Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Queen's Speech

Today was the official State Opening of Parliament and, as usual, the Queen addressed her legislature with a speech written for her by the government.

Although it's an interesting affair to watch (the searching of the cellars, the wearing of the Imperial State Crown, the horse drawn carriages and procession...), the most engaging aspect is the speech itself and its content.

Commentators have called today's speech a speech of fear. I've heard people say that as long as we're frightened, yet safe, we'll vote for the people that keep us safe.

This may well be true.

But we're not safe. Terrorism and security aside, we're approaching a critical point in the history and future of this world. We may even be facing the end. Not the end of the world, surely, but the end of human beings and most life as we now know it.

The government is making all the right noises about climate change and indeed is going in the right direction, but all that is really happening is tinkering. Nothing substantial is happening. It may be argued that nothing substantial has happened (Iraq aside) since Tony Blair was swept to power in 1997. His legacy? Iraq? No, his tinkering.

Nothing radical has happened in this country in ten years. Perhaps even longer. Love her or loathe her, the last radical Prime Minister we had was Satan - erm, I mean Margaret Thatcher. Britain was most certainly a very different country at the end of the 80s, very different to the country she took control of at the end of the 70s.

Is the United Kingdom really any different now? Has it substantially changed since 1997? I don't think so.

Yet Mr Blair has had many opportunities and he's passing them by.

Also in the news today: Young's plan to send seafood caught in Scottish waters on a 12,000 mile trip to Thailand in order to be peeled only to be sent back to the UK to be sold.

What the hell is going on?

Should the Queen's speech not have contained advice of legislation to come in which activities like these would be outlawed?

I also heard, only a week or two back, I think, that apples sent to the UK from New Zealand are, on arrival in this country, put on another ship and sent to South Africa to be waxed before being returned here to be sold in supermarkets.

Before retiring to bed, may I ask something of you, dear reader? Wherever you are in the world, please don't buy apples out of season. And please don't buy any Young's products. I'll sleep more soundly knowing you're at least thinking about it. You don't want me to lie awake all night, fretting, do you?


Anonymous said...

The UK should get their apples from the US. They only have to cross the North Atlantic. And if they're good enough for the Canadians...

Minge said...

The UK should get their apples from the UK!

Food miles = very big naughty!