Thursday, 19 May 2016

On The Queen's Speech of 2016

The Queen's Speech of yesterday outlined some of the most worrying plans the Conservatives have come up with in recent years. Here are 5 key reasons why the Queen's Speech 2016 means danger:

1. They plan to replace the Human Rights Act with a weakened a watered-down British Bill of Rights.

Given how much the Human Rights Act has achieved, with the most recent example being justice for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989, and the Conservatives' attitude to respect for human rights (nationally and internationally) especially whilst Theresa May has been Home Secretary, this will in all likelihood end up being disastrous in practice. We should instead keep the Human Rights Act and remain part of the European Convention of Human Rights, which Britain helped with the foundations of back in 1948.

2. They have not really U-turned on their 'all schools to become academies' plan after all.

The Conservatives and their Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, still want to achieve a goal of making as many schools academies as possible even if they ever dropped plans to compel them to convert. Also, decisions about what constitutes an 'unviable' authority with regards to plans to convert underperforming schools in unviable authorities to academies will be clearly biased against less affluent areas and smaller councils.

3. Their deregulation of the university 'market' will mean ever-increasing fees and poorer higher education standards.

The barriers on new universities set up exist for a reason-to make sure only genuinely educational institutions can set up an accredited university and offer accredited courses to prospective students. More worryingly, allowing more prestigious universities to set fees as high as they can could create a permanent, class-based two-tier system in university terms akin to the current schools system.

4. The Snoopers' Charter is going to be pushed through, as is a dangerously broad 'Counter-Extremism' Bill.

We already have enough surveillance in our lives as it is, and this proposed Investigatory Powers Bill will allow retention of any of our private communications for investigation even when it is useless to the government. Also, the proposed counter-extremism bill could identify almost anyone involved in politics in some way as an extremist even when they are clearly not.

5. Effective privatisation of prisons is in the works.

Allowing prisons to contract in private suppliers for key areas could substantially lower effectiveness and undermine the main purpose prisons are meant to serve-effective rehabilitation of offenders who have committed serious enough crimes to be imprisoned in the first place. This could also lead to further prison overcrowding which has dangerous consequences; we instead need reform of our justice and prison systems.


  1. Hi Alan

    Good points.

    I enjoy reading your blog but I've been finding it hard to read - literally - since you changed your colour scheme. The green on green doesn't have enough contrast for me to comfortably read.

    A lot of people don't realise websites have accessibility standards which specify among other things, how much contrast is needed for the vast majority of your visitors to read your text. The contrast you've got here is about 2:1. Ideally contrast should be above 5:1.

    There's a helpful calculator here:

    (Your background colour is #66A189 and text is #17714C)

    All the best

    1. Dear Andi,

      I have now changed all the text to red instead of green. Do you find it easier to read now?


  2. Hi Alan

    Love the redesign! Thanks :)