Tories love cruelty to animals: They overruled Lords to ensure laws are still written on goat- and calfskin

[Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA.]


This is a story about cruel Tories continuing to inflict harm on animals in whatever mean-spirited ways they can. It has nothing to do with tradition.

Recording laws on archival paper rather than vellum (which is made of goat- and calfskin) will save around £80,000 every year, and the House of Lords has indicated a desire to do so.

But Cabinet Office minister and utter swine Matthew Hancock has said the government will continue to use animal skins.

This is not about respect for tradition – Tories haven’t respected any other traditions that got in the way of their cuts and profiteering.

This is about continuing a practice of cruelty to animals, for the sake of it.

For more on the unthinking cruelties of Matthew Hancock, look here, and here, and here.

The 1,000-year-old practice of recording laws on goat and calf skin will continue, a minister has said, days after the House of Lords signalled that the tradition would end.

Peers said printing two copies of each act of parliament, one for the parliamentary archives and one for the National Archives, on parchment known as vellum was “extremely expensive”.

A switch to archival paper, which can survive for up to 500 years, had been expected to save around £80,000 a year.

But Matt Hancock, minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said the technique was “cost-effective”.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “Recording laws on vellum is a millennium-long traditions and surprisingly cost-effective. While the world constantly changes, we should safeguard some of our great traditions.”

Source: Lords overruled again on ending recording of laws on vellum | Politics | The Guardian

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12 thoughts on “Tories love cruelty to animals: They overruled Lords to ensure laws are still written on goat- and calfskin

  1. NMac

    Hancock doesn’t hold back when it comes to claiming expenses. I believe he is one of the highest claimers of public money for his own use, he just resents poorer people claiming anything at all.

  2. Tony Dean

    What is the problem, (seriously), the skins are a by product, would you prefer the skins were thrown away? Vellum has a wide range of uses.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s symbolic. They’re still using animal skins to write laws because they can. Far more economical to switch to the paper suggested by the Lords, but these Tories only want to save money when it harms the poor.

      1. Tony Dean

        Mike Vellum, is the best for the job, it last for thousands of years. I would not want to put a bet on digital recordings lasting a 100 years.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Why would we want it to last for thousands of years? Most laws are ephemeral, and those that aren’t can be copied if the paper wears out.

  3. John Sims

    I think you’re over-reacting here Mike. The reason we still have the dead sea scrolls is because they were written on vellum and not paper. We should really listen to expert archivists opinions instead of knee-jerk responses. What is more interesting is that nobody thinks we can keep anything long term on digital media, yet this is where most of us are heading!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The answer to your argument is that Acts of Parliament are ephemeral; they aren’t meant to last forever. The Dead Sea Scrolls were.
      The fact is that our record-keeping – and the dissemination of published records – is now of such a standard that anything we need to have saved, will be.

  4. Tony Dean

    Mike if you as a journalist don’t know why we want it to last thousands of years I really do despair.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It will last anyway. As long as it is recorded somewhere – and it is – then there is no reason to use animal skins for it. The mere idea is symbolic of the atavistic barbarism that Conservatives represent.
      There are synthetic materials that are better suited to the job, now.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Not when it costs £80,000 per year more, it doesn’t. It simply reinforces the fact that Conservatives need to be nasty to animals, as I suggested.

Comments are closed.