Nearly seven weeks ago Jacob Rees-Mogg and two of his political colleagues travelled up to Scotland to meet with Her Majesty the Queen and as a result she is due to arrive at the Palace of Westminster to perform a speech today which will have been prepared on behalf of Boris Johnson. No doubt the three men made a series of suggestions that they saw as credible regarding why such an event would need to take place so early in the Autumn season and why doing so also required a major closure of Parliament in the meantime. As we all now know the decision to close down Parliament for so long was rejected by the Supreme Court and Parliament so that was one gap in the proposals made by Jacob and his mates. As the Queen knew when they came over, that throughout her reign, there have been only two years when a speech was required during October. These years were 1958 and 1959 and both took place on either the 27th or 28th October. Most of the other 48 Autumnal speeches took place in the 2nd or 3rd week of November or even into December, so today’s speech is two weeks earlier than the other October speeches and at least a month earlier than most of the others. However rather like the call for Parliament to be prorogued, it appears that the Queen is given very little choice about such matters and one imagines she was only handed the speech a few days ago with strict instructions regarding what to say. The content is presumably something she has little opportunity to amend and she must know full well that no sooner has she finished speaking that members of Parliament will return to reflecting and debating with one another what the outcome of this week’s EU summit will be and what deal if any that Johnson will return from the summit with. Indeed the fact that they are all going to have to show up in Parliament on Saturday will make them very focused on what that day will achieve for our nation, particularly as it will take place while a large number of voters will be walking and campaigning outside of their workplace, calling for a referendum to take place to enable them to also have a say on that issue. Add to this set of issues, the Queen like the rest of us knows that her speech will be ignored by most MPs who apparently want another election to take place in a few days and that will then lead to yet another Queens Speech needing to take place, even if Johnson is reappointed as our Prime Minister.
Given this scenario it would fantastic if Elizabeth Windsor decided that for once she was going to ignore the speech text she had been presented with and instead she was going to speak based on her own view of how things have progressed since the end of August. How frustrated she was to have her holiday interrupted and for the incoherent matters that appear to have dominated the Government since then, and indeed she could also raise the profile for the positive debates that have taken place in Westminster since the Supreme Court’s decision. She could also raise her support for the public concerns regarding the environmental chaos our world is facing which is getting very little response from her own Government. Given that she is someone who understands very well the positive elements of the Commonwealth she must have some views about the strength and the weakness of the EU and how we should engage with a set of neighbours that offer a major economic and political partnership to our nation. Perhaps she could also raise her concerns about the impact in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon that our military weapons are having on innocent people and the damage created by the American approach on locations such as Syria. Given that Her Majesty is probably very well connected to people such as Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin perhaps she could also take a lead from the recent interview that Rose carried out in the Parliamentary House Magazine in which she stated MPs “have a responsibility to be careful, however passionately they feel about the subject matter” and she pointed out that politicians need to be “careful” about the language they use and that “History will show us that we’ve gotten it completely wrong. The kind of discourse that we had back in 2016 around Brexit contributed to the death of Jo Cox” Of course all of these suggestions are naïve as no doubt Her Majesty will feel obliged to stick rigidly to the script that Johnson and his team of advisers have handed to her even though the words will be temporary!