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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Queen's Speech: Your reaction
The government has set out its priorities for the next session of parliament in the Queen's Speech

Crime, welfare and public service reform were high on the agenda along with key policy papers on council tax, pensions and nuclear power.

Several bills will return to the Commons for consideration including the proposal to introduce identity cards and there are plans to tackle issues such as immigration, MRSA and anti-social behaviour.

What is your reaction to the Queen's Speech? Has the government set the right priorities?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO

Our panel of MPs Pat McFadden (Labour), Ed Vaizey (Conservative) and Matthew Taylor (Liberal Democrat) answered your questions on the Queen's Speech. Click on the link to watch the debate.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

If people wish to criticise they should provide constructive alternatives
David Drinkwater, Norwich, UK
What a miserable set of comments about the Queen's speech. They all seemed to be "oh we can't do this" "we shouldn't do that" - it's so easy being negative. If people wish to criticise they should provide constructive alternatives.
David Drinkwater, Norwich, UK

It would be interesting to know what she'd actually LIKE to write instead of what's put in front of her to read!
Sue Hudson, London, UK

No mention of the new tax rises, stealth or otherwise. However, we've got what 23% of the population voted for so don't complain.
Keith, Chepstow, Wales

Got some fuel this morning, chatted about the weather, said I had heard the cuckoo for the first time this morning. Garage receptionist said it must have been Tony Blair's promises in the Queens speech. That says it all.
Richard, South Shields, UK

Blair cannot force respect from people just because he wants it
Max Richards, Cardiff, Wales
Blair cannot force respect from people just because he wants it. Respect has to be earned naturally through two-way communication which comes as a result of listening. He is missing the point somewhat.
Max Richards, Cardiff, Wales

Lots of good ideas, lets hope Labour can delivery the goods.
Phillip, Reading, England

How can Blair preach to us about respect when he doesn't respect us enough to let us wear our own clothes when we're shopping? Blaming all the country's problems on teenagers is not going to increase our respect for anyone. Maybe he should begin by respecting the British people before he demands respect from them.
Jayem, Belfast

Surely the only people opposed to identification cards are those with something to hide?
Laura, Stoke-on-Trent

The hallmark of this government in its previous two terms has been rafts of poorly considered and even more poorly drafted legislation. Considering that many of them are lawyers, it is obvious why they make their livings in politics. The spread of authoritarianism and the burden on business should concern us all - the public sector spending spree cannot sustain the economy forever.
David Jones, Peterborough, UK

On the issue of increasing maternity leave; if it is possible for parents to transfer portions of maternity leave between the mother and the father, why can the government not make it possible for non-working parents to transfer their tax allowances to their working partner?
Anne, Haslemere, Surrey

I loved the whole ceremony, from Black Rod, to Mr Skinner's surprisingly amusing heckle
Ed, London, UK
I loved the whole ceremony, from Black Rod, to Mr Skinner's surprisingly amusing heckle. The colour, the history, the costumes, the tradition all show Britain at its historic best. As for the speech itself, there were no real surprises. I would have liked to have seen a greater clampdown on animal rights terrorists and a curb on public spending, but there you go.
Ed, London, UK

Respect cannot be imposed by rules and regulations - it must instead be earned. Unfortunately, the standards set by many in government are not worthy of our respect; what hope for the country?
Andy Ashworth, Oakthorpe, UK

Yes, the government has set the right priorities for me. I have no issues with ID cards and truly don't understand why people oppose them. But then some people will oppose anything just for the sake of not agreeing with the current government.
J Wright, Newcastle upon Tyne

I refuse to carry and pay for an ID card. I am a law abiding citizen, I have no driving convictions and I pay all my taxes on time. So why should I be expected to pay 90? It is so unfair, not to mention pointless. ID cards will do nothing for security.
Alfie Noakes, North of England, UK

This is what I expected, which is why I voted against Labour. More of the same authoritarian policies to pander to the perennially panic-stricken.
David Anderson, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

I hope ID cards turn out to be Blair's poll tax
Leo, Auckland, NZ
I hope ID cards turn out to be Blair's poll tax. If the British people take them lying down, my father and my grandfather need not have bothered fighting in the two world wars. "Your papers, please!" on British streets? Never!
Leo, Auckland, NZ

You won't get "respect" by giving people "rights" without the responsibilities of citizenship.
Andrew, Edinburgh, Scotland

Another raft of politically correct, authoritarian measures designed to abolish ancient freedoms such as free speech and free thinking. We will not be able to cross the street without presenting an ID card before too long. Welcome to the Big Brother state!
Darren, Milton Keynes, England

When these proposed crime reforms fail, I shudder to think what will happen next. Lowering the burden of proof in the courts? Oh wait, that's already happening to a very limited extent. The Queen's speech has left me very disillusioned as to my hopes and fears for the future.
Charlotte, Southampton, England

I am very disappointed that the illiberal measure to "ban incitement to religious hatred" has been reintroduced. Where does that leave the ability to express genuine cultural differences and for comedians to make religion (of any persuasion) the butt of their jokes? A very black day indeed for civil liberties!
Richard, Worcester, England

It is about time the UK got identity cards
Jonathan Walkers, Stuttgart, Germany
It is about time the UK got identity cards. I think law abiding citizens will soon see the advantages: not having to carry a bulky passport around with them when going on holiday in Europe, for example, and if backed by the right computer system, this will go a long way to stopping benefit fraud.
Jonathan Walkers, Stuttgart, Germany

This country has a huge problem with our youth. Young people are involved in many areas of anti-social behaviours. I would love to meet Mr Blair and give him the benefit of my experience over my 66 years, 30 of which were working with disadvantaged children. We must address this problem before it gets any worse and my goodness, it's very very bad.
Bobby Goater, Aldershot

I didn't see anything about proportional representation. We'll obviously have to wait another decade or two for the British public to have their say.
Bob, Bristol, England

The Queen's speech highlights the absurdity of the system of (so-called) representative government. How can a single vote for a single candidate in a general election possibly confer authority to legislate on Identity Cards, the European Union, Health, Work and Family, Asylum and Immigration, Violent Crime, Welfare, Lords Reform, Protection of Children, Electoral Administration, and Anti-Terrorism.
In two weeks time the Swiss will also be voting - not for politicians, but directly on their Laws in one of their quarterly referendums. The Swiss system of democracy is not only fairer, but also far more successful. British politicians should take note.
Stephen, UK

Her Majesty owes me 30 minutes pay due to road closures on my way to work in central London! I wonder what was the total lost productivity caused by this annual farce.
Michael Thompson, London

Smoking ban - Yes Please, I don't know anyone who opposes it. Even my smoking friends can see the logic. ID cards - No. I don't know anyone who supports them!
Alan, London, UK

What has happened to the big issues that Mr Blair spoke of championing - climate change and Third World debt?
Patrick Vickerman, East Grinstead, England
What has happened to the big issues that Mr Blair spoke of championing - climate change and Third World debt? He keeps avoiding taking action on climate change - our performance in reducing emissions over the last four years has been appalling! If he can take 'difficult decisions' like invading Iraq, why can he not tackle the most important issue facing not just us in the UK but the whole planet.
Patrick Vickerman, East Grinstead, England

I find it hilarious that Blair has stolen all those Tory policies he had spent months mocking. We're all tired of the talking, it's time to see Blair deliver.
Gil Eliav, Leeds, UK

Same old rubbish being spurted out. The government can't/won't honour existing legislations/promises and yet they keep coming out with more.
Sanjay, London, UK

To all the people complaining about this Queen's Speech, I ask you this: did you vote Labour? Did you expect this speech?
Aleks, London, UK

New Labour are hell-bent on restricting the liberty of the individual by legislation rather than education. For those who wanted this government to ban fox-hunting, your beers and fags will be next.
David, Manchester, UK

It's a pity today's list of bills wasn't widely publicised before the election, we may have had a more representative result.
D Thorpe, Weston-super-Mare, UK

ID cards are still in. Punitive measures against people fleeing persecution is still in. Terrorism laws that strip away human and civil rights built up over thousands of years is still in. The public have overwhelmingly spoken out against these issues. Is this what Mr Blair means by listening?
Jo Selwood, Newbury, UK

It is beyond belief that Mr Blair can suggest that he wishes to create a culture of respect when he has shown none to the rural community. He ought to realise that he is widely loathed due to his lack of respect for our traditions.
Rupert Eley, Suffolk

It becomes clear that all popular support disappears [for ID cards] when people find out the details, such as the fees they will have to pay and the vast population database which logs every transaction we make and service we use. Have we learnt nothing from history? The real use of ID cards has been demonstrated in Nazi Germany, communist Russia, apartheid South Africa and recently, in genocidal Rwanda. The question is, do you trust the government to have so much information on each person and the ability to turn all rights into privileges dependent on registering for a card and you being a "good citizen"?
Paul, Surrey

I don't know much about passing new laws or legislation, but surely the millions wasted on these ID cards should be preceded by an explanation of exactly how they are expected to prevent crime and stop these ever impending terrorist attacks. Excuse my ignorance, but has anyone even tried to offer a theory on how they may work?
Adam Brandt, Sunderland, England, UK

Giving women more maternity leave will only make companies avoid hiring women
Sarah, London, UK
Has the government ever considered making parental leave mandatory for both parents? Giving women more maternity leave will only make companies avoid hiring women. It makes no financial sense to hire someone who has the legal right to be paid while not working - especially when the company will have to pay someone else to fill her shoes in the meantime.
Sarah, London, UK

I have absolutely no issue with those who are genuinely not able to work receiving a decent amount of incapacity benefit. However, I find it difficult to believe that 1.5m people (approaching 5% of those of working age) are unable to work. If tightening the rules on those who receive it enables those genuinely unable to work to receive more, then that makes sense.
Sean Barnes, Wapping, London

A set of priorities set by a lawyer for lawyers. Enough said!!
Derek, Worcester, England

What a good idea to have a bill to discourage the "compensation culture" in the same speech as the NHS Redress Bill which sets up a new authority to allow patients to claim compensation for mistakes made by NHS hospitals.
John, Chesterfield, England

When will Blair realise that you can't legislate respect, you have to earn it?
William Hall, London, UK

I would just like to add that I thoroughly enjoy the British State opening of Parliament, there is none other like it in the world. It is fabulous, with history, the array of colour, and the traditions that take place. I wish we had such grandeur in the United States, another factor that in my opinion makes the United Kingdom one of the greatest countries in the world.
Howard Wright, Charlotte, USA

More bans, more fines, more controls on what we can do and say
David Hudson, England
New Labour is slowly squeezing the life out of this country. More bans, more fines, more controls on what we can do and say. And now an internal passport. The more they run out ideas the more authoritarian they get. I'm dreading the next 5 years.
David Hudson, England

Yet more support for families. I am a single person and choose to be so. For the most part couples choose to have children. Why should I foot more and more of the financial burden? Don't get me wrong; I agree with support when it is necessary, but when does it stop? As for ID cards, best to keep my thoughts to myself.
Bob, Guildford, UK

As a recipient of Incapacity Benefit I find it rather insulting and patronising that the government wants me to realise my own self worth in the work place. I already know my own self worth and don't need anyone else to help me realise that or achieve it. I am neither work shy as I did try and return to work for a year but due to my health deteriorating again I spent more time off sick than I did in the office. Not many employers are going to be sympathetic if you are taking so much time off and I suspect all these proposals are going to do is create a greater poverty trap for people to fall into.
Jim, London

If Tony Blair wants respect from our young people he will have to earn it! He won't get it by demonising our kids because of the clothes they're wearing. We need to engage young people with the same respect we crave from them and not look down our noses at them.
David Howard, Oxford, UK

You can't change society just by legislating
Michael, Beaconsfield, Bucks
I am a lawyer but I really do despair at the unceasing avalanche of new laws. You can't change society just by legislating.
Michael, Beaconsfield, Bucks

The government can pass as many laws as it wants but they will be useless if you do not have effective agencies to back it all up. With inadequate police numbers, "soft touch" judges, an ineffective Crown Prosecution Service and a government unwilling to build more prisons it will all be a waste of time and money.
Kevin Finn, UK

Respect - does this mean Ali G will be the new Home Secretary?
Keith Brown, Johannesburg, SA

Boring! Boring! Boring! I feel sorry for poor old Queenie having to read out the same old stuff year after year!
Elizabeth, Leicester

How about a bill which stops governments returning the same bills to the Commons over and over again until they get the result they are after?
Glen, Welling, UK

A charter for gated communities
Simeon Davies, UK
It sounds like a charter for gated communities. And funnily enough it's the same thought I had when I looked at the proposed extension to the congestion charge zone. Build some walls to keep out the riff-raff......not very socially inclusive is it?
Simeon Davies, UK

More PC, more red tape more taxes.
David, Nottingham

Imposed "respect" through fear is only bottled aggression. The changes Mr Blair desires need to happen at a much deeper level in society. The government can help this happen, but have to be careful about how they go about it, or we will be hearing the phrase "police state" a lot more.
Paulo, Cambridge, UK

Too much glitz not enough getting on with it.
Rigby, Tunstall, UK

If "respect" is the key why does this government disrespect smokers' rights??
George Koumparellis, London

Same promises and a bunch of new silly laws to catch headlines.
Steve D, Fleet, Hants

I think the government have the right mix of what needs to be done in this country
Mrs S. Ayre, London, UK
It's a case of "We'll have to wait and see". I think the government have the right mix of what needs to be done in this country. The focus needs to be on us again. In my view, Britain is not so Great anymore...it needs to change now (for the better) and with some of these bills, I'm hoping it can happen.
Mrs S. Ayre, London, UK

Has anyone heard of common sense? Being over-controlling isn't going to help anything, and how is that respectful to peoples' right to think freely?
Claire, Oxford

I am not pleased to see the ID card bill popping up again. In my view, far from making identification more secure and certain, it will turn identity theft into a one-step process. Don't get me started on the loss of privacy and increase in the ability of government to exercise authoritarian control. And knowing what I know about large IT projects, I am certain that it will cost much more than they are saying it will.
Diana, London, UK

If "Respect" is the key to Blair's third term, does this mean George Galloway knows more than we realised?
Jon G, Huddersfield, UK

Yet another uninspiring albeit functional agenda. Parliamentary time should have been reserved for "green" bills to tackle the problem of pollution created by landfill as well as by defunct computers and fridges.
Ketan B. Shah, West Harrow, England

One bill I am uncomfortable with is the Incitement to Religious Hatred bill. I believe it inhibits freedom of speech. We can choose to follow a particular religion or not follow any. How can you distinguish between criticism of a religion and inciting hatred to a religion? Are the government going to bring in other laws such as "incitement to football hatred"?
Richard , Leeds, England

Another raft of authoritarian legislation
Andrew Porrer, Hertford, UK
Yet another raft of authoritarian legislation and more new offences instead of actually trying to tackle the important issues!
Andrew Porrer, Hertford, UK

What about respect for the British public and their wishes? So far Tony Blair has introduced unpopular policies without listening to either members of his own party or the British electorate
Seamus, Cardiff

Bring on the ban on smoking in public places. Hurrah! And not before time too.
Kate, London, UK

Was Her Majesty reading from Orwell's 1984 by mistake?
Andy B, Newport, UK

The pageantry took more time than the speech itself. The whole Queen's Speech should be abolished as the Queen doesn't write the speech, the government does! She could read it out from Buckingham Palace if she insisted - it wouldn't make any difference. Thousands of pounds must have been wasted for a worthless non-event. Perhaps we should include this reform in the next Queen's Speech!
Jonathan Lovatt, Norwich, UK

How can Tony Blair concentrate on promoting respect in the community when he treats the electorate with so much contempt? Also the requests for asylum are down because most of those seeking entry have already sneaked in by the back door. Why ask for something when you have already got it?
Brian, Liverpool, UK

Where is the evidence of any progress so far?
Tim, Sidcup, UK
Lots of talk of 'continuing' reforms. Where is the evidence of any progress so far? For example 'tough on crime and the causes of crime'? The reality is that nothing will change on this or anti-social behaviour until we reintroduce some consequences for illegal acts and lack of consideration for others.
Tim, Sidcup, UK

I have to disagree with Mike from Newcastle. We're not slowly walking into a police state, it's full speed ahead. ID Cards and especially the National Identity Register are a gross violation of the civil liberties of us all.
Dan, Birmingham, UK

After hearing the Queen's Speech I get a feeling that we are all slowly walking into a police state! Where will all these laws end?
Mike, Newcastle, UK

So, once again the government promises to deal with crime, immigration and health. Where have we heard all this before? Since they've promised and failed to deliver on all 3 time and time again I don't have very high hopes for this term.
Vik, UK

The re-introduction of the ID card scheme comes as no surprise. And it won't be long before they are, indeed, compulsory. So much for 'respect' then. How is infringement of civil liberties 'respectful' Mr Blair?
Alex Wilkin, Colchester, Essex

On the whole these are a solid and worthy set of priorities. However, I fear the flinching liberal element of this country will ensure these plans get reduced to an impotent mess.
Stuart, Surrey

The Queen's speech shows Labour is increasing government power and taxation which is bad for individuals and is failing the country.
Andrew Moore, West Sussex

I am very concerned at plans to reintroduce the ID Cards Bill. I do not see how the scheme can be anything other than an ineffective waste of time and money.
Katy, London

Compulsory treatment for people with mental health conditions is an infringement of civil liberties.
Max Desorgher, Willesden, London




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