Wednesday, 18 May 2016

My Analysis of The Queens Speech

New powers for prison governors, more independence for prisons and an overhaul of education, health and training to reduce reoffending (prison and courts reform bill)

Is more independence for prisons a good idea? Framework for further privatization?

Academies expanded in the poorest local areas and setting the foundations for a system in which all schools are academies (education for all bill)

I they U-turned on this? It's back?

New fair funding formula for schools to even out differences in urban and rural education (education for all bill)

A good thing?

Stronger powers to disrupt extremists and protect the public, including a civil order regime, Ofcom regulation for internet-streamed television and intervention in unregulated religious schools (counter-extremism and safeguarding bill) 

One year they take them away, the next they give them back. Unregulated schools? Why are there unregulated schools?!

Prioritising permanent adoption over short-term placements (children and social work bill) 

Good thing.

New care leavers’ covenant to make sure children leaving care have better support (children and social work bill) 

Good thing.

Making it easier for new universities to open and reforming funding to link it to the quality of teaching rather than student numbers (higher education and research bill) 

Privatizing education and giving more money to their mates.

Bill of rights to replace Human Rights Act (Consultation) 

Absolutely disgusting. There should be riots in the streets.

Surveillance powers for the spy agencies and other government bodies to monitor people’s online communications when investigating crime or terrorism (investigatory powers bill) 

Absolutely disgusting. There should be riots in the streets.

Duty on police, ambulance and fire services to collaborate to improve efficiency (policing and crime bill) 


Police chiefs allowed to give policing powers to volunteers and backroom staff so that they can make best use of the workforce (policing and crime bill) 

Unpaid, untrained, un-accountable police. Vigilantes? 

The right to a broadband connection for every household and automatic compensation if the connection goes wrong (digital economy bill) 

No one is going to get compensation.

Protection of children from online pornography by requiring age verification on the internet for adult material (digital economy bill) 


Protection for consumers from spam email and nuisance calls by ensuring consent is obtained for direct marketing (digital economy bill) 

This already exists and they just get around it with clever wording.

Allowing driverless cars on to the roads and an operational spaceport (modern transport bill) 

Until someone dies.

Speeding up the planning process (neighbourhood planning and infrastructure bill) 

So they can build that 17th swimming pool they desperately need to keep Quentin and Tarquin quiet.

Allowing councils to keep up to 100% of the business rates they collect (local growth and jobs bill) 


Laws enabling the new Help to Save scheme, which is designed to help those from low incomes to build up savings (lifetime savings bill) 

Unless the government are giving them money to save, this isn’t going to work.

Expanding the national citizen service and duty on schools to promote the scheme to all young people (national citizen service bill) 

The what? When was this introduced? What is it? It sounds terrible. My kids will not be allowed to join this.

New criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion and measures to allow the government to recoup more illicit income (criminal finances bill) 

Corporations. Not individuals. So Dave and his mates can’t go to prison.

Local mayors to get power to improve bus services and London-style powers to franchise local services. Data on routes, fares and times to be made freely available (bus services bill) 

This is the councils job not one person. Unless they’re just changing the name of the mayors to Chief Executive In Charge of Local Buses.

Energy and utility companies to enable faster switching for consumers (better markets bill) 

They’ve been announcing this for years.

Measures to make sure the NHS recovers the cost of treating migrants more effectively (NHS overseas visitors charging bill) 

And I’m sure we pay every penny for all the Brits treated abroad yeah?

Clamping down on excess exit charges and providing protections for people whose pensions are invested in master trusts (pensions bill) 

I have no idea what this means. I don’t have a pension. I should probably get one. How do I do that?

Levy on the soft drinks industry starting in 2018 (finance bill 2017) 


New offences to stop dealing in property looted from war zones (cultural property armed conflict bill) 


Clarifying division of responsibility between the Welsh assembly and Westminster, and devolution of energy, transport and electoral powers (Wales bill) 

This means that they are doing absolutely nothing. And talking a lot about it.

Descriptions and picture borrowed from The Guardian's Queen's speech 2016: the key points explained.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

I joined a political party

I've nearly always voted Labour, apart from that one time when I was a student and the Liberals were promising something good to do with tuition fees so I voted selfishly. Look how that turned out. I voted Labour because the were the one big party that represented my views the most. I never really paid much attention to the smaller parties, because I knew they didn't have a chance of being voted to power. And therein lies the paradox for smaller parties. You may agree with what they're saying but you don't vote for them, because they won't get in and so they don't and they remain a small party and so it goes on.

I bet if any of my readers actually read the Green Party's manifesto they'd wonder why every party wasn't promising the same things. It's reads like a list of "Oh, of course that's what we should do! Why aren't we doing that already?!" They are not "I think think this is the best we can realistically achieve" policies. They how our country and indeed the world should be like.

So I'm breaking the cycle. I'm putting all my eggs in one basket and I'm voting Green. I've joined and I'm supporting them financially. If my vote and my money can help them get one AM in to the Welsh Assembly this year, then the Green voice will be heard in the Senedd. If you vote for them, it will show that their support is increasing and maybe next time around they will put forward more candidates for selection and campaign better in your area to get more votes. If everyone who's ever thought about voting Green but thought it might be a wasted vote, breaks the trend and actually votes for them, then some real progress could be made. Imagine if they even got as far as being a minority party in a coalition in Wales. Like it or not but we can now really see how much the Liberals were holding back the Torys in the Westminster government. The Tories have done more damage in one year on their own that they did in the time they were in coalition. Greens really could make a difference and especially as they'd likely be in coalition with another party on the same side of the political spectrum as them.

I understand tactical voting and I'm terrified that UKIP are going to get way too many AMs this time around. The polls are so depressing. But I implore you to vote with your conscience and send a message to the Greens that you support them, so that they grow in number and confidence and can slowly take more of a grasp on our political landscape. It's not going to happen over night, but we can make a difference for the future.

Please vote Green in the Assembly elections on the 5th of May 2016.