The Bagehot caption competition

CG6ESDYWoAIRjIPAt 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.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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27 Responses to The Bagehot caption competition

  1. Mark says:

    “Lord Norton looks on with dignified satisfaction at the Edstone and the Cleggstone”

  2. Alex says:

    “A departure from the Westminster Model would certainly put me in a spin, I can’t speak him of course. Mind you there is a degree of trembling underfoot.”

  3. Better leave this to rest and not be morbid….

  4. Mark Shephard says:

    So this is where they bury the constitutional experts. Hopefully I have a robust ‘English constitution’ rather than a ‘constitution in flux’ to keep me on this planet a few more decades.

  5. seanjm72 says:

    a rather large plot in which all of Nick Cleggs 2015 red lines were buried..

  6. labeldesalis says:

    The ‘Ed Stone’.

  7. labeldesalis says:

    You could do a series of graves of great Parliamentphiles. Next up the grave of Erskine May? By the way there’s a monumental inscription to Hansard in the nave of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Charing Cross.

  8. Whovian says:

    When he saw his bed, Lord Norton regretted booking at the local Travelodge

  9. Gerry McMahon says:

    It’s a popular place here, people are dying to come here!

  10. House of Lords reform would be a GRAVE mistake.

  11. edarfour says:

    The end of the old and the beginning of a new constitutional architecture: the spirit of Bagehot consulted.

  12. RichR says:

    “Oh look, dear, wouldn’t this look lovely in the back garden?”

  13. Grant Wallace says:

    From 1 corner to another, which will u be in for the next debate?

  14. JH says:

    “The grave of a great Victorian writer ought to be conspicuous, ought not to be hidden beneath the robes of vegetation and decay” (perhaps more apt pre-restoration and less gloomy than some more accurate quotes).

  15. maude elwes says:

    LN to cameraman: ‘Here is a permanent means to remove any opposition, dig a hole for the lot, or, better, let them dig their own.’

  16. One Ancient Relic visits another

  17. Can’t decide between left or right.

  18. Nic Crowe says:

    That grave is very cemetrical…

  19. Allan Donoghue says:

    After visiting the grave of Bagehot, Lord Norton suggested a “cake of custom” themed tray-bake for the following week’s seminar.

  20. Tony Sands says:

    LN (displaying customary benign smile): well it is a fitting memorial for a man who managed one important publication on the constitution but for a Professor and noble Lord who has hundreds of works to his credit, there will surely be statues far and wide, from Hull to Hanoi and Sofia to Split. (wrinkling his brow) Probably resplendent with traffic cones in the case of Hull; but nevertheless statues far and wide …

  21. From left to right, an illustration of Disraeli’s view on entering the House of Lords, “dead, dead, but in the Elysian Fields”.

  22. Cameron says:

    This looks like a great, if slightly used, place to bury old Magna Carta – surely the Bagehots wouldn’t mind being joined by such esteemed company.

  23. Matt Oliver says:

    Anyone got a crayon…love a good rubbing I do

  24. D F Rostron says:

    The motion ‘It’s time for a new Magna Carta’ has, as you can see, been well and truly put to rest.

  25. D. Farmer says:

    ‘You have a strong constitution standing there Lord Norton’ echoed Bagehot’s voice from beyond the grave. Lord Norton smiled and replied, ‘not as strong as yours, Walter!’

  26. Neil M says:

    Local tourism chief acknowledges that it has not proved the most popular of Langport’s attractions but, surprisingly, the one vistor has single handedly justified the opening of the adjoining cafe – “The Bagehot teapot”!

  27. D. Farmer says:

    Seeing as the motion mentioned was defeated…

    ‘You have a strong constitution standing there Lord Norton’ echoed Bagehot’s voice from beyond the grave. Lord Norton smiled and replied ‘not as strong as yours, Walter!’

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