Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
Sweating the small stuff
27 May 2018, 20:21 | Updated: 27 May 2018, 20:52
Today, number 87 in a never ending series of wonderment called: What Do They Do All Day? In this episode, Andrea Leadsom obsesses about bongs.
Brexiteers have been told by the Commons authorities that Big Ben will not ring out to mark Britain's departure from the EU.
They are furious, but then fury is the emotion that seems to define the Brexiteer Ultras.
The only way some of them can tell they are still alive is if they are exhibiting signs of fury.
Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom took time out of her busy schedule to argue that the bell in the big tower should 'absolutely' peal in 'celebration' of the historic event, the moment that we rid ourselves of the European straitjacket that has plunged the country into austerity, ruined the NHS and caused potholes to remain unmended in the roads.
It must be the EU's fault, it can't be the government's fault, goodness me no, why would anyone think that?
When Ms Leadsom and her Tory colleagues were told the bad bell news they were sore upset.
That they were told that news by their current bête noir, the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, just made it all the harder to take.
They announced, through their sodden hankies, that Remainers were in denial about leaving the EU.
Nothing will please them. They won the referendum but will remain unsatisfied 'till the entire nation unites behind them in glorying our departure with smiles and song and calls of hallelujah.
Haven't these people got anything better to do than play silly games about what bell rings when?
The reason the clock bell has not been heard since the New Year is that it is shrouded in scaffolding while undergoing what we are told are necessary repairs alongside the rest of the Palace of Westminster at a cost of everything we've got that's not being spent titivating Buckingham Palace.
These handsomely rewarded politicians might better spend their time wondering why we have an unlimited budget to tart up palaces but can not find the money to operate on tax payers' knees, hips and eyes.
That would be more a more useful way to while away the hours between lunch and dinner but wouldn't give them the opportunity to wrap themselves in the flag and score points in a game of who's the most patriotic.
Speaking as someone who once read the back cover of a psychology text book, I think these leaver MPs have got a screw loose. In campanology terms, they are one ring short of a peal.
Perhaps the leavers in Westminster are so touchy because they sense that, even now, they are in the minority.
The MP leavers numbered 156 on the day before the referendum, on 22 June 2016, the remainers were 425, the rest may have been too drunk to understand the question.
That nagging doubt that they might not have the support they need to get what they want might explain their determination to ring in the changes.
Celebratory Brexit bells would drown out all dissent.
Ms Leadsom is disappointed. Fellow Tory MP Nigel Evans said he was hugely disappointed.
Comedy top hatter Jacob Rees-Mogg expressed his disdain in that clenched, supercilious manner of an old Etonian from a bygone age.
Perspective was introduced by Eloise Todd of the pro-EU Best for Britain group who said: 'First it was stamps, then a bank holiday, then a new Brexit Britannia, then a plane and now Big Ben's bongs. If these MPs actually concentrated on Brexit rather than rubbish like this then maybe we wouldn't be in this car-crash situation.'
Spot on Ms Todd.
The massed buffoonish ranks of the Brexiteer Ultras do not seem like serious people, but they have serious jobs.
Andrea Leadsom's website boasts that she is the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council.
I assume these are ceremonial positions, as she is also an MP supposedly representing the interest of her constituents of South Northamptonshire, not to be confused with North Southamptonshire, which is east-west of there.
That's three jobs and yet she still has time to devote to fretting about the soundtrack of the glorious escape from our European overlords.