Parliament Must Get the Builders in ASAP to Avoid Collapse

By Gary Cutlack on at

That pointy building in London full of people pretending to know what we want is it danger of imminent collapse according to governmental money men, who say that our MPs need to be relocated to do their guffawing elsewhere so that the rotting carcass of democracy can be rebuilt. And it'll only cost around £4bn to do so.

This comes from the Public Accounts Committee, which has waded in on the long running saga that is What To Do About The Palace of Westminster?. Things are getting worse the longer it's left, like that damp patch in your kitchen only on a much bigger scale, with the PAC warning that the building ricks a "catastrophic" collapse in the very near future unless things involving builders, spirit levels, lots of sighing and billions of pounds is done.

The PAC report favours the "full decant" option of removing all of the governmental people and business from the premises so the works can be done at once, rather than gradually bodging pieces up over the course of decades while business continues under scaffolding, Sagrada Família style. This has previously been thought of as the quickest and cheapest option, with the PAC suggesting a six-year programme of repairs to an unoccupied shell is needed.

It's still using years-old numbers about the cost, though, so that £3.9bn estimate must be quite optimistic by today's standards, especially as we won't have any cheap foreign workers left here to do any of it.

The PAC explains: "This internationally recognised building is in a state of extreme disrepair. The risk of a catastrophic failure is high and growing with every month that passes: fire, water penetration, sewage inundation [already happened etc], comprehensive electrical failure or some other mechanical breakdown are among the most likely causes. It must be repaired. For a World Heritage site that is the home of the 'mother of parliaments', doing nothing is not an option." [Public Accounts Committee via Guardian]

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