Replacing Big Ben

By | Category: Travel news

Big Ben

One minute ago, the chimes from Big Ben in London fell silent. We won’t hear them again until 2012 except on New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.  For the rest of the year there will be nothing.

Or will we? Media reports suggest that MP’s are unhappy about the length of time Big Ben will be quiet. They may seek to reduce the time, the bell is silenced.

The reason for this quiet is that maintenance is required not on Big Ben itself but on the clock face and other parts of the mechanism. The powers-to-be also seem to think that a kitchan, lifts and a toilet need installing.  To protect the ears of the workmen whilst working close to the bell, Big Ben must fall silent.

But the sound is known to people all over the world. What will tourists think if they don’t hear the familiar bongs? They might think it is all hype and they have been conned. Could they believe that the noise is made by bashing a bass dinner gong somewhere in Broadcasting House?

Something must be done to preserve London’s tourist icon and to maintain what tourists think about London. The answer is obvious.

Since politicians aren’t doing a lot at the moment (summer hols last till  they should be shepherded into groups and operate shifts where they will utter the oh-so-familiar bongs (or as close as they can get) of the bells over loudspeakers so that tourists will not go away disappointed. And after they have returned to proper duties, the Speaker can impose a punishment on those MP’s that fall out of line. Their duty will be to act as the bell until someone else steps out of line. Then it becomes their turn. At the risk of being sexist this will be a problem for the ladies so I suggest all lady MP’s (and high-pitched males) receive elocution lessons in lowering their voice pitch until they can achieve the right note.

a replacement – Jacob Rees-Mogg?

With his stentorian, powerful tones, Jacob Rees-Mogg might prove to be a hit as a Big Ben replacement. Or since Alex Salmond is currently out-of-work as an MP/MSP maybe he could be persuaded to perform the role.

Which leads me to a brilliant idea. He could add a Scottish twang to the bong thus paving the way for members from each nation to meld Big Ben into being representative of each nation. It’s a shame Ian Paisley is no longer with us as his tones would be perfect but maybe Arlene Foster can provide a suitable bong. As for a Welsh politician the retired Welsh labour leader, Neil Kinnock, could be lured from the House of Lords to bring a Welsh lilt to the tourist magnet.

Now, no tourist need be disappointed.

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