The proposed bill will have much deeper effect than simply adding a few more names to the list of already banned substances. In particular, it could lead to some wholly unintended consequences, whilst failing to solve many of the issues surrounding new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in the first place.
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.
It is not just teachers who are bearing the brunt of a system led by league tables and Ofsted results. The same pressures are felt by pupils. We now have a generation of young people who are anxious, stressed and disaffected... We are testing children within an inch of their lives and the vibrancy and love of learning that should be at the centre of the curriculum is all but lost.
The heart of the matter is fiscal autonomy. It cannot be total. By definition, a nation cannot permit fiscal secession, independent statelets that amount to real-life versions of Passport to Pimlico. But, at present, the funding system is badly imbalanced, tilted in Whitehall's favour. A correction is needed, to give local government much greater authority to set taxes. In Australia, 87% of local government spending is self-financed. In Canada, the figure is 83%, while in France it is 72%.
We do not want the Government to be unable to carry out reasonable surveillance to protect the state and all those resident in the UK. We have written this letter to ensure proper Parliamentary scrutiny of any such provision and to ensure the Rule of Law is followed.
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 speech which the Queen makes at the opening of Parliament is always something of a mixture and that is never more so than immediately after a gene...
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 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.
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.
According to the Conservative Party manifesto the 15 hours a week currently available to children following their third birthday is going to be doubled to 30 hours from 2017.
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.
There has been much talk about the threat to the Hunting Act, and expectation that the government's promised 'free vote' on repeal would be mentioned in the Queen's Speech. It wasn't. Does that mean the Hunting Act is safe? No, it doesn't.
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.
It is odd that a party which earlier this month won the support of just 24% of the electorate and which claims a mandate to govern for the next five years believes that a union that wins exactly the same level of support in a ballot on industrial action would not have a mandate to go on strike for five hours.