The Queen's speech has now set out the list of bills planned for the coming year. In many ways it is as much the symbol of victory for the Conservatives over the Liberal Democrats after five years of Coalition as over Labour. It may seem odd therefore, that success has been crowned with a number of measures, announced or anticipated, which in Coalition days would have been 'blamed' on the Lib Dems.
The sighs of exasperation at Britain's continuing ambivalence over its EU membership can be heard all the way from Lisbon in the west to Bucharest in the east. It's not as if our EU partners don't have other things to worry about, above all the still unresolved matter of Greece's slow slide towards bankruptcy.
Now the dust has settled on a general election that confounded pollsters and politicians alike, it's time to get to work. Wednesday saw the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech in almost two decades - and it's already clear that our new Government will be providing plenty to keep those concerned with civil liberties busy during the next legislative year... When Liberty was established in the 1930s, founding member E.M. Forster described our work as "the fight that is never done". He was right. In 2015 the fight to defend our rights and freedoms will be a tough one, but with the support of our members it's one we can win.
Well here we are again! A new Government - albeit one that has the remnants of the previous - but nothing new in the UK's drug policy, at least in terms of what can be deemed progress by any rational measure. No, instead we have full blown regression, encompassed now in "New legislation [that] will ... ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs," it was announced Wednesday in the Queen's speech.
The big corporate papers are encouraging the idea that the result of the general election means the end of the Leveson process. Although this claim is hardly surprising given their wild-eyed desperation to avoid any form of meaningful accountability, it is wrong. Here are five reasons to be confident that independent, effective press self-regulation along the lines recommended by the Leveson Inquiry is on its way.
The next five years will show the Tories at their worst, without the leash of the Liberal Democrats to hold them back. Risking our membership of the EU, snooping on our online browsing histories, demonising the poor and vulnerable - today's Queen's Speech was just the beginning.
Not for the first time, David Davis is causing a bit of a panic among the authorities. I'm told that the Clerk of the Commons and Government whips are chasing him to swear in as an MP before he even thinks of making a Big Speech on the Queen's Speech this afternoon. If MPs speak in a debate without having gone through the all-important Bible-holding bit of procedure, then they are expelled from the Commons. And an instant by-election is triggered.
Earlier this month, David Cameron set out his plan for a 7 day NHS, focused on both primary and secondary care delivery, with: 'key decision makers be...
It is surprising that the campaign featured such little discussion of foreign policy matters. The usual domestic concerns predominated, and that is no surprise, but beyond a few token remarks about the need to reform the European Union, and the low-wattage flickering of a small debate about the possibility of an EU referendum, there was depressingly little said about anything outside of the British Isles.
David Cameron's campaign to renegotiate the terms of Britain's membership of the European Union has not got off to a good start. He admitted that his first foray with fellow EU leaders, on the margins of the Eastern neighbourhood summit at Riga last week, was not met with "a wall of love" (whatever that may be).
One has to wonder, when Cameron decided to dangle the hunting free vote carrot in front of a largely uninterested electorate, did he ever think he'd have to go through with it? The question on many people's lips is, why, given the current social and economic climate, is hunting topping the agenda again?
These plans do nothing but illustrate the government's lack of compassion, lack of perspective and ultimately their lack of will to genuinely address the economic anxieties of the people of Britain... This is a victory only for ignorance - a victory of rhetoric over logic, of posturing over compassion. It is a victory for those who seek to demonise immigrants, who seek to pull up Britain's drawbridge and banish diversity from our society.
Am I really to believe that I now live in a society that is increasingly growing into a 'screw you, I'm alright Jack' community - I do hope not? But...
Nick Clegg had predicted significant losses for the Liberal Democrats in the 2015 general election, but called the results "immeasurably more crushing and unkind" than expected as he resigned from the leadership on Friday morning. His party lost 48 seats, 15% of the popular vote and many of its grandees...
Monday brought the first announcements on the NHS from David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt since the election - although as John Humphrys rightly pointed out in his interview with Mr Hunt, they have been doing the job for five years already. Greeted with trepidation by NHS staff, the announcements outlined some key policies. Consequently I am disillusioned, sad and angry, in equal measures... I'm no expert Mr Cameron, but I think your business plan is shocking. It is going to fail. It is going to push the NHS to collapse, and we are already teetering dangerously on the brink. Push it into the hands of private providers. Which the cynic in me says is your endgame.
In the weeks before the general election I echoed a number of other commentators (and some of the more realistic senior Labour figures) who predicted ...