Not to worry
Nigel Farage is on standby with a hammer to make sure the bell bongs at midnight wherever it happens to be being stored.
Big Ben, the bell in the iconic clock tower on the north end of the Palace of Westminster, will fall silent for four years – and as a result the UK may not leave the European Union until 2021, if a government statement is to be trusted. The famous bongs, known around the world as an auditory symbol of Britain in general and …
According to Private Eye (for the purposes of journalistic research only, I'm sure), Desmond's Television X has produced a blockbuster film. Hard BreXXXit, starring Jizza Cwoarbyn and the SNP leader Knickerless Virgin...
If you can't shoehorn a joke about the bongs in there, what about the dongs?
According to Private Eye (for the purposes of journalistic research only, I'm sure), Desmond's Television X
Would this be the same Television X that's broadcast nightly unencrypted on UK DVB-T COM4? The one OFCOM didn't think was an issue being broadcast unencrypted. The one showing stuff that the government are trying to ban online without an age check? Talk about double standards.
"That would inconvenience Nasty Nige, given that his wife is German."
According to his wife, they have been living separate lives for a while. Can't say I blame her. It's not clear why she ever fancied him in the first place. I suppose he was a 'rich ticket' before revealing his hateful racist buffoon persona.
Workers on scaffolding around the tower face a significant risk to their hearing if the bells, including the quarter-hour and half-hour chimes, are allowed to continue.
It'll be immigrant workers who are being pandered to like this, forcing the patriotic Great British bell to be silenced just for their lazy comfort. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank -- with our tax money!
© Katie Hopkins
"Elf n safety gorn maad"
Loosely connected to this story, I'm sure I remember one of the presenters of Blue Peter back in the late 70's early 80's helping to clean the clock face of big ben. I'm also certain that he did it on a classic 'bosuns chair'. Not strapped to anything, no safety net, hard hat or hi viz jacket. Not worried about bonging either I'll be bound. Yep, you could certainly respect kids TV presenters back then. Ah.
"You're not thinking of John Noakes (minus Shep) climbing Nelson's Column to help clean it, are you?"
Roj, I'm sure you remember the 70's very well. I was a big fan btw, and it was never the same when you left, and even worse when the Liberator rusted away or something. Glynis Barber was a minor plus point, but it still didn't make up for the crapulence of the story lines.
I've summoned up the energy to google this, and I am, not for the first time, correct. It was Peter Duncan, and it was deffo Big Ben. That's unless someone has subsequently uninstalled the clock faces on Nelson's Column.
Not strapped to anything, no safety net, hard hat or hi viz jacket
I suspect that if you are falling from the height of the Elizabeth Tower clock face(s) then a hard hat or high-vis jacket isn't going to save you.
Although, the high-vis might make clearing the resultant splash up slightly easier.
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So the government promises to pay the 2017 class of its bonds on the bong of Big Ben at midnight on Dec 31st. Oh dear, no bong? No bucks. Sorry. No stress though, we'll pay you in four years.
Of course it's a bit of a problem when SPECTER nick a couple of nukes and we have to bong Big Ben an extra time, in order to signal our acceptance of their terms. Could be embarrassing to have Birmingham blown up for lack of bongs...
But I'm sure Bond will sort out the blackmailing bastards, bypassing the bongs and banging the baddy's babe, before blowing up his base and beating a hasty retreat back to Blighty.
It's not enough. I think a full refurb of the House of Commons is estimated to be something like £3bn. So you can stick a bit extra on that - and it's good enough for government work...
Obviously it's going to cost more to do if they keep the MPs there - rather than chucking them out for a couple of years.
One of the towers, I think the Elizabeth one, has dodgy foundations - and needs unerpinning before it falls over. The stonework all needs sorting out. Plus lots of ornate carving. The internal services are a mess - they've got a fibre network running through the remnants of an old steam boiler plant and it's various pipes and chimneys. The place is full of asbestos as well apparently. And it's a listed building and world heritage site - which I'm sure won't complicate matters at all...
And it's a listed building and world heritage site
Fuck knows why. Ugly, decrepit, poorly built Victorian Gothic nightmare, utterly unsuited to any purpose of government. At least it's such a mess that it detracts from the world class lack of imagination, talent and style that is Portcullis House next door.
I'd demolish the vile monstrosity, build something stylish and fit for purpose, and have only the clock and bells reinstated. Then again, why pander to the arseholes of parliament? Sell the Palace of Westminster to a US megabucks hotel and casino group (should get at least ten billion quid for it), and make Parliament meet in converted warehouse in Smethwick. Or let the inmates out of a Victorian jail, and make them meet there (Strangeways, perhaps).
>I'd demolish the vile monstrosity, build something stylish and fit for purpose, and have only the clock and bells reinstated. Then again, why pander to the arseholes of parliament? Sell the Palace of Westminster to a US megabucks hotel and casino group (should get at least ten billion quid for it), and make Parliament meet in converted warehouse in Smethwick. Or let the inmates out of a Victorian jail, and make them meet there (Strangeways, perhaps).
Why not build a new purpose built Parliament building somewhere in the north Midlands, with car parking, transport links, accommodation and office space that doesn't need £44k shower room (looking at you Mr J Hunt), modern infrastructure and the rest of the stuff modern government needs.
Perhaps this way the rest of the country will get a suitable level of investment in the future.
Why not build a new purpose built Parliament building somewhere in the north Midlands
Because the bastards wouldn't stay there, they'd vote for a big fat budget to build a new gin palace somewhere expensive in London. Look at the GLC/GLA for the example.
But I do like the idea of the vermin of parliament being consigned to some sh1t hole like Stoke, Derby, or Shittingham.
"But I do like the idea of the vermin of parliament being consigned to some sh1t hole like Stoke, Derby, or Shittingham."
Ledswinger, as a shamefaced Londoner, I'll have you know that there are few more shitty places in the UK than the great sprawl of the metropolis, and Westminster is its excremental centre of gravity.
I'll have you know that there are few more shitty places in the UK than the great sprawl of the metropolis, and Westminster is its excremental centre of gravity
But not as far as politicians and senior civil servants are concerned. Being sent to somewhere shitty, impoverished, ugly, crime infested and scruffy such as Nottingham is not the main part of the punishment, it is the remoteness and the fact that the chosen dump is not the epicentre of everything in the UK.
Another possible solution, although you'd have to move: Build a hundred foot high wall round the M25, and then overnight pour concrete in until you get a level top.
The Midlands is by definition the most central location in the UK so not really remote at all, every other city in the UK is closer and more accessible than from London. All the same facilities are availible airports/trains/motorway etc but are less stressed than they are in the south.
however when you say remote I take it you mean to London and things therein, well that is a plus for the tax payer since everything for the government in London has their weighting cost on top, then consider the huge influx of cash availible from selling all that prime real estate, moving to the midlands would more than pay for itself.
When you really get down to it, London as the center of anything's time has passed and making central government mean what it says is long overdue.
"Ugly, decrepit, poorly built Victorian Gothic nightmare"...But a unique example of its kind. Which is the prime criteria for listing..
All part of the British obsession with preserving old shit, quite a bit of which should be demolished, and a good chunk of which is preserved in a way that loses 99% of the very essence of the original building. The listing and "preservation" of Battersea power station is a particularly pointless example - all they've done is preserve four walls and four chimneys as a shell for rich twats London luxury flats and swanky offices for tax dodging US companies Meanwhile the National Trust operate a vast fleet of identikit listed country houses, there's some gems, but many are barely distinguisable from each other.
One of the towers, I think the Elizabeth one, has dodgy foundations - and needs unerpinning before it falls over.
The Elizabeth Tower has never been the same since they dug the Jubilee Line extension. Tons of cementy stuff (I forget the proper name for it) got pumped underneath to stabilise it after things started to get a bit wobbly. If you look carefully at the tower from certain angles, it does have a noticeable lean.
"Tons of cementy stuff (I forget the proper name for it) got pumped underneath ..."
(Jubilee Line extension: I seem to remember being v peripherally involved with a tiny aspect of that project - always enjoy traveling on the line because of that.)
> if those wankers vacated Parliament and went elsewhere for a time.
Provided they don't mind moving every few months they could utilise the purpose built facilities - partially funded by British taxpayers, located in Brussels and Strasbourg...
Also it would be much more convenient for the on-going Brexit negotiations...
if those wankers vacated Parliament and went elsewhere for a time.
Would anyone notice or even care?
They can all stay at home and work from home and use some sort of conference facility.
hmm, may be that is not a good idea - there'll be extravagant "home office" expense claims, but we could still save a mint by not subsidising all the food at drink at Westminster
"Is it really? I'd suggest that the airside oiks at Heathrow have to endure far louder and more continuous noise."
Not really. The engines aren't that loud while at the terminal or taxiing, and when they're at full blast, taking off or landing, the natural tendency is there to be no one anywhere near the runways for multiple reasons. Furthermore, the sound of jet engines is more noisy (random) than a chime, which is more likely to cause resonance vibrations.
I wonder why they can't find a nearby building willing to have a big speaker plugged in, playing a recording? It would cost practically bugger all, and maintain a tradition that tourists expect to hear.
I suppose the question is how big would a speaker have to be to recreate the bongs?
( Edit: somebody else made the same point )
The RN use something pretty similar in engine spaces and on flight decks, so totally doable. However I as well as the hearing damage possibilities there's the sound wave from the bell itself which I suspect you can feel when you're that close to it. I don't know about you but I'm not sure I'd like that kind of surprise when I'm a few hundred feet above London.
There was an excellent article in the Grauniad's "Long Read" section a few months ago, which detailed the meticulous planning that goes into events for when the Queen (Gawd bless her) kicks the gilt-edged bucket. Big Ben plays a significant part in that. Given her advanced years and the lengthy timeframe for the repairs at Westminster, I can foresee the bell being unsilenced at some point to cope with the "London Bridge Is Down" scenario
"Downing Street this afternoon confirmed the 24-month deadline for reaching a Brexit deal will expire 'when Big Ben bongs midnight' on the night of March 29-30, 2019."
The Express then went on to say that Diana was killed just before she could announce a miracle cure for Alzheimers in time for that year's SIBERIAN BLAST BRINGS HAVOC TO ENGLAND!
Many years ago Express was half decent, actually readable, then it got Desmonded.
Now it is a xenophobic, racist, hate rag which is not even soft enough for bottom usage.
It is no the Internet killing newspapers, it is turning them into hate rags like the Express.
Best to use for lighting your fire.
Will Phil Collins be breaking his silence over this?
A reference no-one outside the UK will get and I doubt anyone in the UK will get it either.
Marc and Lard had a laugh over it
(On reflection the story could have come from the Daily Mail)
I recall an incident some years past, in which Mrs Marmite and I were looking round Hallgrimmskirkja (Big and very impressive church in the outskirts of Reykjavik, Iceland). We had ventured up the tower and were admiring the view from just under the bells. Our timing was a little bit off (or perfect - depends on one's point of view), as we had arrived on the floor just as time was approaching the top of the hour.
Now, Mrs Marmite is a seasoned bellringer but it still frit the shit out of her when the bloody big bell above her head gave its first godalmighty bong. A most impressive reaction ensued, in which both feet left the ground together
One got a severe arsekicking for laughing one's head off.
As a sidenote: Hallgrimmskirkja is a perfect example of how great a concrete building CAN look, as much as Coventry Cathedral isn't. The organ is pretty impressive too - looks like something off Star Wars. Must go again sometime
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