Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For many on the European mainland it may just be the best opportunity to see some Royal Folklore, few realize that the British Empire still exists in many ways and distant nations may listen with more interest to the Queen's Speech than British citizens. Well, they were listening in vain hoping for a glimpse of support to international rule of law, apart from hosting a NATO conference.
It was of course the day of David Cameron if not of George Osborne, the strategist behind the British treasury, setting out the plans for their final year in office. Bearing that in mind the only relevant remark made was the reference to an updated charter for budget reponsibility (already presented in March) that should ensure that future governments would spend tax-payers money responsible. A new and independent Office of Budget Responsibility will be staffed with good old friends I suppose, ensuring that any labour or populist-government would continue to walk the liberal fiscal path set-out by Osborne, keeping his legacy alive.
It was mainly a domestic agenda that featured in the Queens Speech. No mention of a global race – competing alongside new centres of enterprise around the world for investment and jobs that can move anywhere, like in Osborne's 2013 budget speech. The rest of the world only featured in the climate change agenda and some geopolitical considerations around Ukraine and Russia. No reference to global inequality figures, despite the strive for a fairer society at home. That reference should not be taken too serious though, as those that work hard should continue to reap the benefits of their labour, as if having work is not a priviledge. In that regard the reference to the prevention of modern slavery and human trafficking may also be read differently. It could refer to modern slavery at home rather than far away. And the concern about trafficking probably refers to the trafficked indidviduals that have already ended-up in these 'jobs'. That trafficking is a global phenomenon and may require global solutions is not necessarily considered.
Also support for military engagement in other countries to protect international human rights is dwindling. Syria is only refered to as a humanitarian situation. Afghanistan is in the picture due to some past commitments that the UK wants to get rid of in a fashionable way. The third reference to foreign policy concerned the comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran. I wonder whose nuclear program will benefit from a comparative advantage afterwards. It seems all other foreign policy is left to the market. It is rather silent economic diplomacy that is practiced by Brittain in Brittain, unlike in the Netherlands where we aim to be transparent in these things, with no one questioning Hosting the financial controls of those markets in London should do I suppose.
The Queen's speech clearly indicated that those with posessions should feel safe in the UK, including their families. The UK already is host to the worlds' top financial businesses partners. Prince Charles recently hosted a high-level conference on inclusive capitalism. Mr. Osborne in turn promises the Welch people to benefit a bit more from their presence, still believing in the ever living myth of trickling down. Will the City be allowed for a reboot of the system as the doctrine of inclusive capitalism seems to prescribe? The systemic change that is required may not necessarily be in the interest of the current global elite.
Finally, the freedom of labour that has been encouraged has contributed to a rise in self-employed uninsured individuals. The National Insurance schemes will need to be able to tap into this new market segment. Hence, legislation will be introduced for just doing that. In other words: the City should not worry as taxes and interests remain low. However, startups should pay for social service delivery by contributing to national insurance schemes.
"Other measures will be laid before you..." Queen Elisabeth
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.