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.
What more do we know now the Queen has sat down that we didn't know last week? We know there will be a housing bill and that extending Right to Buy will be part of it, but that's about it. Quite how much of the detail has been worked out behind the scenes and how much is still up for grabs remains to be seen.
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.
In his first speech following the election, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives would govern 'as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom'. But just how far across the UK does his government actually stretch?
For too long Union leaders have been able to mobilise a militant few to do their bidding, calling strikes on shamefully low levels of support. Now at least the economy will be safe from this kind of manipulation.
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.
Britain is under attack. The Government is waging war on those who need support, taking out our hard won workplace rights and removing our right to privacy. But, in the face of such an assault, it's vital we fight back. Progressives both inside and outside of parliament must work together to defeat these latest proposals and, crucially, start our own radical democratic offensive. I have no doubt that MPs from across the political spectrum share my commitment to building a fairer greener future - it's time we put our differences aside and work together to that end.
The Queen's Speech was supposed to position the Conservatives as the party of working people. If so, they've got a strange way of going about it. A list of priorities that includes curbing trade union rights, chipping away at workplace protections through EU negotiations, freezing in-work benefits, cutting jobs and freezing pay in the public sector doesn't read like a workers' wishlist.
For justice to be fair it must be swift. We will never get back the two and a half years we spent awake at night worrying about whether she would be jailed and the affect that would have on our children aged three and one. But this change in the law will mean that other innocent people do not suffer the same fate.
In his book "Descartes' Error", Antonio Damasio describes a patient whose neurological defect meant that he was unable to feel any emotion. He was perfectly rational. He could compute, calculate, discuss logically and rationally. The net result of his lack of emotion was that he was unable to take even the simplest of decisions.
The Queen confirmed proposals to remove housing benefit from many young people and reduce the overall benefit cap by £58 a week. Shelter has long campaigned against the removal of housing benefit from young people unable to live with their families, as this would inevitably drive more people into homelessness.
So the Prime Minister faces a conundrum. Most right-thinking people want him to get the referendum over with, if we have to have one at all. But moving too fast risks exacerbating, not removing, the uncertainty. Time for David Cameron to take the advice of the Stereophonics: hurry up and wait.
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.
Dear Labour Party, The past three weeks have not been happy ones. As a previous life-long supporter of the party who voted Conservative for the first time on May 7th, I hope the following to-do list is constructive. A strong Labour party is vital to an effective, healthy democracy and to ensuring that the Conservatives deliver on their election promises. So here are five next steps:
In recent times, an already tough job has got that much harder. The recession coupled with drastic cuts to public spending has left many single parents worse off, fighting just to keep their heads above water.
As the Labour party embarks on its path back to power following a second general election defeat, it has to do so by embarking on a pro-business and pro-aspiration agenda. Labour should embrace the achievements of its most electorally successful leader ever, Tony Blair, and build upon New Labour by creating a progressive party which is able to defeat the Tories in 2020.