If words could adequately describe the feelings and power of music, I guess we could dispense with music and stick to words.
This rather odd thought came into my mind on Tuesday evening as I enjoyed a rare treat.
I work most Tuesday evenings, but as it was the day before the State Opening of Parliament by The Queen, I could safely go with my family to hear Murray Perahia, one of the world’s most acclaimed pianists.
But music does reach parts of our soul, creating emotions quite beyond words. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is – and I still enjoy going to the occasional gig and reliving my youth – we all need music.
But there’s little about my day job which can be put to music.
Politics and government decision- making is all about words.
So yesterday, the programme for the new session of Parliament was set out, in words (though with plenty of music beforehand), as Her Majesty delivered her speech from the Throne in the House of Lords – “The Queen’s Speech”.
Sessions of Parliament normally last about 12 months.
This one can only last at best six months as there will, by law, be a General Election by June, or maybe earlier.
But I’ve seen such short pre-election sessions where a General Election has been a certainty three times before, and contrary to some of the comment, a lot of business does go through before Parliament is dissolved for the election.
Work has already begun on some bills – those which are ‘carried over’ from the previous session, including one of mine, on constitutional reform.
And we will get cracking on the new items pretty quickly, with a flurry of legislation introduced in the days and weeks ahead.
There has been a debate about how much difference the Queen’s Speech will actually make to the big decision voters make when they go to the polls sometime in the next six months.
The argument runs that it may be a big deal in the “Westminster village”, it doesn’t really affect the country as a whole.
But I think it makes a significant difference.
Sure, not everyone will have tuned in to watch the speech yesterday, but its effects will become quickly apparent as the debates get going in the months ahead. And I’m confident we’ll make a lot of progress.
The issues range from a new national care service to give free personal care to those who need it the most, in their own homes, to measures to deal with the management of flooding and some interesting measures in schools, such as school report cards for parents to keep up with the performance of their child’s school.
For all the impressive finery of the State Opening, and few can deny that it is an impressive ceremony, the issues at the heart of the speech come down to the brass tacks of daily life.