Here is the news from London, in August.
Westminster’s historic clock will not chime for four years while repairs are carried out, it has emerged. The bell will only ring out on New Year’s Eve and for Remembrance Sunday.
Bored people with not enough to worry about have for several days declared themselves outraged at the plans for a lack of chiming the rest of the year. Someone said on Twitter this was a denial of their democratic birthright and removal of an integral part of what it is to be British.
A rethink has been demanded. MPs who made the decision to approve the silencing of Big Ben told journalists that they did not know they were agreeing to a lack of chiming, until it got into the newspapers. Let’s hope the MPs who failed to spot this basic detail have nothing to do with handling Brexit.
That is the news.
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Perhaps the BBC could intervene, and have TV’s choirmaster Gareth Malone run a competition choosing a choir to go to Westminster and shout “bong” on the hour for four years, operating in shifts?
Really, this lack of chiming at Big Ben is not a scandal, or an outrage, or an affront, or even very interesting or important. A bell is not going to chime on a clock in an old tower that needs repairing. That is all.