Monday, 27 August 2012

A Good Weekend For Burying Bad News

As the furore about the behaviour of one over-privileged citizen continues unabated, the self-promoting John Bercow has asked MPs, Lords and civil servants to explore a refit of the Palace of Westminster.

As Speaker he chairs the House of Commons Commission which oversees the day to day running of the Westminster Parliament.

The refit is estimated to cost £3 billion and those supporting the move say it is needed to avoid paying a further £7 billion over the next 30 years.  I'm with Tris on this.  I believe there are plenty empty buildings in London which could be adapted to meet the needs of our elected representatives.  However there is an important aspect of this which must be recognised.  Why has such a historic building been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair?  It would seem it's more important for MPs to have highly subsidised food and drink than a safe environment in which to work.

Buried in the depths of the Mail is a story which ought to boil the blood of every voter.  When the Coalition took office one of the first promises was for early legislation to give the public the power to force by-elections to oust errant MPs.

Quietly the proposals were consigned to a draft Bill and they were not included in the current programme of measures to become law. Recently ministers altered the proposals to 'giving the power to initiate the by-election petition process to a parliamentary committee at Westminster - not to voters'.

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is suggesting David Cameron and Nick Clegg are preparing to drop the plans altogether.

Aye, a Bank Holiday weekend is always a good weekend for burying bad news.


English Pensioner said...

You ask "Why has such a historic building been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair?"
Its simple - when any government department is short of money, the first thing they cut is routine maintenance. It is very difficult for the maintenance engineer to argue that something must be fixed now unless it is obviously doing damage like, say, a water leak, and because there is no argument for immediate action, it is put off to save money. Hence, not only are the house of parliament affected, but more importantly things like schools and roads. It always costs more in the end, but accountants can't see that.

JRB said...

Knowing the nations appetite for ‘reality’ TV shows, the answer to all these little problems seems simple straightforward and has the potential to be mildly entertaining.

… we merge everything relating to MPs, Peers and Westminster into one gigantic TV extravaganza.

We drop them all into a giant receptacle (eg O2 Arena) which can act like a large ‘Big Brother’/’I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ studio.
Members and viewers would have the opportunity to vote other members out of office until one useless twat remained.
In addition members would be given evil and cruel tasks to undertake – like having to survive for a whole week on a single person’s pension – or – having to traverse the city in a standard issue NHS wheelchair. Those who cannot complete such tasks are automatically removed and placed in a care home.

As for the building at Westminster – why, we just get Roderick Llewelyn-Bowen and mates to give it a quick make-over.

T.O.W.I.W – The Only Way Is Westminster – Coming to a Channel near you.

SadButMadLad said...

The other reason is because it's listed and an historic building. So it's more important to do repairs in the most expensive manner rather than efficiently or properly. Regulation always makes things more expensive.

Demetrius said...

Why does Parliament have to be in London? See my post of Tuesday 19 May 2009 on London Pride and Tamworth Pigs.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

If we have any sense it will not be Scotland's problem.

Other than that, isn't it more usual for clowns to perform in a tent.

Joe Public said...

If the Scots do gain independence, we can make do with a smaller building.

subrosa said...

Isn't it strange, when we have more people going to university than ever and therefore supposedly being more educated than previous generations, that common sense is lost EP?

subrosa said...

Excellent JRB. I've never watched the 'other' show but it's minor celebs do grace the redtops regularly.

subrosa said...

I thought part of the rules of being a listed building would be that it was kept in good order SBML.

Must stop thinking.

subrosa said...

I read it Demetrius and recommend it to other readers here too.

subrosa said...

True Crinkly.

subrosa said...

I'm sure there are plenty suitable buildings around that would be appropriate Joe - from a taxpayer's viewpoint.

Edward Spalton said...

When Parliament was blitzed, I believe that Church House just across the road on the other side of Westminster Abbey provided the venue for the House of Lords.

If memory serves, the Commons moved into the Lords Chamber (but I'm not sure).

If they need somewhere , there is the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre which is not far away and also next to Methodist Central Hall - another very well-appointed building.

subrosa said...

I bow to your superior knowledge of central London Edward. Yes I did read about the temporary venue during the war and your facts are correct.

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