MPs bowing to Big Ben shows how shamefully out of touch they are


Big Ben’s chimes rang out over the capital for the last time in four years today, as essential maintenance begins on the iconic structure at the heart of the capital. The Elizabeth Tower, completed in 1859, is showing its age and needs vital restoration work, as does most of Palace of Westminster, to prevent it from disrepair.

The outrage those on the Tory benches expressed about the length of time Big Ben would be silent for was quite preposterous, Jeremy Corbyn rightly stated that the welfare of those working on the maintenance of the clock had to come first. Protecting workers’ hearing is far from ‘health and safety gone mad’ as alleged. It’s just plain common sense. It seems that the silencing of Big Ben is viewed by many MPs as more of a national disaster than the likes of Grenfell Tower.

Granted, out of the outdated bells to be potentially silenced at Westminster, Big Ben would certainly not be my first choice. There are some MPs who seem to belong to the era before Big Ben was even constructed, it would benefit the country greatly if they were silenced temporarily, if not indefinitely. In fact, may I suggest that the entirety of the Tory party remain silent for four years in solidarity with their beloved clock?

I’d suggest if our MPs are so bothered about not hearing the bells chime every day they could simply play a recording of the bells over the tannoy in the Palace of Westminster. Their reluctance to move out of the crumbling building is already costing the taxpayer millions and risking the entire palace becoming uninhabitable.

Imagine how different society would be if MPs were equally as outraged at our reliance on food banks, child poverty, the NHS crisis or the increasing number of homeless people on streets.

MPs gathered to bow their heads world-famous clock tower rang out for the last time, some MP’s were even reported to have shed tears. What’s next? A national day of mourning for Big Ben? Why didn’t all the MPs go to Grenfell Tower and bow their heads in protest and respect there? They cry and express their anger when a clock is silenced, yet remain so quiet when innocents die.

As war, famine, and greed destroy lives across the world, as we live in a country of vast inequality, division and suffering – the thing a number of our Members of Parliament seem to get most upset about is the fact that a big clock will stop chiming for a few years. It is a clear nod to the contempt they hold for the rest of the country, and how out of touch and isolated from reality many politicians are.

As the clock falls silent, we live in a country where MPs care more about a clock chime than the people their policies kill – just let that sink in.