The Conservatives have pre-empted tomorrow's Queen's Speech by doing an analysis of the Bills in last year's Speech. Their research shows that of the thirty Bills promised, almost half have been scrapped, delayed, watered down or amended because they were unworkable. The bills scrapped announced in the Queen's Speech and subsequently scrapped or heavily delayed were: Welfare Reform Bill, Management of Offenders Bill, Mental Health Bill, Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill, European Union Bill. And these were heavily amended or watered down: Education and Inspections Bill, Health Bill, Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, Equality Bill, Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, Company Law Reform Bill,
Identity Cards Bill, Violent Crime Reduction Bill.
So why is that interesting? Because it's a sign of a government reaching the end of its natural shelf life when it can't get its legislation through Parliament despite a big majority, and that it brings forward Bills at very short notice whhich are badly drafted and have to be shelved or heavily delayed. There are many echoes of the dying days of the Major government here. So desperate are they to rpove they are fizzing with ideas and haven't run out of steam that they stuff the parliamentary timetable full of Bills which are badly thought out and haven't a hope in hell on becoming law.
And that's what I expect them to do tomorrow. Instead of announcing a tight Parliamentary programme with 15-20 Bills, we'll get another long list of Bills, half of which won;t ever complete their passage.