Each year, the Queen's speech, often delivered in the wake of a local election drubbing for the governing party, is presented as the moment of a political fightback. It is the start of a new political year, and the government's instinct is to claim this as a turning point. Downing Street's aim is to impose coherence on what is necessarily an arbitrary collection of bills that have fought their way to the front of the legislative queue.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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