An MP was actually honest about how absurd the Big Ben debate is

Monday 21 August 2017 11:15
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Picture:(Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

A group of MPs will gather outside Parliament today for Big Ben's last chimes until 2021.

Labour MP Stephen Pound said that he hoped around 20 "traditionalists" would gather with heads bowed.

Prime Minister Theresa May said, during a visit to Portsmouth:

Of course we want to ensure people's safety at work but it can't be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years.

And I hope that the Speaker, as the chairman of the House of Commons commission, will look into this urgently so that we can ensure that we can continue to hear Big Ben through those four years.

Other MPs have pointed out that the silencing of the bell is to protect those carrying out the renovations.

Others also pointed out that Theresa May saw fit to condemn renovation works on Big Ben, and not the President of the United States, who failed spectacularly to condemn white supremacist and neo-Nazis after they clashed violently with protesters in Virginia.

And that other towers have been forgotten pretty quickly:

A takedown of the traditionalist argument was tweeted by Stephen Bush of the New Statesmen:

The full quote reads:

There has been the most enormous of nonsense talked about this. Colleagues saying The House of Commons Commission is achieving something that even the Luftwaffe couldn't achieve, stopping Big Ben.

Big Ben was silenced for maintenance in 2007, it was refurbished between '83 and '85, it blew up in 1976 and was offline for a little while.

All I would say about it is I look forward to getting back to September and back down to business and I think when you see the footage tomorrow of our colleagues who gather at the foot of Big Ben you will not see too many colleagues who have careers ahead of them.

So really what you have is a load of MPs posturing over an issue only a few people in London care about.

HT Stephen Bush

More: Someone joked that Big Ben would be renamed Massive Mohammed and people were furious

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