That there is a need for urgent and massive reform became visually very obvious yesterday

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Yesterday's state opening of Parliament looked like the last gasp of a dying era.

The absence of the Queen made it clear that it is inevitable that her reign will end sometime in the not too distant future. At 96 anyone's time is limited.

Prince Charles looked bored, sounded bored, and simply highlighted the absurdity of a world of baubles, bangles and stupid rituals, all of which seem utterly meaningless now.

As second in line, Prince William looked like a spare part.

And the Prime Minister and Keir Starmer both know that their fates are going to in some way be determined by fixed penalty notices. It is quite possible neither will be around in a year's time.

The pomp is, I presume, meant to indicate permanence when all is in a state of flux.  It failed to deliver as badly as the government did in the actual speech in that case. What was meant to indicate the perpetual nature of government looked tired, worn, out of touch, irrelevant and in dire need of being swept away so that a modern government could be created, not based on ritual fawning to an establishment of those with retired military privilege and Ruritanian costumes always intended to indicate that only a few could partake in this process.

I am rarely inclined to feel especially revolutionary, but watching this, and hearing a speech in which the government said it would tackle the cost of living crisis and announced nothing at all to make that happen it was hard not to feel as if we need to clear all this away and start again.

I doubt I will be on any barricade. It's not my style. I do my demonstrating online, by and large, whilst wondering for how long that too will be permitted. But the sense that rising anger at a government so indifferent, so out of touch with need, and so bereft of ideas on how to tackle absolutely anything that is important might just lead to real change was hard to suppress. I would prefer this be done peacefully, of course. That will always be my wish. But that there is a need for urgent and massive reform became visually very obvious yesterday. If the state and people of this country are to remain in a fruitful relationship in this country it has to happen.