West Ham MP Lyn Brown says the Queen’s speech was an example of ministers’ complacency
PUBLISHED: 09:59 18 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:59 18 June 2014
Regular readers know how often I complain this government have run out of steam. They have no sense of urgency: no dynamism. They passed self-serving legislation for five-year Parliaments; otherwise, there would have been a general election before now. Unnerved by Ukip’s rise in the polls and Euro election results, both coalition parties believe they will be losers at the next general election. They’re distracted by infighting, stumbling towards the inevitable leadership battles, which always follow defeat. Regrettably, the Queen’s Speech was dominated not by flagship policies setting the country back on track, but by fainting page boys and feuding ministers.
My postbag and doorsteps conversations prove that people are struggling. Prices rise; wages don’t. People fear for their jobs. Even Osborne admits we’ll be worse off in 2015 than in 2010. Our economy doesn’t work for the majority of the people and the government doesn’t care. The Bank of England’s governor named inequality as one of the country’s biggest challenges. He is right, but there were no measures in this Queen’s Speech to tackle it.
The speech was empty of what this country needs: nothing about zero-hour contracts; nor making work pay; nothing for families facing high rents, food and energy bills. The health service wasn’t even mentioned. Considering the botched re-organisation the coalition foisted on the NHS, costing more than £3billion, that may seem a good thing.
In reality, like much else this government mismanages, it’s a sign of ministers’ complacency, disinterest and unconcern. The European elections would show a ‘‘listening’’ government the real depth of unhappiness people feel about the direction in which this country is being led. Voters wanted constructive change. All we got is more of the same. Britain desperately needs a change of direction. We need a new government that ensures work pays, raises the minimum wage, builds more affordable homes, freezes energy bills, reforms the failing energy market and defends the NHS when it puts patients before profits. Instead, their speech is thin on ideas, thin on policies and thin on compassion. Britain needs a change of direction. Britain deserves better.
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