The Gracious Speech has already attracted criticism for the lack of any firm proposals for social care reform (yet again), and the desire to introduce specific identification at polling stations at election time.
As has been pointed out ad nauseam the latter is a remedy for which there is no disease. There are other parts of the electoral system relating to voting in absentia which have enabled large-scale fraud over the years and probably still do so. Is it too cynical to point out that Conservative, as well as Labour, agents have made use of biraderis to harvest absent votes, and ask whether this abuse will be tackled? The only logical reason for introducing photo-ID is to discourage voting by those people least likely to have a passport or driving licence and clearly not those most likely to vote Conservative. The solution floated by Conservative MPs interviewed on TV and radio today was that local authorities could issue, free of charge, a special card to those without any other ID acceptable to the government. Oh, sure, every council of whatever stripe is sure to process such applications speedily and impartially.
I share both those concerns, but there is another which worries me more. Prime minister Johnson and his xenophobic Home Secretary have frequently had their attempts to subvert the rights of citizens and refugees stamped on by the courts. So the intention to "restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts" is ominous.
There is once again the promise to speed up the planning process when, according to the Local Government Association (LGA), the delays in building houses are down to developers not to the planning process, over a million unfulfilled planning permissions remaining outstanding. The LGA feel that what is needed is a measure to incentivise developers to build houses more quickly.
There is a pledge to establish in law a new Building Safety Regulator to ensure that the tragedies of the past are never repeated. There is no mention of a need to restore the fire safety regulations torn up by the Thatcher government and not reconsidered by any successive administration.
"Legislation will increase sentences for the most serious and violent offenders and ensure the timely administration of justice". This will need extra prisons to be built in a country which is second only to the United States in the number of its citizens which it locks up. What is more likely, of course, is that the government will reclassify more prisons as Category A and release more convicts well short of their full term.
Finally, will the promise to "simplify procurement in the public sector" mean that more contracts will be awarded without the safeguards of a tendering process?