Facts so far
50 dead, over 356 wounded
– Deadliest mass shooting in US history
– Gunman is 64-year-old Stephen Paddock
– Was shooting from 32nd floor of hotel during concert
– Gunman was shot dead
– Motive unknown
– Police found gunman’s female companion, Marilou Danley
That’s it so far. (Thanks to The Spectator Index for the figures).
I brought my mum to meet you.
And we mustn’t forget our friends in Catalonia today:
The Elizabeth Tower holding the iconic Big Ben bell needed some repair.
It was decided that this repair should go ahead.
So the parliamentary authorities called a restoration company, who presumably came and looked at h job and estimated £29 million to do the job over a period of four years.
Because of the proximity of workmen to the bell (and the fact that the parliamentary clock team were going to take the opportunity to repair and service the clock), it was estimated that the chimes of Big Ben would not be heard for four years while the work progressed. (Can you imagine what working in the bell tower while the massive bell rang out on the hour every hour every day, would do to people’s hearing?)
This caused an uproar in the houses of parliament and, even in the middle of Brexit worries, the exalted personage of the prime minister, her right honourable self, complained about the length of time that the bell would be silenced.
Mrs May said: “Of course we want to ensure people’s safety at work but it can’t be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years. And I hope that the Speaker, as the chairman of the House of Commons commission, will look into this urgently so that we can ensure that we can continue to hear Big Ben through those four years.”
Mrs May is good at making a lot of noise about little things, but less so when it comes to anything important.
Note from Munguin: This is an old story, Tris, what’s your point in raking it up again, amusing though it was.
OK, Munguin, keep yer scarf on. I’m getting to that.
Anyway, it seems that the repairers weren’t too expert on the old estimating part of the job. And instead of the £29 million quoted a few months ago, it’s actually going to cost £61 million. Well, at least until the next update!
A spokeswoman for the House of Commons told the Press Association: “The commissioners expressed their disappointment in the cost increases, and the unreliability of the original estimate. But they reiterated their commitment to preserving the Elizabeth Tower and Great Clock for future generations.”
Just two brief observations, then:
I assume that, given the more than doubling of the cost, the length of the project will increase by a similar proportion. So maybe 8-9 years before Big Ben is heard over London again? How will the MPs who were crying at the final “bongs” ever manage? What will May say?
And, of course, it is worth noting that the repairs to the tower are only a tiny part of the total renovation of the parliamentary buildings which has been variously estimated as costing £4 billion, £5.7 billion, and £7.1 billion and taking up to 30 years.
Does this mean that we can expect to pay up to £15 billion and wait over 60 years for the builders to finish?
Who organised this chaotic mess? Oh yeah, the British government! Nuff said.
Oh yeah, the British government! Nuff said.
And they think they can deliver Brexit????
Sometimes you reflect on the utter embarrassment that is the warring Westminster government, and the opposition that, well, I dunno about you, but does anyone, much less them, have an idea what their Brexit policy is?
You know perfectly well that people all over Europe and the rest of the world (in as much as they give a stuff about what’s happening here), are choking themselves laughing at the mess that mighty Britannia has got itself in.
But, there’s always the comfort that the insignificant May and her hapless squabbling friends… well, no, not friends… more, well, enemies, are no marks on the international ridicule scale, compared with the orange-faced muppet in the Gold House.
He is, quite simply, incomparable.
Enjoy, as Seth and his team takes a “Closer Look” some of the more ridiculous moments in the last few days…
SIR Fallon of Tiddly has warned Boeing that they could be stripped of lucrative defence contracts as a result of the trade dispute over the sale of jets made in Northern Ireland by the Canadian firm Bombardier.
The dispute, over which May apparently lobbied the Trump, has resulted in an interim decision by the US Department of Commerce to place a 220% tariff on the sale of Bombardier’s C-Series jets.
This could put at risk at least some of the 4000 jobs at Bombardier’s Belfast plant, which account for around 8% of the province’s economy.
It’s to be stressed that the tariff imposition is a measure based on an interim decision. A final decision will be made in February 2018, when it is hoped it will be settled more amicably.
The premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard, has joined the war of words describing the move as an attack on his province and on Canada.
But, it is worth remembering that Mrs May has always placed faith in the special relationship as her country seeks trade deals from outside the world’s richest trading block, and Mr Trump promised a great deal within months….
It’s a faith which it seems at the moment may have been misplaced.
Maybe next time, Mrs May, don’t hold the idiot’s hand even if he is scared of the dark, or stair or whatever implausible story that was spun at the time.