Britain Is Torn About Using Paper Instead Of Parchment

May 17, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

British politics is about more than just Brexit wrote Jenny Gross:

  • The United Kingdom parliament has recorded its acts on parchment made of sheep or goat skin since medieval times.
  • Today this costs $45 a sheet – compared to $0.21 for archival paper.
  • The annual cost of using parchment is estimated to be $103,000.
  • Parchment does happen to be more durable than paper. But if paper is carefully stored then it should last a few centuries at least.
  • Switching to digital records entirely is out of the question – a solar flare could knock out the world’s computers.
  • The debate about costs is particularly sensitive as the UK is transferring 19,000 pieces of EU law into UK law (Editor’s note: Ok, maybe British politics is all Brexit after all)
  • Many are upset as one tradition after another disappears. Clerks in the House of Commons stopped wearing wigs this year. And the House Speaker had the audacity to show up in a suit and tie.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal.