The Queen has defended criticism of her official speech at the State Opening of Parliament, insisting that the policies announced within had better be carried out, regardless of who wins the next general election, or there will be trouble.
Her Majesty was responding to allegations from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats that the speech, delivered yesterday in the House of Lords, was little more a thinly-veiled pre-election manifesto for the Labour Party.
“This is simply not the case,” Queen Elizabeth said, in a rare press conference this morning. “It’s a common misconception that the incumbent government writes my speeches, in order to set out their policies for the coming year. I’m perfectly capable of writing my own speech, thank you.”
Conservative leader David Cameron, who is expected to sweep to power in 2010, had accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of engineering the Queen’s speech to resemble a “Labour press release”. His comments provoked a scornful response from the Sovereign.
“I’m not a puppet of the government — quite the opposite in fact,” the Queen retorted. “When I say ‘My government will do this’ or ‘My government will do that’, I mean just that: they’re my government, and they will ruddy well do what I say.”
“If I tell them to jump in front of a bus or throw themselves off a cliff, I expect them to do that too,” she added, angrily jabbing a finger at journalists.
Given the government’s dismal showing in the polls, political commentators have questioned the inclusion in the speech of plans for 13 new bills. With the general election due to take place before June next year, many have noted that this would not leave enough time for all of the bills to be passed. The Queen responded to this by saying she expected any Conservative administration to stick as rigidly to the pledges in her speech as the current government would.
“I don’t care who’s in power next year — they’ll do as they’re told,” the Monarch insisted, before adding: “When I say I want something doing, it had better f***ing get done…or else.”