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The best part of the Queen’s Speech was in the things that were not in it

queens-speech2 The Queen’s Speech was fairly workmanlike, even dull.  It was a nuts and bolts affair concerned with policy detail rather than one offering the broad sweep of new ideas.  This is fair enough for a mid-term agenda, but we’ll need exciting new ideas next time.  As I trailed yesterday just before the contents were officially known, the main virtue of this one was the fact that it did not contain some of the awful stuff that earlier leaks had told us it had planned to.

Big Brother was kicked out when the Communications Data Bill was a no-show.  This, ostensibly for national security (as they always say), would have given every busybody under the sun the right to snoop on our e-mails, phone calls and text messages.

Big Brother sailed out arm in arm with nanny.  The infamous ‘plain packaging’ failed to appear.  There is no respectable evidence that pack design encourages smoking rather than brand switching, and the anti-smoking extremists wanted it simply because they want everything that is anti-smoker, regardless of whether it makes any difference.  Nanny also took minimum alcohol pricing away with her, again, a very good thing since its sole effect would have been to put more money into the pockets of supermarkets.  The zealots who want to regulate our lives “for our own good” are seething with impotent fury at the loss of the measures they had lobbied so hard for (mostly with taxpayers’ money), but the rest of us can celebrate a small respite from their relentless war against our freedom to choose.


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