Earlier this evening I spent an hour on LBC alongside LibDem MP Susan Kramer and Labour MP Emily Thornberry discussing the Queen's Speech. Never was so much hot air expounded over so little.
Thornberry is an ultra loyalist and I expected her to defend the government's programme, but I was somewhat surprised when she was unable to explain how the government's Fiscal Responsibility Bill will work.
She tried to say that it would all be funded by growth. But what if there isn't any growth, I asked? But there will be, she said. But what if there isn't enough growth, I rejoindered. But there will be, she insisted. But just supposing on the off chance there isn't, I countered. Surely there would have to be public spending cuts. Otherwise the government would be breaking its own law. No, no, it'll be alright, she said. There would be growth. I left it to the listeners to judge what she said.
As Vince Cable has just pointed out on Newsnight, there are no sanctions against the Chancellor or the government if they don't meet the target of halving the deficit. So what exactly is the point of this Bill? It seems to me it is a Bill designed to encourage the Chancellor to do his job. Pathetic.
Footnote: If you close your eyes, and just listen, Emily Thornberry sounds rather like Margaret Thatcher. I kid you not.