back to article Blighty’s beloved Big Ben bell ends, may break Brexit bargain

Big Ben, the bell in the iconic clock tower on the north end of the Palace of Westminster, will fall silent for four years – and as a result the UK may not leave the European Union until 2021, if a government statement is to be trusted. The famous bongs, known around the world as an auditory symbol of Britain in general and …

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Not to worry

Nigel Farage is on standby with a hammer to make sure the bell bongs at midnight wherever it happens to be being stored.

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Re: Not to worry

Thought he had been using his face

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Re: Not to worry

Rather Farage is to be tied upside down inside the bell so that his head can be used as the hammer.

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Re: Farage at Midnight

24 hour timekeeping anyone?

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Re: Farage at Midnight

Future historians: "Nobody knew or cared who he was, but the face rings a bell..."

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Big Brother

Re: Not to worry

Brussels is braced for Brexit. Before the year is out Bellgium will cast a new Bell called Große Gerda/Grande Gertrude/Grote Gribus which may chime over Westminster if Big Ben be indisposed.

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A point in fact.

Big Ben is the name of the bell and not, as some tend to think the actual clock which is called clocky McClockface.

Mr. P. Idiot

junction 12 - M25 (Chertsey exit)

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Re: A point in fact.

Have an Upvote McUpvoteface

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Happy

Re: A point in fact.

Is the marmite laser a device for destroying marmite - or a laser powered by the evil stuff? Enquiring minds wish to know...

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Re: A point in fact.

I work in Chertsey, it's Junction 11.

Junction 12 is the M3 crossover

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Re: A point in fact.

Thank you very much for correcting my mistake, my decision now is whether to move or reprint stationery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A point in fact.

I wouldn't bother with the stationary, it never goes far anyway.

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Holmes

Re: A point in fact.

While the bell is called Benny McBenface, or Biggie McBenface, or Bennie McBigface ... or if they drop it in the river during the refurb - Boaty McBellface, Belly McBoatface, Bennie Mc ...

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IT Angle

Re: A point in fact.

"I work in Chertsey, it's Junction 11.

Junction 12 is the M3 crossover"

Smarty McSmartpants.

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Re: A point in fact.

Dicky McDickhead

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Anonymous Coward

If it's in former porn baron Dickie Desmond's rag then it must be true.

I'm touching cloth and have run out of loo roll, anyone a copy of the Daily Express I can use ?

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According to Private Eye (for the purposes of journalistic research only, I'm sure), Desmond's Television X has produced a blockbuster film. Hard BreXXXit, starring Jizza Cwoarbyn and the SNP leader Knickerless Virgin...

If you can't shoehorn a joke about the bongs in there, what about the dongs?

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The Daily Mail has now countered this story to the effect that Big Ben is only be silenced because migrant labour is being used to renovate the bell. Katie Hopkins is calling for all immigrants to be banned from handling bell ends.

Nigel Farage's bell end is unavailable for comment.

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That would inconvenience Nasty Nige, given that his wife is German.

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Nigel Farage's bell end is unavailable for comment.

There's a first time for everything.

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I worked at the Daily Express before it was a tabloid, it was fairly shitty then.

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It all went downhill when Dianna died.

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Anonymous Coward

"That would inconvenience Nasty Nige, given that his wife is German."

According to his wife, they have been living separate lives for a while. Can't say I blame her. It's not clear why she ever fancied him in the first place. I suppose he was a 'rich ticket' before revealing his hateful racist buffoon persona.

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Elf n safety gorn maad

Workers on scaffolding around the tower face a significant risk to their hearing if the bells, including the quarter-hour and half-hour chimes, are allowed to continue.

It'll be immigrant workers who are being pandered to like this, forcing the patriotic Great British bell to be silenced just for their lazy comfort. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank -- with our tax money!

© Katie Hopkins

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Re: Elf n safety gorn maad

"Elf n safety gorn maad"

Loosely connected to this story, I'm sure I remember one of the presenters of Blue Peter back in the late 70's early 80's helping to clean the clock face of big ben. I'm also certain that he did it on a classic 'bosuns chair'. Not strapped to anything, no safety net, hard hat or hi viz jacket. Not worried about bonging either I'll be bound. Yep, you could certainly respect kids TV presenters back then. Ah.

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Coffee/keyboard

"...have run out of loo roll, anyone a copy of the Daily Express..."

I wouldn't, the ink comes off something dreadful.

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The Express and Mail

{Yes there is a paper with both names in the title}

have lousy print quality and IMHO is only good for picking up dog turds as the paper is slightly more eco friendly than plastic bags.

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Anonymous Coward

>That would inconvenience Nasty Nige, given that his wife is German.

And his mistress is French

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Re: The Express and Mail

Every copy I've every seen has already been full of shit.

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have run out of loo roll, anyone a copy of the Daily Express I can use ?

- Nooo! It's too toxic, it'll give your c*ncer of the anus or something...I've some sandpaper, it's safer...

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Re: Elf n safety gorn maad

Ah-Ha - But being a Blue Peter presenter, he was probably already 'high'.

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According to Private Eye (for the purposes of journalistic research only, I'm sure), Desmond's Television X

Would this be the same Television X that's broadcast nightly unencrypted on UK DVB-T COM4? The one OFCOM didn't think was an issue being broadcast unencrypted. The one showing stuff that the government are trying to ban online without an age check? Talk about double standards.

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Re: Elf n safety gorn maad

You're not thinking of John Noakes (minus Shep) climbing Nelson's Column to help clean it, are you?

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"It all went downhill when Dianna died."

Nonsense. What would they have without the apotheosis of the princess. Die young and leave a beautiful corpse. Not to be taken literally, of course, when fast cars are involved. But at least we'll always have the photographs, unfortunately.

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Re: Elf n safety gorn maad

"You're not thinking of John Noakes (minus Shep) climbing Nelson's Column to help clean it, are you?"

Roj, I'm sure you remember the 70's very well. I was a big fan btw, and it was never the same when you left, and even worse when the Liberator rusted away or something. Glynis Barber was a minor plus point, but it still didn't make up for the crapulence of the story lines.

Anyhoo!

I've summoned up the energy to google this, and I am, not for the first time, correct. It was Peter Duncan, and it was deffo Big Ben. That's unless someone has subsequently uninstalled the clock faces on Nelson's Column.

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Re: Elf n safety gorn maad

Not strapped to anything, no safety net, hard hat or hi viz jacket

I suspect that if you are falling from the height of the Elizabeth Tower clock face(s) then a hard hat or high-vis jacket isn't going to save you.

Although, the high-vis might make clearing the resultant splash up slightly easier.

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I've some sandpaper, it's safer.

You might be able to find some unexpired Izal medicated loo paper in the cupboard. Does nothing other than act as some sort of scraper if you fold it correctly..

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Re: "It all went downhill when Dianna died."

Die young and leave a beautiful corpse.

Or, as Blondie put it: "Live fast, die young, stay pretty".

I suspect they might have a *slightly* different view nowadays.

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Happy

An Excellent Wheeze!

So the government promises to pay the 2017 class of its bonds on the bong of Big Ben at midnight on Dec 31st. Oh dear, no bong? No bucks. Sorry. No stress though, we'll pay you in four years.

Of course it's a bit of a problem when SPECTER nick a couple of nukes and we have to bong Big Ben an extra time, in order to signal our acceptance of their terms. Could be embarrassing to have Birmingham blown up for lack of bongs...

But I'm sure Bond will sort out the blackmailing bastards, bypassing the bongs and banging the baddy's babe, before blowing up his base and beating a hasty retreat back to Blighty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An Excellent Wheeze!

> Could be embarrassing to have Birmingham blown up for lack of bongs...

There's always a !Bong! that could be sent as an Evil Mastermind Consultant.

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Re: Could be embarrassing to have Birmingham blown up for lack of bongs...

Would anyone notice?

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Re: An Excellent Wheeze!

Could be embarrassing to have Birmingham blown up for lack of bongs

s/Embarrassing/Amusing/* g

(Hey - I was born there so I'm allowed to mock. Fortunately, we moved to pastures new[1] when I was still pre-school)

[1] Norf Lonnun.

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Coat

That's utterly bongers!

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Coat

Congratulations. That pun was a right bellter...

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These puns are a bit clapped out and -frankly- not very apealing.

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Anonymous Coward

Can't we speed it up a bit with the extra 350m a week we will surely be saving?

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4 years at 350m per week. That sounds about right for a govt contract to refurb their club house

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It's not enough. I think a full refurb of the House of Commons is estimated to be something like £3bn. So you can stick a bit extra on that - and it's good enough for government work...

Obviously it's going to cost more to do if they keep the MPs there - rather than chucking them out for a couple of years.

One of the towers, I think the Elizabeth one, has dodgy foundations - and needs unerpinning before it falls over. The stonework all needs sorting out. Plus lots of ornate carving. The internal services are a mess - they've got a fibre network running through the remnants of an old steam boiler plant and it's various pipes and chimneys. The place is full of asbestos as well apparently. And it's a listed building and world heritage site - which I'm sure won't complicate matters at all...

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And it's a listed building and world heritage site

Fuck knows why. Ugly, decrepit, poorly built Victorian Gothic nightmare, utterly unsuited to any purpose of government. At least it's such a mess that it detracts from the world class lack of imagination, talent and style that is Portcullis House next door.

I'd demolish the vile monstrosity, build something stylish and fit for purpose, and have only the clock and bells reinstated. Then again, why pander to the arseholes of parliament? Sell the Palace of Westminster to a US megabucks hotel and casino group (should get at least ten billion quid for it), and make Parliament meet in converted warehouse in Smethwick. Or let the inmates out of a Victorian jail, and make them meet there (Strangeways, perhaps).

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