Queen’s Speech 2015: why you SHOULD care

So, the news has been dominated by the ‘Queen’s Speech’, and at 8 minutes and 29 seconds (it was a short one this year – the Queen’s average is 9 minutes and 50 seconds), it’s hard for us to tune in and take interest.

The Queen gives a speech at the opening of Parliament every year, outlining what her government is going to achieve in the coming Parliamentary year. She doesn’t write it, ministers do. What is the point of the Queen being there you may ask? Because we’re British and traditional and we love seeing someone who was born into wealth, wearing jewels and an expensive cape tell us about benefit cuts. We just do.

It’s what is in the speech that matters though because it outlines the Bills the government are pledging to pass and it will affect YOU. Do you care about how much tax you pay? About owning your own house? About schools? About jobs? About the NHS? About Human Rights? About childcare? About devolution? Then you should care about the Queen’s Speech.

Here’s a break down of the key issues addressed in the Queen’s Speech 2015. It’ll be worth a read, I promise.

© Hollie Borland

© Hollie Borland

Coalition for the commoner (and by commoner I mean people like me)

It’s voting day – and I am genuinely excited! This election is so close!

I know politics can be boring because it’s so complicated and so complex it hard to stay engaged, but I feel that it is important for us all to know the basics. This election is particularly exciting because the most recent polls suggest that the outcome of the election will most likely be a coalition. And this time around there are so many possibilities.

I’ve made a diagram that shows the possible outcomes for a coalition and what one might work and what ones are unlikely to ever happen. I’ve decided to focus on the key players from the TV debates: Ed Miliband (Labour), David Cameron (Conservative), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats), Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Nigel Farage (United Kingdom Independence Party), Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru).

I drew the images myself – I hope this helps. Let me know what you think! Click on the image to see it bigger if you need to.

Guide to chaotic coalitions #UKelection2015


Margaret Thatcher dies age 87

Margaret Thatcher died at the Ritz hotel in London

Margaret Thatcher died at the Ritz hotel in London

Former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher has died aged 87, after suffering a stroke earlier this morning.

Lord Bell, Thatcher’s spokesperson, said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother, Baroness Thatcher, died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”

The Iron Lady died at the Ritz hotel in London, where she has been living, following an operation in December last year (2012). Neither of her children was with her when she died.

Over the past decade, Lady Thatcher has suffered regular bouts of illness, including a series of small strokes and dementia. She is to have a state funeral with military honours at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Prime Minister David Cameron has cut his European trip short and is set to return to London following the news. The flag at 10 Downing Street is currently flying at half-mast as a sign of respect for the former Prime Minister.

Baroness Thatcher was the first, and only, female British Prime Minister from 1979-1990, winning three successive general elections. She was a former member of the Conservative Party and is a controversial figure due to her radical reforms. Her death has caused mixed reactions worldwide.

Here are some celebrity tweets in response to the news of her death:

David Cameron @Number10gov

“It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton”

Barack Obama ‏@BarackObama

“She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.” —Obama on Margaret Thatcher’s passing

Harry Styles ‏@Harry_Styles

RIP Baroness Thatcher .x

Stephen Fry ‏@stephenfry

Was in the air when the news came in about Margaret Thatcher. Such a force in Britain through my university days through to my 30s

Ross Noble ‏@realrossnoble

Bloody typical Thatcher dies when I am in rural Australia. I hate to miss a good street party.

Lord Sugar ‏@Lord_Sugar

Baroness Thatcher in the 80’s kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite

Rylan Ross Clark ‏@RylanClark

Getting a bit of backlash about thatcher, maybe I’m not up on history???

James Argent ‏@RealJamesArgent

Just heard Margaret Thatcher has died…Very sad news! RIP x

Geri Halliwell ‏@GeriHalliwell

Thinking of our 1st Lady of girl power ,Margaret Thatcher , a green grocer’s daughter who taught me any thing is possible…x

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan

Brave, divisive, formidable, tough, stubborn, dominant & domineering, Margaret Thatcher bestrode the world like a political colossus. RIP

Sarah Millican ‏@SarahMillican75

A lot of miners are discovering they can dance today.

Johnny Vegas ‏@JohnnyVegasReal

Geography won’t allow myself to go right now but strongly suggest if you’re out in Manchester to get yerself down to @thelassogowrie #toppub