May 27th - Queen's Speech outlines 26 new laws, main items being an EU referendum, tax freeze, right to buy, benefit cap reduced by £3000, trade union controls, HS2, childcare, national security. Full list at this BBC News page and a more critical review at this Guardian page. Omitted for this session were two Tory promises - replacing the EU Human Rights Bill and a repeal of the Hunting Act.
May 7th - To everyone's surprise the Conservatives gained a majority of 12 and formed the government. In spite of the fact that only a third of voters actually voted for them, the Tories claimed a 'clear mandate' for their manifesto and set about implementing it.
In view of their poor results the leaders of the Labour, Libdem and UKIP parties resigned within days of the election.
COMMENT / ANALYSIS
ERS Study Shows 2015 election result to be most disproportionate in UK history.
"Shortly after the election, a petition was organised and 478,000 names signed the call for electoral reform. It was delivered to Number 10. Unfortunately for reformers, that is the one address in the UK least likely to be interested in changing the way we elect governments. David Cameron is the last person who is going to be interested in reforming a voting system that has just converted a minority of the vote into all the spoils of power. When he looks at first past the post, far from seeing a broken system, he sees one that has just worked perfectly for him."
from Andrew Rawnsley's Article in The Observer 31st May
Right to buy is a regressive policy making affordable homes ever scarcer.
"The Institute For Fiscal Studies said it would “worsen the UK’s underlying public finance position”. Often a terrible-looking government policy comes with some redeeming features or hidden logic, but not this bad imitation of Thatcherism. It is plain terrible."
from Rowan Moore's Article in The Observer 31st May
Benefit cap in Queen's Speech could drop 40,000 children into poverty
"Benefit Ministers claim changes to the cap contained in the forthcoming employment and welfare benefits bill will deliver fairness for the taxpayer “while continuing to provide support for those in greatest need”.
But an internal government assessment, seen by the Guardian, shows that if parents are unable to find extra work the policy will put 40,000 more children on or below the official poverty line, on top of the 50,000 already affected under the current rate."
from Patrick Butler and Shiv Malik Article in The guardian 29th May
Glaring omission in Queen's Speech is any substantial action on climate change
""The evidence in favour of urgent action could not be clearer, yet the Government is set to sit idly by . Credible solutions to tackle climate change and rebuild our economy exist, but the lack of environmental policy in this Queen’s Speech shows that the Government is failing in its responsibility to future generations."
from Caroline Lucas speech on Green Party Website
£12bn in welfare cuts will hit the poorest and the weakest in our society
"That budget, not this Queen’s Speech, will be the moment we can judge whether the Conservative belief in One Nation is for real."
read Nick Clegg's full response on the LibDem Website
The Tories have declared war on the trade unions
"One of the government’s first bills will make striking virtually impossible. Sajid Javid, the new business secretary, will outlaw any strike not voted for by at least 40% of eligible union members. Turnouts must reach 50%."
from Polly Toynbee's Article in The Guardian 14th May