175 years ago, the Palace of Westminster burnt to the ground. To the rapturous applause of everyone.
Today, if the same was to happen, I imagine that much the same applause would happen. Although we’d all be kept back behind a secure perimeter by many large men with many large guns. Some things do change; luckily the unpopularity of politicians does not.
Something that has never sat well with me, over the years, has been the attitude of the UK to its Parliament. Nowadays, most people would be exceptionally happy to see the institution destroyed, although the building is a masterpiece that many would mourn. Back in 1834, it’s obvious that many people were happy to see said institution fall to the ground as ash. But still, every year, the country spends time celebrating the failure of an attempt to actually make it fall. Why? Surely young Guy should be venerated, not vilified? Does not compute.
Also: it’s a shame that they replaced the old ramshackle building with the “new”masterpiece. Not because I don’t like the building, but if you put a bunch of politicians in a shit building, they’ll spend time trying to improve it – distracting them from screwing with the rest of us. But if you put them in a fantastic building, then they’ll spend all their energies trying to remain there, and that requires almost constant screwing with the populace. and we’ve seen the effects of that in the century or so that they’ve been in the Pugin masterpiece.
Really, I think that Westminster should be converted into something more useful (a museum, perhaps), while the politicians are put into portacabins in some brownfield site. Should buy us a few decades of lesser interference from them, methinks…