Is this really the sort of rubbish that we pay MPs 65K a year, plus 100K+ a year in fiddled expenses to do:
A symptom of the contagious infantilism of the Jubilee is the urge to garland anything that does not move with a royal title. The attempt to re-name Big Ben the Elizabeth Tower may be a sycophancy too far. Equally forlorn may be the campaign to rename the Jubilee Line the Elizabeth Jubilee Line. That will be stymied by the vast cost involved.Give me strength. Oh where to start on this one. Why rename something that has had the same name for donkeys years just for a few rabble rousing 19th century terrorists who should have been hung drawn and quartered, rather than sent on a holiday in the Antipodes.
An intensive lobbying campaign by Tory MPs has failed to convince more than half the total of 650 MPs that the title Big Ben should be ditched. There have been extravagant claims that the matter is virtually settled. The Commons Commission who decides these weighty matters told me that they have yet to receive a formal request or evidence of support. They have had a request from me that St Stephens Tower (the correct name) should be re--named Democracy Tower.
The Palace of Westminster is divided into three segments, Royal, Lords and Commons. The massive Victoria Tower dominates the Royal West extremity of the building. The Commons East extremity of Big Ben deserves the Democracy title. That would achieve the elegant balance of Crown and Commons. It would also be happily consistent with parliament’s historic separation of the functions of the Commons and Crown. At the State Opening of Parliament, slamming the door in the Queen’s messenger’s face symbolises the Commons’ prized independence.
Democracy Tower would go some way to correct the long standing neglect of the heroes of British democracy. The Chartists and the Suffragette campaigned and sacrificed to extend the suffrage beyond the exclusive preserve of rich males. Their heroism is invisible in the Palace of Westminster. There are a thousand portraits, statues and mementoes of royalty. There is a suffragette memento. It is a small plaque in a cupboard.
Still if its not wasting our money on calls for flood defences in case Newport gets hit by a tsunami. Its renameing a bloody clock.