Today all the pomp and ceremony - the carriages, the robes, the Coldstream Guards - doesn't just mark the start of a new Parliament, it marks a clean break from the past and a new start for our country.
This Queen's Speech shows what we're all about as a government. It's not a shopping list of superficial, eye-catching goals put together for the party interest, or a wish list to please vested interests. It's a programme of practical, achievable plans drawn up in the national interest.
And this Queen's Speech is different in substance as well as style. Our coalition government has been formed around three key principles: freedom, fairness and responsibility.
We want to build a country that is more free, where government gets off people's backs and trusts in their common sense. A country that is more fair, where every young person believes nothing can hold them back. And a country that is more responsible, where we're all aware of our obligations to each other, where people ask not 'what are my rights?' but 'what are my responsibilities?'.
Of course we can't simply bring this vision into law. But you can see these values running through each and every Bill that was set out today. Freedom - in the Freedom Bill and its proposals to scrap ID cards. Fairness - in our Education Bill and its plans for a pupil premium so that the poorest children go to the best schools, not the worst. Responsibility - in our Welfare Reform Bill and its proposal to cut benefits for those who can work but refuse to work.
You can read a detailed breakdown of the Bills here. As you read you'll see the way this coalition government works. We're about devolving power, not centralising it; trusting people, not dictating to them; saving money, not wasting it. That's how we've started with this Queen's Speech, and that's how we mean to go on.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010