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May. 21st, 2009

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The Palace of Westminster is horrible.  The rooms are badly lit and the corridors smell of cabbage. True, medieval Gothic is about letting in as much light as possible.  Victorian gothic- the style in which the Palace is built-  is about creating an atmosphere of faux-ancestral gloom.  Pugin- the man responsible for all the finicky detail- who is now- for reasons that escape me- revered as a design god-  plastered the insides  with a special wallpaper dotted with big, black portcullises- the ugliest, most oppressive thing imaginable- and it's still in place. When it rots they restore it.

But the time for patchwork repairs is past.  We demand change.  The ghormenghastliness of Westminster immures our politicians in a fantasy world, shutting them in and us out, encouraging boysiness and petty corruption. We should hand the building over to Tussauds or the London Dungeon (I recognise that demolition is not an option) and build Parliament a new house- preferably in the Midlands and preferably with glass walls- like the Welsh Assembly- so that We the People can stand outside and watch the little buggers at work.

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