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Following a tumultuous few months in British Politics, including Theresa May's deceitful reasoning for a snap election, her shambolic election campaign and the frankly concerning deal/no-deal dance with the DUP, May has announced that she is moving to cancel the 2018 Queen's Speech and in turn, removing the opportunity for the opposition to contest her leadership after a year in power.
The Queen's Speech is a ceremonial process to demonstrate the structure of power in the Government of the United Kingdom. The elected government presents a list of bills and acts which they propose to implement over the coming 12 months. This list is contained in the Queen's Speech, delivered to members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Following the Speech, both houses return to debate an Address in Reply. This can take several days with MPs debating in turn issues including Foreign Affairs, the Economy, Security and other significant areas covered in the Speech.
Once the debates have been concluded, Parliament takes a vote on the Queen's Speech and in doing so, a vote on the Government's 12-Month Plan. This is a key opportunity for elected MPs across all parties to have their say on the government.
What is incredibly concerning about May's complete disposal of the 2018 Queen's Speech, is that it overtly threatens any chance the opposition has to challenge her government after a year in office. It looks increasingly like the PM is pushing for a blank cheque once she is in power to plough ahead with whatever policies she decides at the time.
May is hiding, once again, behind Brexit, saying that following the election result and a doomed alliance between the right-wing Tories and the even-further-right-wing DUP, she feels that the Brexit Process could be frustrated by opposition in government. There are two concerning flaws with this argument;
Firstly, this is exactly the same rhetoric that was pushing during the announcement of the snap election. This was an election to give her a mandate for Brexit (despite the fact that the triggering of Article 50 was supported in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords, allowing her to trigger it - She had the official mandate from Parliament), but also to strengthen her majority, allowing her to secure more votes for policies to expedite their implementation. This was a drive to implement a single-party state that failed spectacularly. The whole point of having MPs from different political parties in Parliament is that it gives greater diversity in democratic representation. There have been justified concerns after recent events of a serious conflict of interests of conservative landlords within government in relation to building regulations, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Diverse Representation is key to being able to achieve fair, democratic change within society.
Secondly, this is a move by a Prime Minister to remove her party from scrutiny after a year in office. There have been so many U-Turns, Scandals and Public Failures of the Conservative Party over the past year, that this cannot be seen as anything but a thinly-veiled attempt to stay in office irrespective of performance or public opinion. The vote on the Queens Speech is a crucial process of democracy to ensure Governments cannot run destructive programs, unchecked for 5 years.
The Conservative Government plans to proceed with an alliance that will guarantee that the policies implemented will not match those proposed in their election manifesto. The backing of the DUP will come with compromises from the Conservatives to appease the Anti-LGBT party. With a majority formed between both parties, they could have the ability to push through policies on Brexit and the wider country by voting on block. We will see, in the next 12 months, knee-jerk policies across Brexit, Terrorism, Housing, Austerity and Taxation seasoned with lashings of U-Turns. The vote on the Queens Speech is our strongest opportunity, to petition our elected MPs to vote down another Conservative term once we are able to understand very clearly what that means for those key issues.
It is crucially important to have these democratic processes in place, especially at a time where it is becoming apparent that our government just hasn't been up to the job when it comes to things like keeping the country safe, managing the NHS or reducing the Rich-Poor Divide.
Theresa May believes she is above public scrutiny and is slowly, but surely dismantling British Democracy