Saturday, 12 May 2012

Very stray thoughts on the Queen's Speech


In another life and another country I had my first job in the House of Lords and walked through the chamber to my little office every morning, so watching the State Opening of Parliament was oddly nostalgic. Eheu fugaces....

But I miss the Queen's arrival in the House of Lords to open Parliament (a strange time of year for it) and catch instead the Gracious Speech itself which is a dreary, politically correct and authoritarian list of measures in the Queen's Speech. Diversity bla bla, foreign aid bla bla (I am sceptical that foreign aid does more good than harm), a law to permit the Government to intercept emails. I especially hate the changes to the law of succession to the throne. The best bits, to my increasingly High Tory mind, are the absence of homosexual marriage, the Jubilee and seeing the Queen and the Duke looking so well. 

I wonder what they think of the speech or of the House of Lords as remade by New Labour. I feel sorry for Her Majesty and am sure she and the Duke have much wiser ideas about politics than the Queen's ministers. I do hope she like Queen Victoria, keeps a diary. I would love to live long enough to see how she portrays Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher.

The change to the rules of succession allowing an elder daughter to succeed to the throne rather than a younger son seems to me vandalism of the most disgraceful nature but someone pointed out to me that had this law been in force in the reign of Queen Victoria her daughter Vicky would have succeeded her and Kaiser Wilhelm II would have been King of England in the early twentieth century. That might have been not such a bad idea..

In fact, a union of the crowns between England and Germany would have been a great blessing and would have prevented both world wars, Communism and Nazism. We could have had a Europe of monarchies and no need for America to have intervened.

Actually England and Germany have very much in common, are cousins ethnically (is this still sayable?) and close culturally and have similar religions. We all eat dumplings or am I the last Englishman who eats them? Possibly, and I eat them only theoretically. Practically I am always trying to lose weight.

Anyone who read this with enjoyment will probably like this article too. This weekend it is 75 years since King George VI was crowned.

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