Mon, 28 November 2022

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ANALYSIS: What was the point of that election?

ANALYSIS: What was the point of that election?
2 min read

Well that's seven weeks we'll never get back.


Seven weeks of election campaigning that were meant to "crush the saboteurs" and deliver Theresa May a thumping majority with which to deliver Brexit and - crucially - carry out a string of domestic reforms.

The Conservative leader's decision to go to the country will go down as one of the greatest acts of political self-harm in British history.

All she has managed to achieve is to hasten the Labour party's political comeback while starting the countdown to the day she leaves office.

Her majority gone, the Prime Minister - still trying to cobble together some kind of voting pact with the DUP - today presented a Queen's Speech more notable for what isn't in it than what is.

No wonder the Tory manifesto disappeared from the party's website for a short spell earlier today. They might as well not have bothered writing it.

A new generation of grammar schools? Gone.

Means testing the winter fuel allowance? Ditched.

Abandoning the triple lock on pensions? Scrapped.

Getting rid of free school lunches for the youngest pupils? Cancelled.

Overturning the ban on fox hunting? Dumped.

Reforms to the social care system will probably still go ahead, but the manifesto proposal to lift the cap on bills didn't even last a week.

And no one seems to know when or even if Donald Trump's state visit will ever go ahead.

Eight Brexit bills did survive the cull, but they would have had to be introduced anyway, regardless of the election.

To call the Queen's Speech thin is an overstatement. It is positively anaemic.

How the Government proposes to make this legislative prospectus last two years is anyone's guess.

The election campaign is estimated to have cost the taxpayer around £150m, and for what?

Asked earlier whether the Prime Minister is currently leading a "strong and stable" government, her spokesman replied: "Yes." But to even the most casual observer, it looks like anything but.

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