The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.

The Queen's Speech

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House of Lords, Tuesday 17 May 2005

The QUEEN, being seated on the Throne, and attended by Her Officers of State (the Lords being in their robes), commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, through the Lord Great Chamberlain, to let the Commons know, "It is Her Majesty's pleasure they attend Her immediately in this House".

Who being come, with their Speaker:

Her Majesty was pleased to speak as follows:

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"My Government will continue to pursue economic policies which entrench stability and promote long-term growth and prosperity.

"To this end, my Government will continue to secure low inflation and sound public finances.

"My Government will build on their programme of reform and accelerate modernisation of the public services to promote opportunity and fairness. My Government will bring forward legislation in the key areas of public service delivery: education; health; welfare; and crime.

"Education remains my Government's main priority. My Government will further reform the education system to improve quality and choice in the provision of schooling, and build on the progress already made to improve educational standards for all.

"Legislation will be brought forward to offer greater support for working families by extending maternity benefits and improving the provision of childcare.

"My Government will continue to reform the National Health Service in a way that maintains its founding principles. Measures will be brought forward to introduce more choice and diversity in healthcare provision and to continue to improve the quality of health services and hospital hygiene. Legislation to restrict smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces will also be introduced.

"A Bill will be brought forward to support patients who wish to seek redress should they experience problems with their healthcare.

"My Government will continue their reform of the welfare state in order to reduce poverty further, offer greater equality, and match rights with responsibilities.

"My Government will introduce legislation to reform support for housing costs.

"A Bill will be introduced to establish benefits which will facilitate a return to employment, while offering long-term support for those unable to work.

"My Government will begin long-term reform to provide sustainable income for those in retirement.

"A Bill will be introduced to improve protection of consumers by bringing home reversion plans within the scope of the Financial Services Authority.

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"My Government are committed to creating safe and secure communities and fostering a culture of respect.

"Legislation will be taken forward to introduce an identity cards scheme.

"A Bill will be introduced to give police and local communities new powers to tackle knives, guns and alcohol-related violence.

"Further legislation will be introduced to tighten the immigration and asylum system in a way that is fair, flexible, and in the economic interests of the country.

"Proposals will be brought forward to continue the fight against terrorism in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

"My Government will bring forward legislation to reduce reoffending by improving the management of offenders.

"Legislation will be introduced to reform the criminal defence service, making better use of legal aid resources.

"My Government believe that the welfare of the child is paramount. A Bill will be introduced to establish a barring and vetting scheme, and other measures to provide better protection for children and vulnerable adults.

"Legislation will be introduced to safeguard the welfare of children in circumstances of parental separation and to improve the process of inter-country adoption.

"My Government will continue with legislation to provide a new framework for the provision of compulsory treatment of those with mental disorders.

"Legislation will be introduced to modernise charity law, to develop a vibrant, diverse and independent charitable sector.

"My Government will take forward proposals to introduce an offence of corporate manslaughter.

"My Government will bring forward measures to tackle those who incite religious hatred.

"Legislation will be introduced to combat discrimination and to establish the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

"My Government are committed to achieving sustainable development and supporting rural services.

"Legislation will be brought forward to ensure the better management and protection of the natural environment and to provide support for rural communities.

"A Bill to modernise the management of common land will be introduced.

"Legislation will be brought forward to help reduce casualties on the roads.

"My Government are committed to promoting efficiency, productivity and value for money. Legislation will be introduced to streamline regulatory structures and make it simpler to remove outdated or unnecessary legislation.

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"Consumer credit law will be updated to provide greater protection for consumers and to create a fairer, more competitive credit market.

"Company law will be reformed to encourage greater levels of investment and enterprise.

"Members of the House of Commons,

"Estimates for the Public Services will be laid before you.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"My Government will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, and will work to bring about the conditions necessary for the restoration of political institutions in Northern Ireland.

"Legislation will be brought forward to encourage greater voter participation in elections while introducing further measures to combat fraud and increase security.

"Legislation will also be introduced to reform the National Assembly for Wales.

"My Government will bring forward proposals to continue the reform of the House of Lords.

"If London is selected to host the 2012 Olympic Games, legislation will be introduced as soon as possible to establish the necessary powers to ensure the delivery of the games, and that the requirements of the International Olympic Committee are met.

"My Government will establish a single system of service law for the Armed Forces.

"My Government will bring forward a Bill to give effect to the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union, subject to a referendum. Legislation will be introduced to ratify the treaty of accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union.

"Other measures will be laid before you.

"My Government will continue to play their full part in international affairs.

"The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our visit to Canada later today and to our state visit to Malta in November which precedes the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. We look forward to our visit to Australia in March next year for the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, followed by our state visit to Singapore. We also look forward to receiving Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway in the autumn.

"The United Kingdom will take over the Presidency of the European Union in July, and my Government will work to build an increasingly prosperous and secure Europe.

"My Government will use their presidency of the G8 to secure progress in tackling poverty in Africa and climate change.

"My Government will continue to push for a resolution of the conflict in Darfur. 

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"My Government will continue to work to prevent terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and to combat drug smuggling and international crime.

"My Government will work to strengthen commitment to the continued effectiveness of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and continue to contribute to a modern and representative United Nations.

"My Government will work to secure a successful outcome from the United Nations Millennium Review Summit and the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Hong Kong in December.

"My Government will support the Iraq Transitional Government and Transitional National Assembly as they write a constitution and prepare for future elections.

"My Government will continue to assist the government of Afghanistan including in their counter-narcotics efforts, and to support better standards of governance throughout the world. Peace in the Middle East will remain one of my Government's highest priorities.

"My Government will work to deepen and develop the strong partnership between Europe and the United States in order to meet these objectives.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels."

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed at half-past three of the clock: The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Prayers - Read by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool.

Several Lords - Took the Oath or Affirmed.

External Link: The United Kingdom Parliment