Sunday, November 20

Head-bangers in Westminster

A strange structure consisting of 14 gigantic steel girders with a glass roof resembling an upturned bicycle rack will soon be erected in the 40 yard walk way in Star Chamber Court in the Houses of Parliament to protect MPs from the rain.

Several tall MPs may have to duck or risk banging their heads on the canopy which encloses the main route from their offices in Portcullis House to the Centre of the Commons. Fifteen tall MPs have signed a Commons Motion complaining that the new structure will be a hazard to their colleagues, Daniel Kawczynski, below, the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham who is 6 ft 8 in and Rob Marris, Andrew Selous and Michael More, all of whom are over 6 ft I in.

Norman Baker, the Lib Dem MP for Lewis, who has led the protests, said yesterday. ''If you have to have a cover for you don't expect to pay almost half a million pounds and it is such a grotesque structure.''

For those many occasions when it rains heavily there are two other routes that MPs can take from the division lobbies or the dining rooms and back again to London's underground railway system.

Commons officials have justified the design as in keeping with the demands of the Palace of Westminster and the demands of English Heritage. The Houses of Parliament designed by Messers Pugin and Barry is a Neo-Gothic extravagance was never an example of functional economy so it can be argued that the latest addition is entirely in keeping.

An official, last week, confirmed that the height of the new structure met the building regulations minimum clearance of between 2 and 2.1 metres. Ah well, clearly this is the problem, Members of the UK's Parliament are still measuring themselves in imperial measurements whilst buildings have been metricated !

In any event as The Times commented in its third leader (always the best one):

''Dry MP's are preferable to wet ones just as, on balance, clever ones are better than dim ones.'' The piece concludes sardonically: ''But it is idle to complain that it would have been a thousand times cheaper to provide a House of Commons Umbrella {available in the Houses' gift shop for £19.99, Ed} to every MP.



Joseph Soap esq said...

Because most MPs are dim and wet this once great nation has gone to the euro dogs.

Jo Soap

Anonymous said...

Wet, wet,wet.