oris Johnson has faced two huge challenges since he became prime minister nearly two years ago. He faced a parliamentary deadlock over Brexit and no sooner had he broken it he was plunged into the Covid-19 crisis. So he has excuses for a Queen’s Speech with almost nothing in it. But they are excuses.
One of the qualities of a successful government is being able to do more than one thing at a time. Which is why it was so disappointing that there was nothing in the government’s legislative programme on social care, or on levelling up, its latest vogue slogan.
When Johnson stood on the threshold of No 10 he seemed to recognise that his government had to do more than sort out Brexit; that was why he said he had a social care plan ready to go. As soon as the black door closed behind him, though, he was surrounded by officials who told him what an excellent plan it was and how brave he was to propose it. It hasn’t been heard of since, and it wasn’t in the Queen’s Speech today.