A Week in the Life of Matt Ridley

February 19, 2015 5:25 PM

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A Week in the Life of Matt Ridley

An unprecedented moment: All four surviving original engrossments of Magna Carta are brought together in Parliament for the first time to mark the great charter’s 800th anniversary. Peering at the dingy documents, I try to make out the famous clauses that establish the principle that taxation requires the consent of the kingdom and that this consent must be given by an assembly of barons—the origin of the House of Lords in which I now serve.

Pre-13th-century technology trips up the House of Lords a few days later. When a vote is called, members have eight minutes to get to our voting lobbies. But on this day, seven of my colleagues are left stranded when the door is closed after six minutes, and we lose the vote by three. It turns out t...

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