For students, the Queen’s speech should be a call to action | Malia Bouattia

On mental health, EU citizens’ rights and counter-extremism, there is an opportunity for student campaigners to make a real difference

The Queen’s speech was a dream come true for no one – except perhaps foxes, who will be relieved that there was no further mention of hunting. But for students, it was a mixed bag.

The speech was light on detail and heavy on Brexit. For the 84% of voting students who were opposed to leaving the EU, the future it outlined is exactly what we didn’t want. But there were silver linings: the announcement of plans to abolish letting agent fees and to bring forward legislation protecting victims of domestic violence, for instance. There are also plans to tackle the gender pay gap.

Related: NUS president Malia Bouattia: ‘Political activists are being demonised’

Related: Three steps to building a successful student campaign

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Queen’s speech: what the Tories’ overhauled priorities may look like

Party’s manifesto plans will change in wake of election, with possible shifts in stance on Brexit, grammar schools and social care

The first Queen’s speech of the new parliament will be nothing like as ambitious as Theresa May had hoped, given the Conservative party’s lack of an overall majority and the need to rely on the Democratic Unionist party of Northern Ireland to pass legislation. Only a handful of key policies are likely to survive:

Related: Tom Watson asks May: did Murdoch request Gove’s return to cabinet?

Related: Q&A: how will the UK election result affect Brexit talks?

Related: Can party politics be set aside to save social care? | Paul Burstow

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Breaking down can be the best way to deal with despair | Letters

Hollie Brader wonders if ‘this will not break us’ is the right way to respond to the Manchester attack

Morrissey managed to articulate a feeling that I’ve often struggled to express (Suzanne Moore, G2, 25 May). I’ve always found it deeply troubling when politicians use rhetoric following a horrifying attack such as “this will not break us”. In my mind, the phrase “not breaking” is associated with remaining the same, sticking to the same principles and regime. But, is this really what we should be doing? Refusing to address the underlying causes of such atrocities?

Little wonder that the mental health of this country is in such dire straits, with millions of people grappling with anxiety and depression. If we’re forever told that we mustn’t be broken, even when we read in the news about children screaming in terror, how can we not be broken? I certainly am. My heart is broken for the families of those needlessly killed in Manchester and my spirit feels defeated when I hear about children fleeing for their lives in Syria. If we’re constantly told that we should not be broken, if we suppress these feelings of fear and despair, then what good can possibly come of that? If I had lost someone in the Manchester attack, I would be angry that politicians could believe that I’m capable of not breaking, when my whole world had been shattered.

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