This Big Ben Bong farce is truly turning into Bonggate now. It shows in exemplary fashion that the Establishment has understood nothing – not of Brexit and not, still not, why we plebs voted Out. It is turning into a train-crash for Whitehall, said Mark François MP.
The thrashing about in Whitehall, by those who are hopefully only wannabe Mandarins, is symptomatic for the general disdain the metro-elite has for all of us outside the Westminster bubble. That’s why I am going to town on this issue. It’s now about more than just getting Big Ben Bonging.
It seems that the PM has caved in to his advisers who’ve been telling the Parliament commission that Big Ben can’t Bong because it’s too expensive, private crowdfunding is unacceptable and anyway, only people in Westminster would be able to hear it. Instead, why not have a wonderful, wonderfully modern virtual, digital ‘show’, having him, the PM as main performer. This is their a-ma-zing plan:
“Buildings around Whitehall will be lit up and Union Jacks will be flown in Parliament Square. No 10 was also forced to defend its decision to stage the countdown in Downing Street, which is not accessible to members of the public. However, aides insisted that the public will be able to watch it on television and on social media sites such as Facebook.” (link)
Oh yes: let’s just all stay at home and watch this on facebook! That’s the way to mark a truly historic moment for our Nation! If you’re not yet spitting feathers, then look at what ‘sources’ have leaked to the MSM:
“Details of the package measures to mark Brexit Day were released by Mr Johnson’s officials yesterday in an attempt to quell the row over the refusal of Commons chiefs to allow Big Ben to bong at the historic moment of departure. A Government source said: “The Prime Minister will make a big address to the nation on the evening of our departure from the EU around the theme of healing. He is very keen to emphasise the continuing close bond of the Union between the four parts of the UK.” (link)
Good grief! Those ‘officials’ are planning to utilise the day where we’re celebrating unshackling ourselves from the EU to appease Ms Sturgeon and the nationalists in Wales and NI! Next, see the really, truly, seriously emotional claptrap they’ve come up with:
“Officials said the Government wanted to mark what will be “a significant moment in our history” without a triumphalist tone that could exacerbate the divisions between Remain and Leave supporters.” (link)
Mustn’t give the impression we’re “triumphalist”! No, let’s make this into a day for ‘healing’ because we can’t get away with making it into a day of national mourning! Even on that day the establishment is bent to appease Remain who have done their utmost to wail and defame Leavers for years.
Perhaps we should do away with Remembrance Sunday as well: just have a suitably serious virtual show to be played on social media and save the money and all those ceremonies of wreath-laying and parading past the Cenotaph. ‘Tis old history, they’re all dead now anyway and it is so ‘triumphalist’, how can we ever ‘heal the rift’ with the losers!
I’m just waiting for one bright spark in Whitehall to argue that showing the Union Jack is perhaps too nationalistic and could hurt the feelings of Brussels and the EU citizens here in this coutnry. Perhaps we should keep flying that blue banner with the golden sphincter to appease their hurty feelz?
Those ‘plans’ are beyond ridiculous – here are more details of which those sources seem to be proud:
“In the final hour of the UK’s EU membership, Government buildings around Whitehall will be illuminated with spotlights and a light show will be triggered in Downing Street including projecting the countdown clock on the black bricks of Number 10.” (link)
A light show! WTF? Is that it? With a count-down clock? One wonders if that virtual clock will be a nice, modern digital one. Using Big Ben’s clock would surely be the establishment showing the finger to all us Leavers one last time.
Oh – there’s more! We recall that getting Big Ben to Bong was deemed to be useless because only those in Westminster would hear it. Now see this:
“While the street is closed to the public for security, the Prime Minister’s aides hope the clock will be broadcast on television. They also expect broadcasters to use archive recordings of Big Ben’s chimes to mark the departure moment.” (link)
This is their aim: make this day into a ‘Party’ just for the PM, with none of us plebs being near – the same plebs who’ve voted Leave, who a few weeks ago gave him his majority. We can watch on telly, and the nice BBC will surely show some archive footage in amongst all that modern light show.
Some hapless ‘sources’ have however let the cat out of the bag. This is why the establishment in Whitehall, in Westminster, will do their utmost, with ever more ridiculous arguments:
“Aides hope the Government efforts to mark the departure from the EU will draw attention away from a party in Parliament Square organised by Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.” (link)
It’s not about the money – it’s about making Nigel Farage’s celebratory party look insignificant. A celebration by the people for the people? How revolting!
There’s one other fly in the establishment’s ointment. That is the redoubtable Mark François MP who is not letting this go. It now turns out that the £500,000 was vastly exaggerated:
“The commission admitted that triggering the bell on Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve cost taxpayers just £14,200 on each of the two occasions. The figure was disclosed in an answer to a written parliamentary question tabled by Mr Francois.” (link)
That is just outrageous! Thank you, Mr François, for getting those hard-core Remainers to admit they were talking through their collective Remain hats. But never fear – they had ‘a reason’ which surely every Leaver must understand. It’s about saving our tax money, after all:
“Senior Tory MP Sir Paul Beresford, answering on behalf of the commission, wrote in reply to the question: “[…] The striking of Big Ben on these occasions [Remembrance Sunday/New Year’s Eve] was coordinated around the planned works so as to minimise the impact on the project costs and to ensure it did not result in any delay. If the project team are required to strike the bell with less notice, the costs would substantially increase due to the unexpected impact on the project schedule.” (link)
Oh yeah: nobody could foresee that we’d Leave on January 31st 2020! Apparently those hardcore Remainers thought we’d still be in – and apparently they thought they could get away with making the Nation disregard that date. ‘Tis only a Friday night, a night like any other, nothing to see here, nothing to celebrate, especially not when you’re a Remainer.
As Mark François said – this is turning into a train crash both for the Parliament Commission and for those government advisers planning that ridiculous light show in 10 Downing Street. Remainers simply do not understand why this issue is not about Leavers gloating, as they keep telling themselves inside the M25. Charles Moore writes:
“It is a powerful, public statement of a plain constitutional fact. Our status as a country is changing as it has done only once before (when we entered the European Economic Community (EEC) on January 1st 1973). We are regaining our independence because we voted to do so. If that exact moment is captured by the world’s most famous clock striking 11 times, it will mark the change for Parliament and people, right round the globe. It will show that the deed is done.” (paywalled link)
Isn’t this the point: to show the world that we are Out? I’m sure alBeeb will refrain from broadcasting this people’s event should Big Ben Bong, but there will be sufficient other, international broadcasters which will be delighted to pick up the slack. Strange that Labour grandees are so suspiciously silent about all this …
The establishment obviously believes this day, this milestone in our nation’s history, must be downplayed because Remainers will weep and Leavers cannot be trusted to celebrate with dignity. It doesn’t occur to them that, if they really wanted to ‘heal the rift’, they should’ve put themselves at the forefront of those celebrations, if only so that Leavers cannot take all the glory for themselves. That’s how stupid Remainers are!
Nothing exemplifies the way the Westminster establishment has tried and tried again to thwart our wish to Leave than this petty, beancounting, disdainful attempt to downplay our momentous decision. No, Big Ben must not Bong, Farage must not be seen to have ‘triumphed’, Leavers must be shooed back into their hovels where they can watch Johnson glorify himself, parading around in borrowed Leave finery.
That’s why they are doing their utmost to stop Big Ben from Bonging – and that’s why I’ve used this whole column on this one issue. I’m still spitting feathers …!
We won’t stay home – we will celebrate, Big Ben will Bong and we will