Last week I received an invitation to an event to celebrate an anniversary. It is 150 years since the Women's Suffrage Committee, formed by Barbara Bodichon, collected 1500 signatures on a petition for women's suffrage in 1866. This was presented to the House of Commons by John Stuart Mill, the philosopher, political economist and Member of Parliament.
If we want to fully realise yet another pledge in the Queen's Speech 'to work to bring communities together and strengthen society,' then as the party of Government we have an opportunity - and an urgent duty - to help families build strong and happy homes for the benefit of themselves, their children, and society as a whole.
Although I am as guilty of using them as the next person, I do not actually like how we have to use phrases like 'one nation Conservatism' and 'modern, compassionate Conservativsm'. To me, this is simply 'Conservatism', it does not need branding separately. But whatever you call it, I am proud to see it securing its place as the firm foundation of the current Conservative Party. Long may it continue.
Today's Queen's Speech promises some significant steps forward for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK today. While we share the Prime Minister's high ambitions for children, the proposed legislative changes are not, by themselves, a fix-all. Every child deserves to have a happy childhood and to get the support they need to succeed in life. They are our future.
The Queen's speech suggests that the government is sticking to its plan, in which case we must remain vigilant to stop any backsliding on the absolute ban on torture and other universal rights through political sleights of hand.
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As we study a new Queen's Speech, it seems a good time to reflect on what has been a busy twelve months for general practice: In May 2015 we saw the...
On Wednesday the Queen will go to the House of Lords and give a speech, written by the Government, which will outline the laws it will try to get approved by Parliament in the coming year. The occasion won't be all flummery and fancy-dress, although there's quite a bit of that. The Queen's Speech is an important moment in the Parliamentary calendar. It is intended to tell Parliament and the public what the Government wants to do next...
David Cameron's weekend announcements heralding major reforms for children in care in the Queen's Speech stands to be an important act of national lea...
In the last year we have seen this Government lurch from crisis to crisis, falling out with everyone from NHS staff, to local authorities, to teachers, and even falling out amongst themselves over the European Referendum. They've been so preoccupied with firefighting, that they have shown us nothing in the way of a vision or a long-term strategy. This Wednesday they have an opportunity to change that when they announce their plans for the next year in the Queen's Speech.
Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ's unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another. Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn't be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can... There's an old saying that "it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness". There are millions of people lighting candles of hope in our world today. Christmas is a good time to be thankful for them, and for all that brings light to our lives. I wish you a very happy Christmas.
Now that the political spectacle once dubbed 'the most un-predictable election in history' is over, and the Tories are at the head of their first majority government since the 1990s, what will they do to deal with the UK's housing crisis?
There is only so much we can draw from the Queen's Speech - as with any government, it will be judged on results rather than promises. Clearly, for the economy to really thrive, it's vital the Conservatives foster an environment which allows businesses across the UK to flourish. Only time will tell if David Cameron's Tories will succeed.
We as politicians have to understand that the greatest threats to our security are no longer conventional military ones. You cannot nuke a famine. You cannot send battleships in to stop the destruction of a rainforest. But you can spend money on clean technology transfer that enables countries to bring their people out of poverty without polluting their future
Freedom of speech is a human right, and the foundation upon which democracy is built. Any restriction of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy. We must defend democracy using its own mechanisms, through explaining and exemplifying its merits rather than through the heavy-handed and arbitrary silencing of its critics.
What kind of country do we live in? This must be at the back of the minds of everyone listening to or reading the Queen's Speech, but is it the wrong question? Shouldn't we be asking what kind of world would bring us happiness?