In between doing far more important stuff today, I sat through the Queen’s speech. If politicians were honest – some hope! – it would have been introduced as follows: “There now follows a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative and Unionist party read out HM the Queen.” Instead, we had the wonderfully quaint, or utterly ludicrous depending on which way you look at it, spectacle of a very old lady being accompanied by loads of people in weird costumes. And that doesn’t even take us to the antics of Black Rod who is now a woman.
Our 93 year old monarch sat on a throne and was handed a piece of paper with some writing on. “I’m not reading this crap,” she didn’t say, as she ploughed through Dominic Cummings set speech of populist electioneering. “May government,” she began and it all went downhill from there.
It was the usual stuff. ‘Crackdown on crime, longer prison sentences, more police officers’, promising to address the chaotic state of law and order in our country thanks to, er, the political party of government when it all happened. Then, more money to OUR NHS – you know: the one that’s been chronically underfunded since 2010 – and schools. ‘We love our children so much, we’re going to make things less worse than we have made them. Vote Boris Johnson’. With that, the Queen handed back Cummings’s back of a fag packet notes and went back to the palace. It really was that grim.
The truth is that the Queen was used, yet again, as a pawn in a far bigger game of chess. She was dragged to parliament to read out a speech with vague promises that have no chance of making it into law because a) Johnson has no majority in the Commons and b) we are having an election in a couple of weeks. After that happens, her maj will be back for another Queen’s speech. We are being played for fools: the Queen is being used for cynical party politics. Even a republican like me is not impressed by the head of state having the piss taken out of her.