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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 17:04 GMT
Cameron slams 'politics of fear'
Conservative leader David Cameron
Mr Cameron said the speech was 'more of the same'
David Cameron has accused the government of peddling the "politics of fear" in its plans for the coming year.

The Conservative leader described Tony Blair's final Queen's Speech as prime minister as "hollow and repetitive" and a wasted opportunity.

"It was a chance to offer hope for a better society. Instead he chose fear to cover up his failures," he told MPs.

The 29 new bills announced earlier were dominated by measures to combat crime, security and anti-social behaviour.

In his response, Mr Cameron told MPs the programme was "so repetitive and hollow people feel they have heard it all before.

"And it's so depressing that they might think the chancellor has already taken over."

'Sunshine'

He attacked Mr Blair's record on criminal justice, pensions, security, the NHS and immigration, saying "the tragedy of this prime minister is that he promised so much and he has delivered so little".

All too often they just pass laws to make political points rather than to deliver real change
David Cameron
Conservative leader

Mr Blair hit back by taunting Mr Cameron over his recent statements on youth crime - dubbed "hug a hoodie" by opponents - and the Tory leader's party conference speech calling for more optimism.

"Hope's not built on talking about sunshine any more than anti-social behaviour is combated by 'love'," Mr Blair told his Conservative opponent.

The prime minister also mocked Mr Cameron for "sitting on the fence" over nuclear power and accused him of being a "flyweight" with no interest in the substance of policy.

'Hope'

Mr Cameron reminded the prime minister of his previous nine Queen's Speeches and claimed there had been no progress in key areas such as health and crime despite repeated legislation.

"At the beginning of his time, the prime minister offered the country hope that he would tackle the causes of crime, but as we look at the measures placed before the house today, all we can see is a complete betrayal and debasement of that vital agenda," Mr Cameron said.

BILLS
Climate Change Bill
Pensions Bill
Serious Crime Bill
Criminal Justice Bill
Fraud Bill
Mental Health Bill
Road Transport Bill
Welfare Reform Bill
Crossrail Bill

He said the prime minister had "simply given up on the causes of crime" in favour of "eye-catching initiatives" that lasted no longer than the evening news bulletins.

Mr Cameron added: "The paradox of New Labour is that 12 years on the prime minister is still desperately looking for this legacy.

"Three massive majorities, a decade in power, ten Gracious Speeches, 370 pieces of legislation and the question they've got to answer is why has little been achieved?

"It's because they put headlines ahead of delivery, they believe in centralised power not social responsibility and all too often they just pass laws to make political points rather than to deliver real change."

Mr Cameron said the Labour government was "exhausted" and it was time for "a fresh Conservative government that offers change, optimism and hope".




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The pomp and ceremony of the state opening of Parliament



QUEEN'S SPEECH 2006

KEY COVERAGE

ISSUE-BY-ISSUE COVERAGE
 

ANALYSIS AND FEATURES
Boxing gloves Gloves are off
Tony Blair denies using politics of fear... then warns Cameron he faces a thumping

BACKGROUND
Pomp and pageantry

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