 19:33:12

It's kind of like the Government slashing your femoral artery then giving you a plaster to stem the blood flow. So they want to improve provisions for disabled children? hmm Local government services for children's centres and groups have been cut, vital tax credits have been cut, need I go on? Taking away services then giving them back doesn't make them look family friendly, it makes them look incompetent.

StealthPolarBear Wed 09-May-12 19:03:18

What happens to families with a sahm? No. Paternity leave?

PlentyOfPubeGardens Wed 09-May-12 18:38:44

Beware of Personal Budgets. They sound great on paper but so far have resulted in convenient cuts and a fragmentation of services for adults.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Wed 09-May-12 18:34:53

I'm a bit suspicious of this:

'Strengthening the law to ensure that, where it is safe, and in the child's best interests, children have a relationship with both their parents after family separation.' (page 24)

piji Wed 09-May-12 17:40:34

We need less f'ing and blinding from Her Maj, if the Queen's Speech is to become family friendly.

Flexible parental leave: do they mean that there'll be a set amount of maternity+paternity leave, and that it will be able to be shared between mum and dad in any proportion? That's my reading, but I'm not sure I've got it right.

Solopower Wed 09-May-12 17:19:41

I haven't read it all, but 'giving families more choice and control over specialist special educational needs care' worries me as 'choice' is this government's code for the privatisation of services. But I could be wrong.

Flexible parental leave is a good idea, as long as it's no shorter than it is at the moment, and extending it to parents of older children would also be good.

It sounds positive, but I don't trust this government to do anything good for children and families, so I am suspicious. Would love to be proved wrong. I think it will take more than this bill to unravel all the problems this government have already created in Health, Social Services and Education.

And most of this bill only seems to apply to England - don't know if that's a good or bad thing yet.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 09-May-12 16:20:00


As you've probably seen there was a 'Children and Families bill' in today's Queen's speech.

There's full(ish) details here (pg 23-26), but Her Maj described the measures as follows:

"My Government will propose measures to improve provision for disabled children and children with special educational needs. New arrangements will be proposed to support children involved in family law cases, reform court processes for children in care and strengthen the role of the Children's Commissioner.

Measures will be proposed to make parental leave more flexible so both parents may share parenting responsibilities and balance work and family commitments."

It would be great to know your thoughts - will these measures help the UK become more family friendly? Are the government focusing on the right issues for you - or would you like to see more focus elsewhere? Let us know what you think.


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