Her Majesty's Gracious Speech 2001: Debate on the Address

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Her Majesty's Gracious Speech 2001: Debate on the Address
Rt. Hon. Callum Finch MP | Labour Party
Member of Parliament for Burton (1992-present)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Leader of the Labour Party

Secretary of State for Defence (2000-2001)
Government Chief Whip & Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (2000-2001)
Thanks given by:
Omari Omondi MP
Member of Parliament for Tooting (1997-)
Secretary of State for Public Services 
Labour Party

Thanks given by:
MP for Cambridge (1992 - )
Thanks given by:
Belinda MacDonald
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom | Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Secretary of State for Energy & the Environment | Leader of the House of Commons
Member of Parliament for Western Isles
Thanks given by:
Sir Harold Saxon MP

Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition

MP for Aylesbury

Thanks given by:
The Ayes to the Right, 365. 
The Noes to the Left, 290.
The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. Unlock!

Breakdown (Yes/Noe/Abstain):
Labour: 362/0/1
Conservative: 0/217/0
Liberal Democrat: 0/50/0
UUP: 0/10/0
SNP: 0/6/0
Plaid: 0/3/0
SDLP: 3/0/0
Sinn Fein: 0/0/2
DUP: 0/2/0
UK Unionist: 0/1/0
Independent: 0/1/0
Speaker: 0/0/1

Note: Votes were marked considering the party MPs were in as they voted.
Head Admin.
Admin Responsible for the Houses of Parliament. (Also Cabinet&PM stuff).
Conservative Party advisor.

“In politics, guts is all.” - Barbara Castle.

Thanks given by:
Labour: 12/20
Labour maybe weren’t quite as thwarted as some thought – that’s mostly because the two government cheerleaders that did take part, Barbara Bond & Alwyn Thomas, really did a fantastic job cheering it on and their contributions were some of the best.
Where they were lacking was Finch’s speech – I know government can be tiring, and I know in Parliamentary debates size doesn’t matter, but Finch’s speech didn’t show much energy or enthusiasm, and didn’t go through to deconstruct Saxon’s arguments (though the ones you did respond to you tackled somewhat effectively). Saxon’s critiques, and your response, are also the bits the public and media will tune into most. You need more zeal, more passion and more fire if you’re going to want to win a QS debate, and to be blunt you didn’t show much of that.
Conservatives: 14.5/20
With all the media storms, this was yours to win. And you did. You really effectively sunk your teeth into the government on a variety of issues – particularly the euro and senate – and it hurt. And Harold Saxon’s speech was good. Possibly for the first time, he appeared at least semi statesman like, by welcoming or even thanking the government for certain actions, it was witty (I liked the dollar/pound/euro jab, in particular) and well written. Really well done on that.
Where I’d criticise is to warn the Tories to dig into the meat of policy a little bit more – yes, the Deputy PM may have bonked someone she really shouldn’t have and yes, Ministers have turned against the speech, but that alone won’t bring down a government. Most of you needed to make more of an effort to say what about the policy made it so bad other than to say it’s bad, and to offer an alternative.
Oh, also, criticising platitudes or saying things are too vague as a criticism in this particular debate isn’t going to fly. I know this happens every year in the QS on PolUK – but I’m making it clear that habit has to end if you want to really undermine it. You’re not going to get a super intricate blueprint, Her Maj has things to do and there’s the rest of the legislative year for that: the government is producing a broad vision, and it’s the chunk of that vision or the principle of the policies you should be critiquing.
Influence Points Awarded to:
Alwyn Thomas: For potentially the best contribution of the debate. You really, really effectively savaged the Tories and the fact nobody really engaged with what you said made it sink in all the more. Had this been followed with other people in your team making equally strong contributions, you’d have smashed this QS against all odds.
Samuel Burman: For doing what the Tories didn’t do as effectively as they should’ve and really sunk your teeth into the policy and the broad vision of foreign policy, and making some really effective points – Thomas gave a barnstorming speech, so that you effectively countered him showed this was a solid contribution.
Harold Saxon: For a really solid critique of the QS. You ticked a lot of the boxes – bad dad jokes, tick. Thanking the government for getting it right (but making it clear you got it right first), tick. Criticising the government effectively where they got it wrong, tick. Most crucially, for the first time you showed a glimmer of a statesman like demeanour, which is important for your image. Well done.
Barbara Bond: For a passionate speech that gets to the heart of the government’s agenda – that is it about helping people and it’s a good step forward for progressives. Harriet Roth has been a pain in the backside for the government, so to see someone on the left champion the government has been good for them.
Michael Kirton: Was this speech fair? I mean, arguably not, but it was savage all the same and it did hurt a lot. Just make sure you don’t swing the blade so passionately you cut yourself in future.
Head Admin.
Admin Responsible for the Houses of Parliament. (Also Cabinet&PM stuff).
Conservative Party advisor.

“In politics, guts is all.” - Barbara Castle.

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