Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What the Queen's Speech could have said

"My lords and members of the House of Commons, my government will pursue policies aimed at making fundamental changes to the system and conduct of government in the United Kingdom, reducing the power of the state and decentralising political decision making to the lowest appropriate level. It will seek to reduce the regulatory burden on citizens and on business and will promote personal freedom as its highest cause.

The dangerous culture of secrecy concerning government decisions at the highest level has eroded public trust in the very institutions of British democracy, accordingly a new bill enshrining a presumption that government information be published under all circumstances unless certain, limited operational military information is involved will be introduced as soon as practical. At the same time a bill to establish a right to private privacy will be published.

Democracy rests on the engagement of the citizen with their institutions, the unfair electoral system has weakened this link and accordingly my government will enact legislation to create a fair voting system both for the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

A stable economy is the foundation of a fair and prosperous society. However the role of government in managing the economy has become too large in recent years. Accordingly a wholesale review of legislation shall begin with a mandate to choose which legislation should be annulled or repealed. My government is committed to reducing the regulatory burden on British companies and encouraging the establishment of a healthy small business sector.

The British tax code is now one of the most detailed and complicated in the World. My government is committed to simplification of personal taxes- returning to two tax bands and integrating taxation and benefits. National Insurance has become a mere adjunct to income tax. It will now be abolished as a separate tax.

My government will continue to maintain low inflation, sound public finances and high employment.

My government will remain vigilant against the threat posed by international terrorism, but that vigilance will not come at the price of British liberties. Our approach to criminal justice has permitted the release of offenders, such as those convicted of offences against children, while these convicts are still dangerous. At the other end of the scale those convicted of minor offences are sent to gaol, despite the disruption to the life of families that that this causes. Accordingly my government will work with the police and probation services to ensure that dangerous criminals are not released too early and to develop alternatives to custodial sentences for minor offences.

A repeal of a considerable part of the criminal justice legislation that involves cumbersome bureaucracy must now be considered. ID cards will not be introduced and no new powers for law enforcement agencies are required. Clarity will be the watchword of our government in this as in all its dealings.

A bill will be introduced to provide for trials without a jury in serious fraud cases.

My government will publish a bill on climate change as part of its policy to protect the environment, promoting the use of low emissions energy sources and endevouring to promote British energy security.

A bill will be introduced providing for long-term reform of pensions.

My government's programme of educational reform will continue to raise standards in schools to help all children achieve their full potential. A bill will be introduced to reform the further education system to allow Universities to become independent of government control
My government will carry through the modernization of healthcare promoting more local autonomy. The centralized computerisation of NHS systems is not necessary and will be scrapped.

My government will publish proposals to reform the planning system promoting a more flexible planning regime and effectively repealing the town and country planning act 1948. Estate Agents will be required to operate under a self managed regulatory organization similar to the regime that operated in the financial services before the FSMA was enacted

Bills will provide for reform of local government with enhanced powers as part of the comprehensive reform of the constitution.

The powers of the Royal Perogative will be stripped down and those that remain will be placed into the hands of a commiteee of privy councillors under the supervision of the House of Commons.

Members of the House of Commons. Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My lords and members of the House of Commons. My government will work closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales Northern Ireland and in England.

The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our State Visit to the United States of America in May 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement.

We also look forward to receiving the President of Ghana and Mrs Kufuor.

My government remains committed to peace in the Middle East. It will continue to work to find a lasting settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, and to assist the government of Afghanistan. In Iarq, inconsulation with the government in Baghdad and notifying our allies in the coalition, we will begin to withdraw our troops as soon as practical.

My government will work with the United Nations and European Union partners to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, including addressing international concerns over North Korea and Iran, and to promote good governance.

My government will continue to work to build an effective and globally competitive European Union and will also work to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

My government will contribute to a modern and inclusive United Nations and be presenting proposals to take forward the World Trade Organisation Doha talks.

My government will continue its focus on Africa, including by seeking a resolution to the crisis in Darfur. I look forward to visiting Kampala next year for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Other measures will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons: I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An excellent gracious speech.