York Green Party response to the King’s speech

the king and queen in all their royal regalia in the House of Lords, Charles reading the King's speech

I put a couple of things on social media mainly around the new gas and oil licences and gave some quotes to the press on this topic as it is the most likely we get quoted on. For our website, I would propose a more comprehensive reflection and drafted the below:

York Green Party’s Take on the King’s Speech: Another Missed Opportunity for Progressive Change

Reflection on Climate and Environmental Action

Today’s King’s Speech has proven to be a mixed bag, presenting a government clinging to dated and harmful energy policies. As York Green Party, we were dismayed to witness a commitment to expand oil and gas licensing in the North Sea—a direct affront to the urgent needs of our climate. “At a time when decisive action is necessary, we’re seeing a dangerous detour into fossil fuel dependency that our planet simply cannot afford,” remarks Lars Kramm, our parliamentary spokesperson.

While the government pays lip service to environmental concerns with measures like the ban on cattle exports for fattening and slaughter, the substantive action needed—embodied in Green MP Caroline Lucas’s proposed Bills—is conspicuously absent from the agenda. What’s more, the welcomed ban on the import of hunting trophies is disappointingly omitted, signaling a worrying disregard for biodiversity and conservation.

Assessing the Legislative Priorities

The Speech laid out a legislative program that, to our concern, recycles old ideas rather than innovating for the future. Nearly a third of the ‘new’ laws are carryovers from previous sessions or reiterations of existing proposals, demonstrating a lack of fresh, transformative vision.

In crime and justice, while harsher sentencing for heinous crimes and measures to bolster victim rights stand out, there is a notable absence of comprehensive reform to address the roots of crime and promote rehabilitation over punishment.

The proposals around policing and security—such as greater access to personal data and new police powers—raise significant questions about civil liberties that must be scrutinized thoroughly.

In housing, the limited action on leaseholds and the delayed implementation of ‘no-fault’ eviction bans show a reluctance to robustly tackle the housing crisis.

Missing the Mark on Social Issues

On social changes, the King’s Speech introduces a phased ban on smoking and regulations on vaping but fails to address broader public health challenges, including access to mental health services and the effects of poverty on health outcomes.

In technology and media, while consumer rights online and self-driving car frameworks are up for discussion, the deeper issues of digital privacy and media monopoly remain unaddressed.

Furthermore, the Speech glosses over significant social reforms. The lack of commitment to banning conversion therapy, despite years of promises, speaks to the government’s faltering resolve on LGBTQ+ issues.

Concluding Thoughts

It is clear that the government’s priorities, as laid out in the King’s Speech, do not fully align with the pressing issues facing our society and our environment. York Green Party stands in staunch opposition to the regressive steps proposed for our energy policy and urges a reimagining of our approach to justice, social welfare, and public health.

As Lars concludes, “We must not be distracted by a legislative agenda that does not even tinkers at the edges of progress. It is time for bold actions that address the core challenges of our times: climate change, social inequality, and the need for a just transition to a sustainable future.”

We invite all members and supporters to join us in advocating for meaningful change and holding the government accountable to the needs of people and the planet.

For a greener, fairer, and more just tomorrow.

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