Should Hansard be edited


Dear Naz shah

I am writing to you to discuss a topic that recently attracted my attention in an A-level English lesson. Hansard, which is meant to be the official report of what goes on in any parliamentary committees, but also is described as an “edited verbatim” which is an oxymoron as verbatim means the exact same words as the original and edited implies that corrections have been made or it has been modified. This leads on to the debate, should Hansard be edited or left completely in verbatim ? In this report I would like to discuss both sides of the argument.



Firstly, Hansard accounts should be edited because certain informalities such as fillers and elisions should be removed to make the report look more professional. To leave these informalities in the report is seen as improper as the accounts should be formally presented and left for later reference that could be importantly used.

In addition to this, minor altercations to the report in fact help the reader to comprehend what they are reading and these altercation don’t make a difference to the reports .Also minor altercations remove any spoken mistakes that have been said accidentally.

On the otter hand,   I believe that Hansard should be left in its original state as pauses for example, that would not be recorded in the accounts, are sometimes vital components of what the person is saying and therefore the reader may miss the overall meaning of the words. This is why I believe that Hansard should not be edited as by removing even the smallest of pauses or words the meaning can be completely changed.

Likewise, in editing verbatim important things may get lost in translation. For example, fillers (eg. like, um, uh) and false or repetitive starts. This can show that a person is nervous or is not prepared or even lacks confidence. Hansard removing features like this,  is presenting accounts as solid sets of dialogue spoken confidently which isn’t necessarily the case.

To conclude,  I would consider that Hansard should leave their verbatim unedited as it gives readers a true view of what actually happened in the court rather than painting a false image of what happened that could also be seen as misleading. . There is nothing better than an unedited verbatim as everything said in the court has been written down and unchanged. It is impossible to  rely on Hansard if it is being edited ?. It is the job of parliament to make sure that the transcript is a true version of what was being said in court, and not a false version that is seen as misleading.


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