Monday, June 01, 2015

Crisis, Danger and Opportunity in a crumbling Palace of Westminster

You may have noticed that Parliament opened last week. Fairy tale carriages. Loads of gold plate. Theatrical flourishes.

Woman in million pound hat reads speech promising that the poor will have their fecking noses rubbed more firmly in the dirt as Dodgy Dave and his cronies as they continue to promulgate the lie that somehow spending on the NHS, education and the police caused sub-prime mortgages to implode in the USA and banks to crash around the world.

All of these charades overlying the festering boil that is the obscene cover-up of child sexual abuse by MPs, civil servants, "Lords" and others who constitute our Establishment of the  "great and the good".

Meanwhile Caroline Lucas has written book Honourable Friends - Parliament and the fight for change which details the absurdities and downright undemocratic damnedness of House of Commons procedures.

And the whole process is shot through with the everyday corruption of lobbying, directorships and political donations.

So Westminster is crying out for radical reform, a total clear out of the gowns and the clowns of this humiliating, outdated charade and mountebankery, everything from Black Penis Rod to the idiotic First Past the Post voting system.

"It'll never happen", I hear you cry. Oh no?

Well, factor this in:
It's not just the ancient procedures that are past their sell-by.
It's not just the Big Men who are bent, Big Ben is bent too.
It's not just the voting system, the plumbing and electrics are out of date too.
It's not just that some Lords have dementia, the very walls are cracked too.
It's not just that the place is infested with corporate lobbyists, it's got mice too.

The whole 170-year old Palace of Westminster, the physical structure is falling down.
It needs to close for 5 years and have £3bn of work carried out.

Which is great.

It means that Parliament has to relocate to another place or another city, preferably in a location that is not vulnerable to flooding, like Oxford or Birmingham. Parliament  needs a new building, with modern offices, a semicircular chamber and electronic voting. A nice modern block of flats for the MPs and elected members of the Second Chamber. Matched with a totally renewed British Constitution.

And the Palace of Westminster? That can become a museum, a place for theatre, where tourists can watch the State Opening of Parliament twice a day, or watch drunk and demented Lords a-leaping at Christmas, Easter and other Holy Days, together with whatever else will draw the paying crowds. If the people want circuses, let them have a circus.  But let democracy have our daily bread in another place.

1 comment:

Ghost Whistler said...

The only answer is on the streets. Something unfortunately the TUC has no stomach for. Really it's up to us to bring the machine to a halt and force a change. One day strikes here and there, along with the odd march from wahtever talking shop is waxing ascendant will not be enough.