Well, for those of you who missed it, Gordon Brown’s mangy fluffy rabbit turned out to be a clutch of “guarantees” for young jobseekers.
There was a “January guarantee”, which he said was better than the “September guarantee”. Then there was a “one day guarantee” (which sounds dangerously like telling some that that they will get a job “one day”) and a “graduate guarantee”, which is nothing to do with Dustin Hoffman. Read more
Brace yourselves. Somewhere in Downing Street, a mangy fluffy rabbit is being lovingly groomed, ready for Gordon Brown to proudly present it to the Commons, less than an hour from now.
It is a Brown trick so old he probably picked it up in Scottish student politics. Last year, you may remember the prime minister looked in his hat and found a mortgage interest holiday for struggling homeowners. Read more
There is one interesting omission from the Queen’s Speech: the Pope.
This was going to be the day when the Queen would tell parliament that she had invited the Pontiff for a state visit next year. But there was no mention, suggesting his visit may well be on the same “pastoral basis” as Pope John Paul II’s six-day tour in 1982. Read more
Her Majesty is about to speak, setting out the agenda for the final legislative period before the election. The most important bill is likely to be on financial services, which you can read about here and here. Just remember as we listen to the Queen that some of the bills may well not pass: with a maximum of 70 legislative days of this parliament left, the Lords have a lot of power. We’ll have a story on FT.com as soon as the Queen is finished.