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Baroness Byford is sticking closely to her brief. Consisting entirely of concerns and questions written for her by other people, it’s safe, if dull. “Agricultural landlords should be able to defer payment of capital gains tax on gains to the extent that they were used to make improvements that increase the economic value of the land, subject to agricultural tenancies that are used for business purposes.” Gettysburg it isn’t. Then suddenly, for maybe three seconds, she extemporises. We get a brief flash of what’s going on inside her head. It’s like a shot across the bows—a reminder of the full-blown mayhem she’s capable of unleashing when she really puts her mind to it.
Baroness Byford: I turn to fiscal change. Underneath, within this, I gather if I can just raise three things.
And then, just as suddenly, she returns to her text. Calm is restored. Rattled, we return to jotting stuff down or staring into space. We have been warned.

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