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Monday, 21 August 2017

Changing times

The first ascent of Everest combined with the Queen's coronation heralded hope of regeneration and a new start after WW2. What does the silencing of Big Ben herald?

9 comments:

The Crow said...

Perhaps there is a cell phone ring tone the world could listen to for the time being? I'll go look on Google.

Hope you are doing better, Conrad.

Roderick Robinson said...

These are only disparate events. Only headline-writers and those with time hanging heavy on their minds are tempted to turn them into symbols.

Or, if you must, reflect on the fact that one major reason for silencing Big Ben is to protect the hearing of everyday working stiffs renovating decades of neglect. Could those self-regarding poltroons who fill the chamber below with less dignified sounds, and seem to have only just woken up, prevail and put those workers' hearing at risk? After all it's all down down to HSE - constantly jeered at for its interference in "tradition" - and as we all know HSE can, if we are sufficiently tortuous, be linked directly to Brussels.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - of course I don't believe in symbolism, but it might have done Julius Caesar some good if he had, but maybe silencing BB may promote a pause for a moments thought.

Some time ago I said something denigrating about MPs and you came back with a massive defence quoting all the altruistic and monumental social reformers etc:

"...Stop being both naïve and over-simplistic. Remind yourself that TB brought about peace in Northern Ireland. That Harold Macmillan was rich when he became PM; as minister for whatever, earlier on, he was responsible for encouraging the building of over 300,000 houses in one year. That John Major initiated the Cone Line. That Attlee, in just five short years when cash was non-existent, ushered in the Welfare State. That Neville Chamberlain tried terribly hard to bring about peace in Europe. That Harold Wilson introduced the Open University. That Churchill achieved at least one thing even if he failed at several others. And how about Thatcher? She didn't like grammar schools - does that raise any echoes?"

Now you turn about and refer to MPs as "self-regarding poltroons" - a wicked generalisation ("naive and over-simplistic")

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The Crow - good t read that you are embracing technology. It is interesting to hear that you hint that Big Ben is listened to worldwide. When I visited RR in Pittsburgh circa 1969 I searched in vain in the American newspapers for any reference to happenings in the UK all to no avail.

AlanR said...

Ding Dong.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - I don't do emoticons but if I did: a smiley.

gimmer said...

the end of the world and of civilisation as we know it, i suspect

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - well at our respective ages we may not be there to see it.

Roderick Robinson said...

That's pretty good - I get quoted twice. I prefer myself second time round. Let's go for three. The self-regarding poltroons in this case were those who suddenly decided there was air-time to be gained in suggesting the voice of Parliament was being stifled. The sort of point Jacob Rees-Mogg likes to raise. Did you know he uses a pocket-watch located in his breast pocket as a statement of his Conservatism? You could tell him a thing or two about carrying high-value technology in such a low-security pocket. But he likes his cake while eating it. There a strap from the watch to his lapel button-hole. A bit like wearing two pairs of underpants.

Sir Hugh said...

Reading your first three words I thought I was getting a rare compliment, and as they are slightly ambiguous that may have been so, but knowing you I know that it was not.

I quite often watch live parliament for its entertainment value and am familiar with JR-M, Dennis Skinner, Ken Clarke and other comedy acts.

The best underpants story ever is by Nicholas Crane in Two Degrees West, an outdoory book that ranks with our favourite, A Short Walk... but you will have to read it.