Lib Dem diary: A boring Queen's Speech... but at least we got to see Grayling in tights

Charlotte Henry: 'There really was little of excitement in the 872 words delivered by Her Majesty.'
Charlotte Henry: 'There really was little of excitement in the 872 words delivered by Her Majesty.'
Ian Dunt By

Thank goodness the Queen only spoke for a short while yesterday. Had her speech been longer, ermine clad Lords and TV onlookers may well have found their eyes drooping. There really was little of excitement in the 872 words delivered by Her Majesty.

In fact, one of the moments of near excitement, for the Lib Dems at least, came at the beginning when she uttered the party's "stronger economy, fairer society" election phrase.  Drinks surely for whichever special adviser managed to write that in, though no Lib Dem staffer I spoke to was prepare to take the credit.

After a Ukip kicking last week, the Conservatives tried to show some leg to their base by including immigration in the Queen's speech.  Leading Cabinet right winger Chris Grayling clearly misunderstood the plan though. Presenting the speech to the Queen in tights was perhaps not quite the bit of leg Cameron and co wanted him to flash.

Away from the rather daft pomp and ceremony of the state opening there was a fair amount in the Queens speech for Lib Dems to feel pleased about. For example, boosting rehabilitation amongst criminals is something the party have long fought for.


The commitment to infrastructure spending and HS2 railway lines should also be welcome to Lib Dems, as will reassertion of the fight against sexual violence abroad, all areas in which the party have ministers.

There were also provisions announced to allow IP address matching, which is a technical solution to the real issue that the snoopers' charter was meant to solve. In theory it could make it harder for the bill to return again but I won't be holding my breath.

Hearing the Queen say the words 'sexual', 'cyberspace' and 'internet protocol addresses' frankly made the whole experience worthwhile.

Then, after seven and a half minutes it was all over for another year, the agenda set. I counted 18 bills announced, although some newspapers picked up on a couple more. With the parties all gearing up into election mode, this parliamentary term is likely to be a fraught one.

I just hope yesterday doesn't indicate it's going to one defined by inaction.

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