Page last updated at 05:43 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Papers attack 'half-baked' Speech


Many of Thursday's papers are deeply unimpressed with the contents of this year's Queen's Speech.

The Daily Mail says the "perfunctory" address "exposed Her Majesty's government as a washed up wreck".

It was "a series of half-baked measures that will never see the light of day", according to the Daily Telegraph.

But Polly Toynbee, in the Guardian, disagrees: "Here was a programme of substance, flashing out a lighthouse reminder of what Labour stands for."

'Political chicanery'

Some papers home in on particular policy announcements from the Queen's Speech.

The Times says the law requiring the UK government to halve its fiscal deficit within four years is "pure cynicism".

"This is law as a substitute for action in the vain hope that political chicanery will receive an electoral reward," its leader writes.

The Independent, meanwhile, says the lack of new legislation on Parliamentary reform and MPs' expenses is "the most egregious missed chance".

'Unelected Caesar'

EU leaders will meet to choose their first president on Thursday but several papers are less than excited.

The Daily Express says "the UK's new Belgian boss is a clown," referring to hot favourite for the job Herman van Rompuy.

"He may cut mustard in a country whose citizens are notorious for tolerating bureaucratic nonentities, but he does not do so in the UK," it claims.

The Sun thinks "we are back in the days of Gladiator, where an unelected Caesar ruled supreme over the continent."

Oil 'sharks'

The Daily Mirror uses its leader column to demand that politicians and judges "get tough on thugs".

"The punishment for a violent attack should automatically be a spell behind bars," it argues, not a police caution.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail leads with the startling front page headline: "Sharks off the British coast".

The "predators", it says, are oil tankers which "have been parked off our shores for months, refusing to unload their oil until prices have risen even further".

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