This is how the famous Elizabeth Tower, aka Big Ben, looks today. Clad in scaffolding, the bells silenced and with a repair bill that is growing at a scandalous rate. It’s doubled from the original estimate. Who would have thunk it? Still, one couldn’t possibly allow the capital’s most famous landmark to disintegrate in front of our eyes.
There is an obvious solution to this largesse. The government missed a trick. They simply needed to employ an executive from the world of confectionary. The repair bill would have remained the same as the original estimate. They would simply have shrunk the tower to half its normal size. Of course, Big Ben, the slightly out of tune bell that gives the tower it’s more familiar name, might not fit inside the new tower.
No problem. Just put Boris Johnson behind the clockface, give him a microphone and have him prodded every 15 minutes to bellow out some bongs. This compromise will delight historical purists, as Boris is also notoriously out of tune, be it with facts, the common man or even, on occasion, reality.
Obviously, Theresa May would probably want to lock Boris up in a different tower, but at least he shouldn’t go off script so often with this role. It’s just the one word – bong. Not that hard. But it is Boris, so should racial slurs suddenly start booming out, ordering passing non-white persons to go back to the jungle, someone will need to man the microphone’s off switch.
Finally, to recoup some of the financial outlay of the repairs, the tower could be monetised. I’m envisioning the sale of naming rights – The Brexit Tower sponsored by the Daily Mail. I can imagine Paul Dacre grinning from ear to ear at the sight of the towers four Aryan white clockfaces glaring down at the hoi polloi. And on the hour, Boris announcing, “The time, sponsored by the Daily Mail, is 1750. Bong.”