AS is often the case with a weekly column, by the time the words I write are published, the big news will have happened.

This week, it is the Queen’s Speech, the day in which the coming year’s Parliamentary agenda is announced.

There is, as ever, a fair degree of speculation with what will be in it, but there are, for me, certain red lines that I feel are incredibly important.

The last couple of years have been spent dealing with the two huge problems inherited from the previous government: the chronic state of the public finances; and the shattered economy, struggling under a broken banking system and fatally wounded Euro zone.

Of course, dealing with these problems is well under way and there is simply no option to tackling them head on (where we can).

But whilst there has been a great deal over the last couple of years that is far more than just fire fighting – education reform, handing power to local communities, establishing the European referendum lock, changing the way parliament works to allow more input from backbenchers, working to help businesses and entrepreneurs – for the future, I want to see how we can all be sure that the future will be better than the past.

I want to know that our kids will get a job. I want to know that someone in Wyre Forest setting up a new business will have the best possible chance of success, creating new jobs. And I want to know that our public services will be run better, and more efficiently, than they have up to now.

In short, I want those who are strivers and hard workers to be confident that they will be supported, and not held back by a something-for nothing-culture that they are asked to pay for.

The local elections last week told me that this is important for people as well.

A year ago, in the face of stinging budget cuts, the electorate told us “we understand what you have to do”. This year they said “we may understand what you need to do, but we will not tolerate incompetence or irrelevance.”

Murdoch-Gate, jerrycan blunders, pasty (and other) tax own-goals are avoidable and it is right that people speak up against this. But it is also important that what the government does is relevant and frankly, gay marriage and House of Lords reform may be important to some people, but for the vast majority, it is simply a signal of self indulgence by someone who is out of touch.

With House of Lords reform being, apparently, on the radar for a hundred years, the Whitehall adage “if you can’t fix it, it ain’t broke” has never been truer.



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