Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Let Westminster fall to ruin and send Parliament to Arkwright's Mill

The Palace of Westminster is in a bad way. Generation Rent wants to turn the old pile into flats and send Parliament to Hull.

I have a better idea.

Just let the place gently fall into decay. Imagine how much more attractive it would be as a ruin alive with feral cats, buddleias and fragments of Gothic tracery.

It could be a first glimpse of the future Ian Martin imagined for the whole city the other day:
Poor London, the ancient and forgotten metropolis, crumbling slowly into an enchanted urban forest.
Parliament would still have to go somewhere, of course, and I have a better candidate than Hull.

Arkwright's Mill at Cromford is really a collection of buildings. Between them the ranges could house all the debating chambers, MPs' offices, spin doctors, dining rooms and bars your heart could desire.

There is a railway station nearby, and just down the hill in the inland resort of Matlock Bath you will find plenty of hotels.

And I expect the whips could use the weirs and sluices in my photograph of Arkwright's Mill to torture backbenchers who refuse to toe the line.

If this solution is too radical for you, then close the Palace of Westminster for five years so it can be properly restored and send Parliament somewhere far from London.

If not Cromford, then York would be a good choice.

1 comment:

Tom Barney said...

"We went on a little further, and I looked to the right again, and said, in rather a doubtful tone of voice, 'Why there are the Houses of Parliament! Do you still use them?'

"He burst out laughing, and was some time before he could control himself; then he clapped me on the back and said:

"'I take you, neighbour; you may well wonder at our keeping them standing, and I know something about that, and my old kinsman has given me books to read about the strange game that they played there. Use them! Well, yes, they are used for a sort of subsidiary market, and a storage place for manure, and they are handy for that, being on the waterside...'"

William Morris: "News from Nowhere".