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To think UK politics just got even more ridiculous?

71 replies

Livingtothefull · 12/06/2017 19:36

The Queen's speech may be delayed because of the time it takes for the ink to dry on the goatskin vellum it's written on….you just couldn't make this stuff up.

I am not appreciating the UK being an international laughing stock:

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Tapandgo · 12/06/2017 19:44

Having a Queen is even more ridiculous. (Not to mention a Queens Speech not written by the Queen)

The80sweregreat · 12/06/2017 19:50

There was a piece on radio 2 about the goatskin and the reason its used last year. It costs a fortune, but wont run or be able to be destroyed apparently. There was a row over costs, but its not being replaced.
As for the Queen, shes goin g to be fed up as its been put back to Ascot week! Britain is a funny place sometimes.

BrouetteChouette · 12/06/2017 19:57

Does the Queen not write her own speech? Surely, she must have a say about what gets included in the speech though.

DoctorDonnaNoble · 12/06/2017 19:59

No, the queen's speech details what will be done in that parliament it is written by the government. It is not being delayed by the vellum. It is written on to that afterwards I believe. It is being delayed as they are still in talks with the DUP.

The80sweregreat · 12/06/2017 20:02

I dread to think what the DUP will want in it!

LaMontser · 12/06/2017 20:02

Civil servants write all the speeches. Queen, PM, Ministers, secs of state.

The queens speech is a ceremonial thing really but sets out legislative priorities for coming parliament. Because the tories don't have a majority they can't make it solely based on their manifesto i.e. DUP will likely not agree to social care reform so their has to be a rethink.

LaMontser · 12/06/2017 20:03

There, not their. Ffs.

Livingtothefull · 12/06/2017 20:03

That's a whole other area of ridiculousness Tapango. Apparently they need to find a time for the Queen to deliver 'her' speech which doesn't clash with her traditional Ascot visit.

BTW, Theresa May was delivering her speech about 20 mins after her scheduled meeting with the Queen. Not many 'checks and balances' there then:

TM: I'd like your permission to form a government, your Majesty. I don't have a majority of the votes and overall most people voted against my party, but a hardline party with 10 seats and reactionary policies which most people dislike, have agreed to come in with us and make the numbers up.

HMQ: Oh yeah OK then.

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iismum · 12/06/2017 20:05

Of course the Queen doesn't get to say what's in the Queen's speech! We live in a parliamentary democracy, not an absolute monarchy!

LaMontser · 12/06/2017 20:09

Living, the queen isn't part of the checks and balances. In the gb system the party that command a majority in the commons gets to form the govt. The lords is the check to ensure the commons doesn't have absolute power even if the ruling party has a massive majority.

NameChanger22 · 12/06/2017 20:10

I'm finding it more sinister than funny. If I didn't live here I might be laughing.

listsandbudgets · 12/06/2017 20:11

This confirms my long held suspicion that we actually live in a nanny state (sorry couldn't resist)

I suspect this is just a delaying tactic whilst they resolve matters with find out the price demanded by the DUP

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:14

They use vellum as it lasts longer than paper.

And we all know that digital records are only as good as the computers that can read them? Imagine a Word 95 document on a computer in the future Grin

Still, I am sure that Black Rod will be fine when he bangs on the door of the Commons and commands the MPs to come to the Lords Grin

Parliament is archaic.

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:16

Not many 'checks and balances' there then

I would love the Queen to have taken the piss then. But no, the balances we have are the Lords and the Judiciary.

Livingtothefull · 12/06/2017 20:20

'…..the queen isn't part of the checks and balances' - so what's the point having a monarch then & why does she have to be asked for permission to form a government if she has to give it anyway?

The Lords can't be a check on the power of the commons if (as is increasingly the case) it is top heavily stuffed full of cronies of the sitting government.

The whole system is ripe for reform, from the top down it is broken & no longer fit for purpose.

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Tapandgo · 12/06/2017 20:21

Vellum lasts longer than paper???

Can anybody seriously imagine any other workplace that would expect documents to be handwritten in vellum.
It's tosh the ink drying is causing the delay.........agreement is yet to be reached with the DUP who will not work/think/decide on Sundays....-and spend lots of other days on orange marches-

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:22

so what's the point having a monarch then

An interesting question.......

The Lords can't be a check on the power of the commons

TBF - that's one of the reasons why she called the election. It was full of Lords who weren't worried about being elected so were free of the party whip.

But yes, it's an interesting system and one that could be improved

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:24

Can anybody seriously imagine any other workplace that would expect documents to be handwritten in vellum

Wonders about the Church of England or the Vatican?

Probably not...

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:27

It seems Acts of Parliament are recorded on vellum as well

Can you imagine that job? Handwriting Acts of Parliament

caroldecker · 12/06/2017 20:30

Tapandgo Government documents are required to last longer than most workplaces - the Bill of Rights etc?
The 1066 version of the Domesday book, on vellum, is still readable.
As for digital, in 1986 the BBC Domesday project recorded the views of 1m people on laserdisc. This was very nearly lost by 2006 as there were no players left. It took a huge amount of time, effort and resources to recover the data.

Violetcharlotte · 12/06/2017 20:30

We were talking about this at work earlier. We have a PM who runs through wheat field, we write our laws on goat skin and we out ex PM allegedly shagged a pig.

What must the rest of Europe think of us?

We're like the weird Uncle no one knows quite what to do about Grin

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:30

But the House of Lords

This author likes their vellum

Despite the House of Commons unanimously voting to continue with the use of vellum, a small committee from the House of Lords have refused to give way. This committee, headed by Sir Paul Beresford, totalled 7 people. During their discussion 5 voted to stop using vellum, 2 voted to continue. A majority of 3.

Lets think about that. A majority of 3

The combined electorate represented by the MP’s that voted to continue with the use of vellum is approximately 8.6 million.
So, 3 unelected Lords can ignore the will of 8.6 Million voters.

I am now dumbfounded as to the workings of ‘British Democracy’, for if this is an indicator of ‘listening to the peoples chosen representatives’, one can only assume that ‘democracy’ was the first casualty in a battle of the “High and Mighty vs Common Man”.

Throughout this saga there has been a continual stream of ‘questionable information’. “Savings in excess of £100k”. “Specialist printing machinery required to produce the Acts”. “Archival paper is of equal stature to Vellum”.
Poppycock, complete and utter balderdash.
The difference in cost between vellum and archival paper is £23k per annum. Fact.
The cost to print should be the same for either medium. Fact.
Paper simply will not last as long as vellum. Fact.
I question the motives of anyone that would so blatantly mislead the media, and, even after a very public debate and subsequent vote, DICTATE that “my will be done”. As an aside, the annual rental on a ministerial Jaguar exceeds £23K
This decision is in defiance of the undertaking of 1849, which determined that BOTH Houses must be in agreement if the use of vellum was to cease. This is clearly not the case.

Orlantina · 12/06/2017 20:33

It seems you can print onto vellum though rather than handwriting it.

But will it go through a laser printer?

PortiaFinis · 12/06/2017 20:33

Please don't knock the vellum. It's traditional for all our laws to be written on it (I think, but the point is the UK government is a massive consumer of vellum).

To try and cut costs they considered stopping vellum, this would have a huge negative impact on restoration work, as with the main consumer for vellum going it would become even more niche and expensive than it is now to restore ancient documents.

Luckily the vellum stayed, I think the savings were minimal.

Whatever else is bonkers I prefer to think of the vellum as unique.

Livingtothefull · 12/06/2017 20:33

The Lords…..yet another whole area of ridiculousness. A ludicrous affront to any concept of democracy with its unelected hereditary peers, bishops and ennobled millionaires having power to decide matters which affect the rest of us.

'Across Europe and beyond, there are upper houses that do their job well, rarely threaten the primacy of main legislatures, and often serve to give voice to people and places that would otherwise be overlooked. Here, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the 9th Earl of Clancarty have a say in whether or not people can afford to eat'.

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