‘A bit silly’: The public react to MPs’ plan to gather around Big Ben as it falls silent
Some MPs have said they will gather with their heads bowed as the iconic tower is silenced for maintenance work.
MPs are set to gather outside Parliament with their heads bowed as Big Ben strikes its final bongs before falling silent for renovation work – and some members of the public are a little bemused by the idea.
Labour MP Stephen Pound said he hoped at least 20 “like-minded traditionalists” would gather “with our heads bowed but hope in our hearts” as the final bongs ring out on Monday.
“We’re going to be gathering outside the members’ entrance, gazing up at this noble, glorious edifice, listening to the sounds rolling across Westminster, summoning true democrats to the Palace of Westminster,” said Pound.
"MPs plan vigil to mourn final Big Ben bongs 'with heads bowed and hope in our hearts'" pic.twitter.com/gMuUbMHphb— John Rain (@MrKenShabby) August 20, 2017
Earlier this week, Parliament said it would review plans to silence the Great Bell for four years for maintenance work to be carried out – and Prime Minister Theresa May has joined the backlash against the move.
However, the plans to gather in mourning for the silencing of the bell have faced a little ridicule from the public.
"Hello I need to speak to my MP urgently about my benefit sanctions"— Mark McDonald (@markmcdindy) August 20, 2017
"Sorry he's not here, he's standing at Big Ben mournfully"
Today as Big Ben falls silent, I shall gather with others, heads bowed, wondering what we ever did to deserve such cretinous politicians. https://t.co/TTYFQpnCoO— Keith Burge (@carryonkeith) August 21, 2017
Some fellow MPs were equally disapproving of the move.
The Big Ben dongs will return. Wish those MPs who are causing such a fuss were equally vocal about food banks, the GP crisis and harsh cuts— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) August 21, 2017
Hope in our hearts that when the sodding bell returns we might of realised how ridiculous we look for giving a toss https://t.co/sHeV7pRSwr— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) August 20, 2017
Of course there was a historian on hand to give their opinion too.
#BigBen is not very old. It wasn't even there during the Crimean War. The bells were silent throughout WW1. MPs bowing heads is a bit silly— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) August 20, 2017
The Elizabeth Tower – as the tower was renamed in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – has stood in Westminster since 1859. In contrast, the construction of the present church of Westminster Abbey began in 1245.
Enough with history though, here’s what the jokers had to say…
Government reveals replacement for Big Ben. pic.twitter.com/lzBOcjWz1h— David Schneider (@davidschneider) August 21, 2017
Will the MPs bowing their heads prove to be a clanger? Or will they be saved by the bell?