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We live in crazy times. Her Majesty has delivered a speech listing the government's legislative programme which is almost certain to be defeated in the House of Commons.

At the same time, the Chancellor has announced that he will be delivering his first Budget on 6th November. The chances of this happening are almost zero.

It is almost as if ministers are living in a parallel universe to the rest of us. Boris leads a minority government and has yet to win a vote in the House of Commons! He acts, however, with the confidence of a PM with a massive overall majority.

And yet behind the wonderful pomp and circumstance, a clever political strategy is being implemented by the PM and his inner circle. Hence the howls of false outrage from his political opponents. They are scared.

Today's Queen's Speech was a juicy foretaste of the Tory election manifesto. The themes are beginning to emerge: Tough on law and order. Fairness for people in old age. Support for the police and the armed services. Spend even more on the NHS. Look after the environment and, most importantly of all, be nice to animals!

Of course, the actual Tory manifesto will contain specific promises to win those extra votes in the key northern constituencies which are critical for Boris. That said, today's draft legislative programme is smart, populist and popular.

Underpinning everything is Brexit and on this critical issue Boris has exceeded everyone's expectations. Last week's meeting with the Irish PM didn't just happen. It was the culmination of many weeks of detailed negotiations involving the PM's most senior advisers. Whether or not it results in Brexit happening on 31st October, the mood music has changed. Boris has tried to get a deal. If it doesn't happen, it won't be his fault. Or at least that is the narrative.

So, we are watching a surreal drama being played out in front of our eyes. All we need now is a white rabbit! For all the humour, however, Boris is being very serious and smart. This is why his more sensible political opponents are desperate to avoid an election which they know they will lose!

43 votes

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