tv International Programming CSPAN November 22, 2009 9:00pm-9:30pm EST
torment for members of parliament. the scandal caused by parliament area experiences has inflicted a great deal of damage. that is the backdrop of today's events this. where the queen will be arriving to start the new session of parliament. but with an election expected in six months, there is hardly any time really to start an ambitious new program of legislation. plenty to to talk about here and plenty to watch here. some things never change. the color and the traditions of the state opening are familiar. >> a short while ago, the yeoman of the guard, the queen's bode guard performed their ceremonial search of the vaults of the police at
westminster as they make sure it is safe for the queen to attend. they are hard at work, and outside the palace of westminster, more security in place, ready for the queen's arrival later this morning. let's have a look inside the house of lords. it is a magnificent sight. that is where the queen will deliver the speech. guests have started to arrive. it is of course the biggest event, the most prestigious event in the parliament area cabinet. that is a different sight. a calmer scene. the other end of the building are members of the house of commons. m.p.'s will soon be coming in, and they will all be summoned to the house of lords to hear the speech. in a short while we are expecting to see gordon brown making his way to particle wrment from number 10, knowing
full well his program will be seen in one context. it will be his third state opening as prime minister. the yes is will it be his last. >> this queen's speech is not good the good of the country. it is about saving the labor party, not actually doing anything. that is why it is such a waves of time today. >> a nice provocative thought to get under way. we have the shadow home secretary. for the liberal democrats, sarah, for labor, the cabinet minister, the olympics minister, and of course as ever on state opening day, we have the bbc's political editor. thank you all for coming in. it is a great event to be part of. we are going to enjoy the event, but i am going to pick up on david cameron's thought
because he is making a very strong political statement, saying it is a waves of time. >> that will be the oppositions statement. we get to see whether the party's spin doctors have inserted their phrase into her majesty's speech. i think i can predict with some confidence that my lords and members of the house of commons, the big priority is to get them re-elected. let's say this on behalf of ministers. of course they believe that giving guarantees to school children and their parents will make a difference to people's lives, that it is a good thing to regulate the financial sector. there are a series of things that we won't talk about, but will be in the queen's speech, such as a flooded water management bill. what the opposition will be
able to say is there is hardly any time left and a loft these things are -- and a lot of these things are a waves of time. we will say we do all these things, but not howell. >> it is a bit churlish by starting the day saying it is a waves of time. >> it is a great day for the nation as it always is. the reality is, and we have this from the horse as mouth from the cabinet minister, politics, it is all about the general election. some of the things that nick is talking about, the guarantee on education, this government has spent tens of billions of touchdowns on education, saying we would like to write a guarantee into law. after 12 years, they should have delivered a high quality he had came i guess for every person.
the fact that they have not done it is behind the proposed piece of legislation and a that they have not done it. >> he meant the content of the queen's speech. this is about priorities. you said when you started this program that this is taking place against the backdrop against the expenses scandal. this has dominated politics for 12 months. we have very few months left. we feel the priority is for government and parliament to clean up its own act so make sure the next parliament coming in has a clean slate. we should reform the house of lords so that we have only elected people making legislation. we should have powers to recall members of parliament who have been suspended for serious misconduct. we should clean up issues such as how much should be spent on elections to take the big money out of it. that would leave a lasting
legacy that would change politics forever. >> we are six months away from an election, and there is little time to do anything. there is very little you can achieve in the next six months? >> i don't accept that at all. the challenge to chris great dealing and sarah is are the going to extend social care to 400,000 to the most vulnerable people at home. are they going to make it possible for anti-social behavior disorders to control the anti-social behavior of young ones. what will obstruct this government is the opposition stands in the way of measures that the people i represent and the people that sarah and chris
represent would like to see on the statue. >> very strong themes and things to discuss. 2009, sarah was mentioning this, will go down as an extremely difficult year in which voters' perceptions were changed. laura talks about that. >> make no mistake. this has been a year like no other. at times it has felt like this grand old palace has been under siege, and isolated from the public and defending their jobswhen details of what they had been paying themselves exploded into public view, the reputation in this place and its politicians was dragged violently down. in the end, the speaker, meant to be a respected figure head of the commons, had to pay with his job. >> since i came 30 years ago, i have always felt the house is
at its best when it is united. in order that unity can be maintained, i have decided that i will relinquish the office of speaker. >> the details of what some m.p.'s were claiming were hard to believe. some were accused of flipping, using texas pair's money to renovate their second home and transferring that status to another property and doing it again. it was the more colorful claims that stuck. a bill for cleaning a motor. a home for one m.p.'s deduction and horse manure for the garden. >> it wasn't just parliament under attack. the departure of ministers from the cabinet shook gordon brown. there was a blatant attempt to remove him from office. >> in the last few minutes i have spoken to james fernell, the work and pensions
secretary. he is resigning from the government in order to force a leadership ballot. >> gordon brown hung on, just, but only have to deal with the worst economic claimant in decade. haven'tly he had to admit that the public spending spree had to end. the political contest for all three main parties is now the character of their cut. this is the last time labor will set out a program for government before the next general election, and it is the last time for many m.p.'s who are already planning their own exit. but with an economy under stress, a squeeze on public spending and a war in afghanistan, the next parliament looks certain to receive a difficult political inheritance. >> laura with some themes for us we will discuss in a while. this is the theme in the royal gallery, one of the most
impressive rooms in the palace of west mississippi sister. this is the gallery there which the queen will progress to deliver her speech. here is the great house of lords, opened by queen victoria back in 1947. very little has changed in there since then. and some very familiar faces. lady thatcher is with us, who has not been well in the last few months. good to see her well, and lord kaiser to our left. another familiar face, who is representing the government in all sorts of business matters, a very controversial appointment. he is here for his first queen's speech. there is the former speaker of the house of commons, to be playing a very prominent role today, leading the m.p.'s into
the house of lords to listen to the speech. and an illustration of the split in the chamber. we have the arch bishop of can'ter bury, sitting next to the arch bishop of york, and the bishop of london. >> packed as it always in. and when the lords are in their gowns and their fur of different kind, some of the friendly fur, and a loft the gowns are hired. we are absolutely aware of the financial circumstances, too. lord lamont, i am not sure whether he is wearing a hired gown on his own, but he is having a good time there chatting. can we pick up on the theme that laura introduced us to, which really is the backdrop to today? all the damage that hats been
done by the scandal of the last 12 months. i will ask you, do you feel that there is any sign that parliament is even beginning to take the necessary steps to repair the damage? >> well, it definitely yes, with the establishment of the independent parliament area standards authority, the changes that gordon brown and the government put in place in the immediate aftermath of the expenses scandal, and i think a recognition among every single member of parliament that change is essential. and christopher kelly's proposals may be tough, and they may be rough justice for some members of parliament, but parliament has to accept them. >> we are just going to have a look at the house of cavalry, dismounted attachment. this is the base of the victoria to your, and this is
the norman staircase. this is where the queen will arrive. this is her point of entry. the members of the cavalry will be lining the staircase in effect to protect the queen as she enters the palace at westminster. they traditionally give these roles to younger members of the cavalry. it is a great honor for them. they are being led by someone today who has a lot on his plate, setting out the first stage of the ceremony, making sure everything is in place. they will wait patiently there for the queen to arrive. to pick up on that theme before we talk to some young people who are waiting for us. we are going to talk to some students as well about their perceptions. i am sure they will be interested to know whether you, sarah, think parliament is
impressing people outside with the seriousness of its intent? >> i don't think it is impressing people at all. i think they feel that our attempt to change the expenses system is too little, too late. they think why did it take the scandal being across national newspapers three months to do that? i think they feel that politics itself needs reforming. it is a shame, really, that the government has not chosen to look at thomas things in today's queen's speech. nick has been arguing for a citizens' assembly so we can look at reform of the voting system. that would make a difference in the long-term. if you look at the people who found themselves in the middle of this scandal on expenses, they were much more likely to be in very safe seats. the interesting analysis if you look at who found themselves in real difficulty. if we get rid of the system of safe seats and make sure everybody has to fight for
their seats, that would make a difference. >> what are your constituents telling you, chris, about the row and the response to it? >> i think the expectation is we will continue the job of reforming the system we operate within. i think it will be a test. does the queen's speech also commit the government over the next few months to continuing the process of reform? for example, the kelly report recommended that pay and pensions should be completely outside the control of m.p.'s and should be in the hands of the parliament area standards authority. will we see something in the queen's speech to implement those standards? if we don't, i think we should be challenging gordon brown and others saying why not? do you not understand the seriousness of this, of completing the job of taking the things the that people question out of the control of m.p.'s and pushed into the control of an entirely independent body. >> we will be back for a
response in a moment. let's have a look inside the royal gallery. the yeomen of the guards are on their way in. this is the oldest military corps in existence in britain. they were created by henry the 7th back in 1485. that explains the tudor uniforms. lots of those members are former military physician. but the captain of them is always a chief appointee. he is the deputy whip. so he is among them at the moment. it is still too early to tell how the events of the past year will affect the choices people make on election day. one of the intriguing issues is the effect on young voters. let's go straight to
birmingham. claire marshall is there for us. >> i am here with three young people, all of whom study here at the university, and all of whom will vote for the first time in the next election. let me introduce you to these three. challenge you for joining us. it has been a difficult year for politicians. how do you feel about them? >> a lot of people are dissolutioned about politics and it is sad. personally i'm quite in favor of it. i am looking forward to politics in the next year because i think today we are going to outline policy for local people, how people can be better in the work place and tackling unemployment. >> i don't feel particularly disi will louised, though i think it is very easy to see why young people might feel that way. you go to university and you come out with thousands of pounds of debt at a very young age and high levels of unemployment as well. until the government continues
to make issues about this, young people will fill disengaged. >> what are the politicians doing? are they doing their job? at the moment they have been receiving a lot of attention in the media for things they are doing that may not be accepted or may even be wrong. this is a good opportunity for them, now that they have the public attention, if they can do their job, and the upcoming election will be a great opportunity for them to let the public know what they are about and what their job is. >> how do the population of students feel about them in general? >> students want to be taken seriously, and they care a lot about issues about tuitions and debt. the message students want m.p.'s to know is they will go out and on matters that are important for them. it is not just about going on youtube.
it is about engaging real students and how we can work for you. >> there is a lot of work to be done before the next election. we are going to listen here to the queen's speech, and i will be asking them what they think about it. back to you. >> thank you very much. we will be back in birmingham and asking for responses. it is just a sense of disconnect really. despite all the gestures and talks about connecting in dilt ways with younger voters. you still get them coming up saying we don't feel that this communication is effective. we don't understand what politics is about. we don't really feel we are talking the same language. why is that? >> well, i'm one of the people who -- like the prime minister, who is in favor of lowering the voting age. i also >> why not put in the queen's speech. >> well, you haven't heard the queen's speech yet, sarah. but the queen's speech is about priorities. we have had all this stuff
about how little time there is, so it is about the priorities, making the country better in the time available in this parliament. but in relation to young people, i think that we ought to stop seeing young people as a problem all the time and actually engage their wisdom and ideas about making the policies and policy ideas that we have with all good intention better and more pract cal. last night i was meeting with young people about a big program we are doing as part of the olympics, and they came up with some fantastic ideas that the adults had not thought of, and the program will be better as a result. >> what is interesting about the queen's speech is there will be bills in which people who are not paid like me to distinguish between the party's position. they have slightly different
proposals, but there will be one or two where it is very clear. take education. there is a bill, we have been told that, to guarantee as the government puts it, better standards in schools. the government says it is the government's job to pull the levers to ensure that government makes sure that every school in england will deliver what people want. the opposition will say come on, that is not how things work. good schools are good because they are locally good and ministers often get in their way. that is an interesting idea that has to be debated. >> we will pop in because the next phase of the ceremony is about to begin. these are the gentlemen at arms, another group of her majesty's bodyguards. let's have a look at that color, that banner, because they are celebrating their 500th anniversary this year. the queen presented them with a
new ribbon and color back in june because they were formed as a troop of gentlemen by henry the eighth in 1509, so it is a very special year for them. the gray skies over westminster as the crown as the regallia arrive. this is a signal to the outside world that the queen, too, will be on her way shortly. the crown and the maintenance were brought from the to your of london to buckingham palace last night. days gone by they would have been brought by river, which is why one of the physician in charge here today is called the bargemaster. that is an echo of those times.
the crown jeweler, henry collins, has retrieved the crown and is handing it down to the bargemaster, who will then hand it to the gentleman emerging from the state coach. he is a very central figure today. he is lieutenant general and drew ford. his formal title is controller of the lord champion better lane's office. that is an office in the royal household that deals with garden parties and things of the like. it is his duty to take the imperial state crown into the palace of westminster and put it on display in the gallery, and that is where it will stay until the queen arrives. a good look there at the
imperial state crown, which was made in 1937 for george the sixth. but it is a replica of the crown worn by queen victoria back in 1938. it was refashioned back in 1937 because they wanted a lighter crown. so the lieutenant is on his way with a very conveyorful grip of the 3,000 diamonds under the precious stones. he will turn left into the regallia room where they will change the cushion on which the crown will be displayed. that is the display cushion upon which it will be taken into the royal gallery itself.
the great throne designed by pugen. you see the other familiar figures we have here, lord trim ble, former leader of the d.u.p. in northern ireland. the berrianess is also here. just to the right, we have another former conservative cabinet minister. we have not seen that before. the coat of arms of the supreme court, which has been newly created in britain. the judges of the supreme court
very much in evidence in their grand uniforms today. a very solemn part of today's ceremonial, the carrying of the crown up the sovereign staircase into the royal gallery. it is worth a good look because we don't see this crown very often. it is only seen at the coronation and the state opening of parliament. the queen does not wear this crown at any other time. and the sword of state you can see, and the cap of maintenance. they are two other symbols of royal authority, and they, too, will be placed on display in
the royal gallery as symbols of the queen's power and authority. this is an important hand-over, because the man receiving the crown is a very important figure, the early marshall -- earl marshall, he will be taking part, too, just to the right. you can see him in the crimson cloak. the lord chamberlain has put the crown on display, and it will stay there in the gallery until the queen arrives a lot later, and she will then put on the robes of state and the imperial state crown itself, ready for the procession in state. now, in the chamber of the