House of Lords Over-Turn the vote.
Despite the House of Commons unanimously voting to continue with the use of vellum, a small committee from the House of Lords have refused to give way. This committee, headed by Sir Paul Beresford, totalled 7 people. During their discussion 5 voted to stop using vellum, 2 voted to continue. A majority of 3.
Lets think about that. A majority of 3
The combined electorate represented by the MP’s that voted to continue with the use of vellum is approximately 8.6 million.
So, 3 unelected Lords can ignore the will of 8.6 Million voters. I am now dumbfounded as to the workings of ‘British Democracy’, for if this is an indicator of ‘listening to the peoples chosen representatives’, one can only assume that ‘democracy’ was the first casualty in a battle of the “High and Mighty vs Common Man”.
Throughout this saga there has been a continual stream of ‘questionable information’. “Savings in excess of £100k”. “Specialist printing machinery required to produce the Acts”. “Archival paper is of equal stature to Vellum”. Poppycock, complete and utter balderdash. The difference in cost between vellum and archival paper is £23k per annum. Fact. The cost to print should be the same for either medium. Fact. Paper simply will not last as long as vellum. Fact. I question the motives of anyone that would so blatantly mislead the media, and, even after a very public debate and subsequent vote, DICTATE that “my will be done”. As an aside, the annual rental on a ministerial Jaguar exceeds £23K
This decision is in defiance of the undertaking of 1849, which determined that BOTH Houses must be in agreement if the use of vellum was to cease. This is clearly not the case.
In addition to the pressure that we continue to apply, I am in discussion with a small number of UK based companies that have shown an interest in ‘Sponsoring” the use of vellum. As you can imagine, to be associated with such a noble cause is very appealing. Should there be other companies or associations that wish to be considered, please let me know.
I close by whole-heartedly thanking all of those that rallied to the cause. We have shouted from the roof-tops and given voice to our thoughts. We may have lost the battle, but the war is far from over.