How the Queen's Speech got my goat

 

Oh dear. The Queen's Speech has already got my goat. Let me explain.

I reported this morning that the Gracious Speech is written on vellum with ink that takes three days to dry so it cannot be amended at the last minute. True... until recently but, apologies, I now learn it is not any more. I regret to have to report that the goat has fallen victim to the age of austerity. This year's speech will be written on plain - or, in truth, rather posh - paper.

"Going goat" is still a phrase used in Whitehall to describe the moment when the Queen's Speech has to be finalised and sent to the Palace for Her Majesty's approval. That is several days before it is delivered.

This year that meant it was completed before not after the local elections which, as I reported, meant that the measures announced could not be a response to UKIP's triumph at the polls.

Analysis right. Fact wrong. Sorry.

PS I blame Fergie trauma for my error...

UPDATE 2pm: When is a goat not a goat? When does a mea culpa become not so culpa after all?

Just when you thought Goatgate had been cleared up, along comes the official line: It is not on vellum anymore. It is on "goatskin parchment paper" but confusingly it's not actually goatskin. However it is very high quality, thick paper, which is why the ink takes several days to dry, and it then needs to be bound into a booklet, before being sent on to Her Majesty for signing. So it did have to go to the printers last week. And the paper does have the watermark of a goat....

That's enough goats - Ed

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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    Comment number 61.

    53. Its been a very long time since there has been even a semblance of representative government.

    The BBC if it wishes to support the idea its reporting is unbiased should question the relevance of a party system in a progressive democracy.

    I think a delegative system in which parties have no place is the way to go. But it will be a long haul to educate citizens to become participants.

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    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 59.

    I thought your coverage of the State Opening very chippy, Nick. Every opportunity was taken to trivialise the traditional side. I am surprised no-one has demanded to know the cost of it all.... Same old BBC....

  • rate this
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    Comment number 58.

    #44. jon112dk
    "After years of successful oppression, a non-nazi party openly raised the issue we are not allowed to speak of.
    I'm not that keen on UKIP as a national government - but well done for this."

    Is that the sound of a closet door opening?
    Your old adversary Steve_M-H will be chuffed.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 57.

    37saga
    Come on, let's not scapegoat Nick for the BBC's lack of hard news and analysis:
    ~
    But with so many goats around, he should be able to count to three with a calendar. Even if he doesn't use his fingers, goats have four legs so that should have the Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon count from the elections sorted. ;-)

 

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