‘Cancel Queen’s Speech,’ Says Clegg

Nick Clegg(BBC) – LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER Nick Clegg has called for the Queen’s Speech to be cancelled and replaced with emergency reforms to ‘clean up politics.’

The speech this Wednesday will be used to set out the government’s legislation for the coming year.

Mr Clegg wrote in The Independent that the speech should not happen this year as there would be no time to pass the promised laws before an election.

Instead the time should be spent on reforms to restore trust, he said.

‘This Parliament has forfeited the right to do anything but focus on political reform,’ he wrote.

Mr Clegg said he wanted Parliament to quickly adopt new powers to sack corrupt MPs and to abolish hereditary peers.

He also called for the immediate adoption of a report, due this week, on reducing the power of whips in Parliament, whom he said ‘ride roughshod over the views of MPs.’

The ‘glitz and glamour’ of the Queen’s Speech, which also involves the state opening of Parliament, would be ‘based on a complete fiction’ because there were only 70 days on which MPs would be sitting in the Commons between now and the final date Parliament could be dissolved, he said.

He said laws took, on average, 240 days to pass from the first to last stage.

Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech will mark the beginning of a long election campaign, with many of the government’s new bills designed to draw dividing lines with the opposition, BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said.

It will include measures to help provide better care for vulnerable elderly people in England, to tackle underperforming schools and to limit excessive risk taking by bankers.

But Mr Clegg said it would serve as ‘little more than a rehearsal of the next Labour manifesto’ and ‘an attempt to road test policy gimmicks.’

He also used the newspaper comment piece to call for the establishment of a Committee on Electoral Reform, made up of 100 citizens, to consult on a new electoral system and take its proposals to a referendum.

‘The one gift this failed Parliament can give its successor is a fresh start,’ he said.

… (18/11/2009) – Conservatives To ‘Kill-Off’ Queen’s Speech Bills

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