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London's parliament is falling down . . .

GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
edited December 2014 in The cake stop
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30137334

So, the palace of Westminster is falling down. Now, I believe that this London landmark should be restored and used for the state opening of parliament, but the rest of the time it can bring in a bit of cash as a tourist attraction - maybe there are other useful educational purposes to which it can be put as well. In the meantime, I'd like to take this opportunity for the third outing of my occasional rant about making our parliament virtual: the perfect solution to a number of other issues with our parliament such as expenses.

The bullet pointed version . . .
  • Have a constituency office in every constituency with teleconferencing capability.
  • No London = No 2nd Home = No problem with expenses related to second homes.
  • Boost the UK's image as a technologically advanced country.
  • Increase the MP's time in their constituency.
  • Make them more accountable by gathering statistics of how much time they spend participating in parliamentary debates.
  • Capture everyone's reaction to every word.
  • No more shouting "Order, order".
  • Invest in the UK's broadband network and teleconferencing technology to make it all possible (probably cheaper than all those mortgages).
  • No more daft expenses like the House of Commons wine cellar or the free snuff allowance.
It just gets better and better . . .
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Posts

  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Have you ever actually participated in a teleconference?
  • bompington wrote:
    Have you ever actually participated in a teleconference?

    Which is what I was going to post. We run one here and they are bloody awful to use, yeah they work, but it's no way to conduct business. Parliament over teleconference is entirely unworkable.

    Like it or not, MPs do need to be in one place. If that place is the Palace of Westminster or Bishop Auckland sports centre I couldn't give a stuff.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,864
    PMQs by teleconference, that would be awesome

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    The basements underneath the historic building are full of asbestos, leaking pipes and miles and miles of outdated wiring and cables.

    Having been on various site visits to the place over the years with work I can confirm that it is indeed a shite whole that is well overdue a complete overhaul as far as the building services are concerned.

    From my experience though the amount of money that gets wasted down there on repairs is unbelievable as you have the incumbent sub-contractors on site who are basically there for good and the p*ss taking that goes on with tendering is untrue, to say that tax payers money is being wasted is an understatement :shock:

    They do have a very decent, and cheap, 'staff' cafe though, again probably at your expense however :lol:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    MP's don't get paid enough for the work they are signed up to do.
    This is the reason why corruption exists and why people moan.
    Living MY dream.
  • VTech wrote:
    MP's don't get paid enough for the work they are signed up to do.

    I so know. proper mental innit. I tots understood why loads were fiddling their expenses - just to get by.
    tick - tick - tick
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    "A back-bench MP earns £66,396 or, for a standard forty-hour week, with five weeks leave and public holidays, about £37 per hour."
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • VTech wrote:
    MP's don't get paid enough for the work they are signed up to do.
    This is the reason why corruption exists and why people moan.

    The MP's just work in the building so I'm not sure what that has to do with fixing the building?
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,891
    VTech wrote:
    MP's don't get paid enough for the work they are signed up to do.
    This is the reason why corruption exists and why people moan.

    Corruption exists because of corrupt people - nothing to do with salary.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • DesB3rdDesB3rd Posts: 285
    Hmm, I don't imagine that the state of things is any more perilous than it has been at any other point in the last few decades, or the requirement for a major overhaul is exactly a surprise.

    Thinking about something remotely comparable, it cost ~£150m to get St. Pancras Hotel/Chambers from an unstable, s*itty, leaking set of NR offices to a modern 5* hotel (structural stabilisation, extension, new M&E, facade repairs, extensive heritage feature restoration etc.) The HoP are a lot bigger, can be seen from far more angles, its twenty years older and made from a more perishable facing material - so I'd expect it to cost several times more; the huge step to £3bn might be the estimate factoring in political interference and the workings of a bumbling state-led comity, as opposed to a tight-fisted, eye-on-the-prize developer...
  • The work needs doing, and it's nothing to do with MPs or how much salary they get or anything like that. But people will make it so, and that's why it'll probably not get done and the place will fall down.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    I'm surprised the clever amongst you didn't understand my post ?
    My post was valid simply because in the UK we have enough through taxation to pay all bills and remove ourself from negative equity.
    Waste is the issue and waste is more often than not bought about by bad choices and in some cases corruption (back handers etc).
    You would find it hard to find a person capable of running a council or acting as an MP to work for the money people expect MP's to work for. You can argue about it until the cows come home but like for like people in business with even half the responsibility of an MP would be on much more than £66k a year.

    Of course I expect some to argue the point but come on, are you all that naive ?
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    Seems a lot of money for a late19th century building. The land must be worth a fortune. Seems the ideal opportunity to knock it down and build something next to the NEC.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Our heritage needs to be maintained. Far too much was knocked down and replaced by monstrosities especially in the 1960's. I couldn't care less if it continues to be the seat of government, but the building itself is important.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    VTech wrote:
    Waste is the issue and waste is more often than not bought about by bad choices and in some cases corruption (back handers etc).

    This is very much the case and something I eluded to in my earlier post.

    Places like the Houses of Parliament are a very closed shop when it comes to who does and doesn't work down there, we've tried several times to get contracts for M & E works there but to no avail, it's all about who you know and what you're prepared to 'offer' them :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    arran77 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Waste is the issue and waste is more often than not bought about by bad choices and in some cases corruption (back handers etc).

    This is very much the case and something I eluded to in my earlier post.

    Places like the Houses of Parliament are a very closed shop when it comes to who does and doesn't work down there, we've tried several times to get contracts for M & E works there but to no avail, it's all about who you know and what you're prepared to 'offer' them :wink:

    Agreed.
    I also find it odd how an english train manufacturer can put in an offer to make trains and a french company can come in at a higher price and win the deal.
    How ?
    Living MY dream.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,973
    VTech wrote:
    I also find it odd how an english train manufacturer can put in an offer to make trains and a french company can come in at a higher price and win the deal.
    How ?

    Higher quality.
    Ben

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  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Ben6899 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    I also find it odd how an english train manufacturer can put in an offer to make trains and a french company can come in at a higher price and win the deal.
    How ?

    Higher quality.


    In some areas you would have to agree but not in this case. The English bid was the best but trains is a very corrupt business that Richard Branson bought to light when he offered to run the service at nonprofit having already given the best service records in decades yet still lost.


    We conquered the world with our train network and then ruined it.
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,747
    Build a block of flats in London that is owned by the state and can be used by MP's when they are in London and whilst they are an MP, deduct rent from their salary directly - simples.

    "The people get the government they deserve."
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Build a block of flats in London that is owned by the state and can be used by MP's when they are in London and whilst they are an MP, deduct rent from their salary directly - simples.

    "The people get the government they deserve."

    What we going to do with the Houses of Parliament then? We can't just knock it down, I imagine it might be listed or something :P
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,747
    arran77 wrote:
    Build a block of flats in London that is owned by the state and can be used by MP's when they are in London and whilst they are an MP, deduct rent from their salary directly - simples.

    "The people get the government they deserve."

    What we going to do with the Houses of Parliament then? We can't just knock it down, I imagine it might be listed or something :P

    They are quite good looking, I must admit but the MP's could debate in unused squash courts in Hackney (good access to the M25). Or better still, at the NEC in Birmingham; more central and then they would have to go through places like Wolverhampton, Coventry and Dudley to get there so they would get a better perspective on privilege and position.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,973
    VTech wrote:
    In some areas you would have to agree but not in this case. The English bid was the best but...

    Out of interest, which particular train(s) / project are you referring to?

    (I work in the industry)
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    arran77 wrote:
    Build a block of flats in London that is owned by the state and can be used by MP's when they are in London and whilst they are an MP, deduct rent from their salary directly - simples.

    "The people get the government they deserve."

    What we going to do with the Houses of Parliament then? We can't just knock it down, I imagine it might be listed or something :P

    They are quite good looking, I must admit but the MP's could debate in unused squash courts in Hackney (good access to the M25). Or better still, at the NEC in Birmingham; more central and then they would have to go through places like Wolverhampton, Coventry and Dudley to get there so they would get a better perspective on privilege and position.

    They could then sample Banks's. Bostin'!
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    arran77 wrote:
    What we going to do with the Houses of Parliament then? We can't just knock it down, I imagine it might be listed or something :P

    Having had a bit of a think about this, it could be turned into a museum. It's a huge building with lots of rooms and is a historical artefact in itself, so it should be ideally suited to the purpose. And we could do with a museum of history, as distinct from historical artefacts.

    As for the argument that teleconferences are [email protected] - part of the reasoning behind the idea of making our parliament virtual is to drive the development of the required technology and to get the whole country wired up to the requisite internet connection speeds
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  • ProssPross Posts: 29,609
    The reason teleconferencing is censored is that you can't reasonably manage them as without eye contact it's difficult to see who wants to speak and getting a word in edgeways is a nightmare at time. That's with 5 or 6 people, can you imagine it with hundreds of MPs?

    As for the building, it is one of the world's most iconic buildings so needs a full blown renovation job done on it whether it continues to be used as a parliament building or not. I can't believe the figures being quoted though, as someone said above if you gave it to a private developer they would renovate it at a fraction of the figures being mentioned.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Pross wrote:
    The reason teleconferencing is censored is that you can't reasonably manage them as without eye contact it's difficult to see who wants to speak and getting a word in edgeways is a nightmare at time. That's with 5 or 6 people, can you imagine it with hundreds of MPs?

    Parliament has rules for debate - although you wouldn't know it. If anything, it would make the speaker's job easier if he's controlling who gets to speak next and doesn't have to shout down a couple of hundred MPs making that peculiar mooing noise that signifies disagreement.
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  • The issue is that the building needs renovating no matter what. MPs need a building to meet in no matter what.

    The cost of renovating the Palace of Westminster for MPs to use is going to be less than doing that anyway and having a new or adapated building for a new place.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,747
    Quiet at the back...rhooooobarb...rhooooobarb...rhooooobarb...Mr Speaker Mr Speaker...rhooooobarb..order order...rhooooobarb

    or

    Volume button off...volume button on.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Quiet at the back...rhooooobarb...rhooooobarb...rhooooobarb...Mr Speaker Mr Speaker...rhooooobarb..order order...rhooooobarb

    or

    Volume button off...volume button on.

    Exactly what I was thinking of. Instead of having to call out who gets to speak next, at the press of a button we're listening to them and ignoring everyone else.

    On an entirely unrelated note, shouldn't Labour members of the Privy Council be referred to as "the left honourable , , ,"?
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    The issue is that the building needs renovating no matter what. MPs need a building to meet in no matter what.

    The cost of renovating the Palace of Westminster for MPs to use is going to be less than doing that anyway and having a new or adapated building for a new place.

    Why does it need renovating - why can't we build something in its place more impressive and more fit for purpose ? When the original burnt down they didn't build a replica.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
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