At the beginning of the month, I visited Langport in Somerset to take part in the 4th Annual Bagehot Debate, opposing the motion ‘It’s time for a new Magna Carta’. Held at the Huish Academy, Lord Tyler and pupil Douglas Stephenson spoke for the motion and I and pupil Sarah Allen spoke against. I am pleased to report that the superior argument won and the motion was defeated.
Langport was the birthplace and home of the renowned economist and editor of the Economist, Walter Bagehot, perhaps best known to students for his book, The English Constitution. We had a pre-debate reception at Hurd’s Hill which had been Bagehot’s home. I also had time to visit Bagehot’s grave (pictured). Barry Winetrobe, who organises the Bagehot Debates, thought the picture may be appropriate for the caption competition. I think it is quite a challenging picture, though when I have thought that about some previous pictures, readers have come up with wonderfully innovative captions. We shall see how challenging this one is. As ever, the winner will be the reader who in my judgment submits the wittiest and most appropriate caption. The prize will be one of my recent publications.