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Published on January 24th, 2012 | by Nick Doyle
Image © It cannot claim to be headline news but its threat is apparent: Parliament is sinking.  Although some of you may be inclined to think that standards have been slipping for years and that this is the way of the times, I am in fact referencing the news that due to where it is situated, Parliament is on a steady sinking course into the river.  If this is to be doubted, look no further than Big Ben which now leans roughly 18" to one side and is noticable from the ground.  Apparently a combination of soggy foundations and the constant rumblings of nearby tube stations has created this problem and yesterday a panel was set up to monitor the situation and investigate new steps. According to The Telegraph one plan even involved a possible sale of the Grade 1 listed building which not only would turn an exceptional price, but it would also essentially leave the problem to someone else.  What would our Government do in the event of this? Well move obviously, and there are a host of possible venues that seem equipped to take them.  This story has the potential to be a real talking point; at its heart is the question of whether the grandiose building home to power in the UK for over 1000 years is worth saving in this age of austerity (the estimated cost of repairing the damage is £1 billion).  On the other hand the idea of selling it (as some papers have claimed) to either Russian or Chinese billionaires does seem slightly crass; perhaps even tacky. There is a distinct flavour of primordial nationalism and patriotism within the story, but essentially, it does not come to much. Why? Well although it is true that Parliament is sinking, it is not any time soon. Yesterday Bercow claimed to be "not worried" and that the majority of the reports yesterday were from "over-excited" newspapers.  Even the construction expert who worked on building the underground car park situated beneath Parliament agreed, and this coming from a man who worked on the Tower of Pisa.  Turns out the problem is not immediate but it still raises some interesting questions, can we afford the luxury of history when we face the toughest economic crisis in 60 years?  

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Parliament Stuck in the Mud? No, really.

It cannot claim to be headline news but its threat is apparent: Parliament is sinking.  Although some of you may be inclined to think that standards have been slipping for years and that this is the way of the times, I am in fact referencing the news that due to where it is situated, Parliament is on a steady sinking course into the river.  If this is to be doubted, look no further than Big Ben which now leans roughly 18″ to one side and is noticable from the ground.  Apparently a combination of soggy foundations and the constant rumblings of nearby tube stations has created this problem and yesterday a panel was set up to monitor the situation and investigate new steps.

According to The Telegraph one plan even involved a possible sale of the Grade 1 listed building which not only would turn an exceptional price, but it would also essentially leave the problem to someone else.  What would our Government do in the event of this? Well move obviously, and there are a host of possible venues that seem equipped to take them.  This story has the potential to be a real talking point; at its heart is the question of whether the grandiose building home to power in the UK for over 1000 years is worth saving in this age of austerity (the estimated cost of repairing the damage is £1 billion).  On the other hand the idea of selling it (as some papers have claimed) to either Russian or Chinese billionaires does seem slightly crass; perhaps even tacky. There is a distinct flavour of primordial nationalism and patriotism within the story, but essentially, it does not come to much. Why? Well although it is true that Parliament is sinking, it is not any time soon.

Yesterday Bercow claimed to be “not worried” and that the majority of the reports yesterday were from “over-excited” newspapers.  Even the construction expert who worked on building the underground car park situated beneath Parliament agreed, and this coming from a man who worked on the Tower of Pisa.  Turns out the problem is not immediate but it still raises some interesting questions, can we afford the luxury of history when we face the toughest economic crisis in 60 years?

 

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