Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 State Opening of Parliament

I'm not a royalist but I do enjoy watching all the pomp and circumstance of official events such as the Queens Speech from the Lords today for the State Opening of Parliament for the 2010-11 session.

A carriage procession takes the Queen to Parliament and back to the Palace. I wonder how comfortable it is to ride in that (magnificent) carriage.

Via BBC News: In pictures: State Opening of Parliament

Did you know a whip was held hostage? Top Ten Queen's Speech facts

The Queen's Speech consisted of reading the new government's 23 bills and one draft bill put forward by the coalition government today. The bills include tax, political reform, schools, civil liberties and immigration.

The full list of Bills announced

I'm particularly pleased with the Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill which will roll back the power of the state, restoring freedoms and civil liberties.

With parliament now officially open, there was a break until this afternoon when David Cameron made his first big appearance as Prime Minister.

I watched some of the Queen's Speech Debate. I thought David Cameron was on fire! I loved his retort concerning the House of Lords, saying former Labour PM Tony Blair had "appointed more peers than any prime minister in British history". And he added that Labour had 13 years to reform the House of Lords. Well said!

I didn't think it was particularly clever of Harriet Harman to mock the Cameron-Clegg coalition by saying:

"While the happy couple are enjoying the thrill of the rose garden, the in-laws are saying they're just not right for each other. We keep telling them that you can't pay couples to stay together. It's clear it will take more than a three-quid-a-week tax break to keep this marriage together."

One of Cameron's valid points was made early in the debate:

"Not one word of apology for the appalling mess that has been left in this country. Nothing to say about leaving Britain with a deficit that is bigger than Greece's. Not a single idea for getting to grips with it. Until they learn what they got so badly wrong I'm not sure people are going to listen to them again."

So, it's back to business now that the general election is over and Parliament is officially open with the new coalition Government in charge.

I think both parties (Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) are making a tremendous effort to form a coalition goverment and should be commended. Personally, I'm quite excited about what the future holds!

What do you think about the new coalition government? Are you optimistic or do you think they will have difficulty making it work?

And what are your thoughts about all the pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament? Do you enjoy the whole tradition or do you disapprove?


  1. The pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament is fascinating. The monarch appears much as one would imagine a monarch would appear in fairy tales. Though many view her role as an anachronism, there is a romance about the whole thing which is captivating.

    The queen is the head of the nation and the head of state. She is also head of the Commonwealth and a symbol of Commonwealth unity; she considers that to be her most important role.

  2. I agree - all the pomp and ceremony is very fascinating. And even though the Queen's role might seem old fashioned and unnecessary, she really comes into her own when she participates in events such as the State Opening of Parliament.