Wednesday, 12 May 2021

The Bills in the Queen's Speech

The following Bills were announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech. I have referenced them to the pages in the Government Publication "The Queen's Speech 2021", where further information is available. That document can be downloaded from here.

It might be, that before any bill is introduced (1st Reading) - the name may be altered slightly. When bills are published, a Research Paper from the House of Commons Library is likely to be published. I thoroughly recommend these as useful documents in getting to grips with the proposed legislation.

- Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill (p57)

- Animals Abroad Bill (p132)

- Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill (p131-2)

- Armed Forces Bill (p101)

- Building Safety Bill (p109)

- Charities Bill (p121)

- Counter-State Threats Bill (p96)

- Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill (p147)

- Dormant Assets Bill (p119)

- Electoral Integrity Bill (p141)

- Environment Bill (p128)

- Health and Care Bill (p20)

- Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill (p143)

- High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill (p65)

- Judicial Review Bill (p145)

- Kept Animals Bill (p132)

- Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill (p111)

- National Insurance Contributions Bill (p70)

- Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concerns) Bill (p149)

- Planning Bill (p61)

- Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (p81)

- Procurement Bill (p74)

- Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (p66)

- Professional Qualifications Bill (p77)

- Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill (p123)

- Skills and Post-16 Education Bill (p50)

- Subsidy Control Bill (p72)

- Telecommunications (Security) Bill (p97)

- (Draft) Downstream Oil Resilience Bill (p68)

- (Draft) Online Safety Bill (p94)

- (Draft) Victims Bill (p89)

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Details of the Queen's Speech

Did you watch it? I listened in - but I have to say - the Speeches that a Prime Minister gives to the Monarch are never very exciting. The purpose is to tell Parliament what her Government plans to do - so, by nature they are very dry. (The Queen - who is above politics - isn't expected to be passionate and advocating policies - that's for the professional politicians). However - it's worth listening to speeches made under different Prime Ministers. The contrasts between Queen's Speeches under Major and those under Blair were quite obvious - I'm not talking about content - but the literary style and language. She doesn't write the speech - that is done by and on behalf of the current Prime Minister.

Soon afterwards, and this year it took a little while - hours not minutes - the Prime Minister publishes "The Queen's Speech (and gives the year)". So I dutifully downloaded the 160+ document that gives more detail of the rationale and what bills will follow. It's the first time for me in a while. When I worked in Westminster I downloaded it shortly after the speech was delivered. The last few years, being in retirement, I haven't. It has saved a lot of paper and ink. But now that I'm presenting a programme on Spectrum on Air called "PPS" about the Processes,
eople and relevant Sources for decision and law making (At Westminster, but also around the world), I thought it time to re-establish the habit.

It is easy to download - just click here 

YOU DON'T NEED TO PRINT IT OFF - it is available in PDF format. (My excuse/justification is that I will make annotating the document for use as I prepare pieces for the programme.

The Queen's Speech

 Yes, it's that time again - a new session begins in the British Parliament.

This time, it will be a stripped down affair - because of the Coronavirus pandemic - which though more suppressed than it has been -  hasn't gone away (so please do all you can to protect your own and others' health and life). The Queen won't be taking her usual ride in a carriage - and the number of people (Peers, MPs & staff) will be greatly reduced.

We'll get to hear the Government's legislative plans (though most of the bills to be presented have been fully discussed in the last few days.

You can watch live via 

BBC1 (if you have a UK TV licence) - and afterwards here. Huw Edwards is presenting (by the way - his excellent series on the history of Wales is available on BBC iPlayer). 

Parliament Live - but without the commentary.

In next week's PPS on Spectrum On Air  I'll be discussing how to get the details of the Queen's Speech proposals and the stages necessary to turn a bill into a Law.

(Previous editions of PPS are available at https://www.spreaker.com/show/process-people-sources

Monday, 10 May 2021

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

In today's PPS programme on Spectrum On Air - we did a piece about the Congressional Research Service. 

(If you look through old posts on this Blog you'll see that I am a great fan of the CRS. The good news is that their reports are more easily obtainable now)

If you want to access their reports the address is - https://crsreports.congress.gov. You can either enter a word or a phrase OR click the search button without entering any text to bring up a list of reports, which you can then scroll through.

Specially for listeners in the USA the PPS is broadcast again at 8pm (20.00) Eastern Time on Tuesdays (Insomniacs in Europe can also access it but it is in the middle of the night!)

NAO Report on the Rail System in England

In a few minutes time I will be talking about the National Audit Office's very readable and useful guide to the financing of the Rail System in England as part of my weekly programme on Spectrum on Air (the live link can be accessed at this address.

If you can't get there in time - it will be available later in the week (and available for some length of time) here.

If you've come to this blog as a result of the programme - the address which will link you directly to the report (which can be downloaded) the address is -