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Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 07.50.52
By Paul Goodman

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The Queen's Speech takes place tomorrow.  Harry Phibbs wrote about its contents over the weekend.  Last year, this site published an entire alternative Queen's Speech, and I thought it would be worth listing its measures in full:

  • British Bill of Rights Bill – "In all but the most exceptional circumstances, human rights cases
    brought in or against Britain should be decided in our Supreme Court,
    not Strasbourg."
  • Rail Improvements Bill – to plan for long-term investment in existing railways, rather than spend the same money on HS2.
  • Make Prison Work Bill – to ensure that foreign nationals serve sentences in their country of origin, and mentally ill criminals
    be sent to mental health professionals or social services.
  • Affordable Energy Bill – to cut electricity generation subsidies, facilitate the extraction of shale gas away from settlements, and promote more competition amongst suppliers.
  • Anti-Congestion Bill – to require local authorities as highways authorities to make
    reducing road congestion a requirement of their highways strategy
  • A Double EU Referendum Bill – to propose a Mandate Referendum for renegotiation followed by an In/Out Referendum, offering In on the renegotiated terms or Out.
  • Double Devolution Bill – to balance permitting the Scottish Parliament to set and collect most taxes with English votes for English laws at Westminster.
  • Finance Bill – to reduce the top rate of tax to 40%, take more people out of the 40% rate, and reduce Capital Gains Tax to 20%.
  • Trade Union Members' Bill – to make strike action legal only if 50% of a union's members take part in a ballot, and give union members more discretion over
    political levy donations.
  • Lords Reform Bill – to reform the Upper House after change has been considered by a Royal Commission.

A few of these ideas have been taken up by the Government.  For example, there seems to be overlap between its Queen's Speech proposals and the Fairness to UK Taxpayers' Bill – including the restrictions on state pensions for people based abroad floated today.

More cannot be enacted within the framework of the Coalition.  I have my doubts about one or two of the measures above – such as the double referendum bill, to which I'll return later this week – but many of the measures, such as the Electoral Integrity Bill, are badly needed.

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