The King’s Speech has to be one of the most, if not the most, archaic displays of pomp and pageantry within our democracy.

It wasn’t lost on me, nor on the many millions of workers throughout the country, that – and I say this with respect for differing views on our monarchy – a king sat on a throne wearing more than £3 billion worth of regalia and delivered a pre-prepared sermon from an increasingly reckless Tory government about spending cuts and fiscal responsibility. That’s before we talk about the golden horse-drawn carriage he arrived in.

At a time when so much is being forced on to workers across the country, with cut after cut to their living standards, it’s a pretty evocative image to say the least. It highlights the clear power imbalance within our democratic process that such opulent wealth is, quite literally, paraded before our eyes while working people are being told about the fiscal pain that is to come.

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To be clear, this isn’t a pop at the institution of monarchy. It’s highlighting the quite stark differences in wealth by those at the top of our hierarchical structures who, in turn, make decisions that impact the wealth for those at the bottom. To that end, it’s never been so clear to so many that we need a General election. Badly.

This King’s Speech was a cheap, performative stunt of electioneering by the UK Government, setting out a legislative agenda that played entirely to its base. A legislative programme so light on detail and function that it could probably be laid before Parliament, debated and done and dusted before the Christmas tinsel comes out.

There is no question that we’re in the throes of a dying government that is desperately playing for time. Clinging on to the last vestiges of power before it, with luck, is consigned to opposition and consigned to history.

Long gone are the days, if they ever existed, of a newly elected government governing for the benefit of a nation, whether you voted for it or not. No. This is end-game stuff. This government is throwing as much as it can at the wall in the hope of even a smidgen of an electoral bounce to cling on just that wee bit longer.

It is not going quietly, though. It seems to be intent on causing incredible damage to as many people as it can before it departs. None more so than with the minimum service levels regulations. This heinous legislation – an unwarranted, unnecessary and unmitigated attack on the trade union movement – will reinforce sweeping powers of UK Government ministers within devolved areas of competence.

It will be for the UK Government to tell workers in Scotland who can exercise their human right to withdraw their labour. It’s down to a UK Government minister, who not one worker in Scotland voted for, to decide who gets to fight for a better future and who must, by law, be forced to work.

By its own assessment, the UK Government will pass legislation that could lead to more prolonged disputes between unions and employers. That doesn’t sound at all democratic to me. Minimum service levels aren’t something new, I might add. In fact, it’s something workers have, by agreement with an employer, upheld during periods of industrial action. Providing minimum levels of service to ensure life-and-limb cover within our emergency services, for example, has been a measured and sensible approach to industrial relations for decades.

The UK Government isn’t interested in being either of those things. From it we are seeing the continued demonisation of our movement in a rather unedifying attempt to scapegoat workers. As it has done, and continues to do so, with migrants, the homeless, the unemployed and those on welfare – plus many more besides – the Tory government routinely denigrates those with the least in our society in an attempt to cover for its own failings in administration.

It can’t and it will not work on our movement. We deeply welcome the Scottish Government’s stance of refusing to issue a work notice to any single worker under its employ.

In effect, this is tantamount to a stance of non-compliance. Neil Gray, the Fair Work Secretary, said: “Ministers strongly oppose any Act that undermines legitimate trade union activity and does not respect fair work principles. This is another appalling piece of anti-trade union, anti-worker legislation from Westminster that will harm, not improve, industrial relations.”

That’s precisely the approach we need and we will work with the Scottish Government to see it through. In so far as possible, this must extend to all areas of the workforce in Scotland until we see the back of this UK Government’s attacks on trade union democracy.

It’s not only our democracy that’s under threat here, it’s the principle of democracy in Scotland. It’s the principle of devolution.

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It’s utterly irrelevant whether you’re a supporter of the current Scottish Government or not. What is important is the ability for it to make decisions that benefit the people of Scotland within the devolved legislative framework.

The introduction of minimum service levels, whereby workers in Scotland are at the whim of an unelected UK Government minister, undermines that entire principle and undermines the functions of our executive to do its job.

You cannot credibly hold yourself to the principles of democracy if you’re willing for the devolution settlement to be so wilfully undermined as the UK Government seeks to do.

To that end, it simply must be non-negotiable for Keir Starmer, should he be the next occupant of 10 Downing Street, to scrap the Strikes Bill within the first 100 days of a Labour government. He can go further still. He can devolve in its entirety the devolution of employment law to Scotland, ridding workers here of the last remnants of this anti-worker, anti-trade union Tory government once and for all.