Cut through the meaningless pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament and what does the Tory Government’s new law-making programme mean for the people of the North East?
More cuts to vital local services, that is what. Plus more tax breaks for the rich, financed by benefit cuts for the poor and needy.
Ignore the smokescreen of petty announcements in the Queen’s Speech, written by David Cameron and his cronies, and you see the true Tory agenda: the planned renewal of Trident nuclear weapons, a continued squeeze on public spending, and signals of yet more cuts to welfare.
Against that background, David Cameron and George Osborne have failed on the deficit, failed on the debt, failed on productivity, and failed to rebalance the economy.
It is true that the Government has been forced to back down on a series of proposals in recent months – most recently on forced academisation of all England’s schools and an attack on payments to the disabled.
But those were brought about by an effective parliamentary opposition, not out of the goodness of Mr Cameron’s heart.
The right-wing agenda behind the PR remains, although the ineffectiveness of a prime minister standing down before the next general election is becoming increasingly clear. Jeremy Corbyn was right when he branded the Government a “driverless car heading in the wrong direction”.