Cromwell plus scaffolding

I grow increasingly fond of the statue of Oliver Cromwell, which is right next to Parliament itself rather than out in Parliament Square like Churchill, Gandhi, Smuts, Mandela and the rest of them.

Here, photoed on February 5th, is one of my more recent photos of this Cromwell statue:

I like that because although Oliver himself is very small, he is still very recognisable, and also because he is small you get lots of context. In this case, you get Parliament, in the form of … that big tower, the other one from Big Ben.

And, you get a zillion tons of scaffolding, including scaffolding with big white sheets spread out over it, which makes for a constantly changing background for this statue.

London’s Parliament is now one of the great epicentres of the scaffolding industry. This being because Parliament is sacred and must at all cost be preserved. Yet, it is collapsing, both inside and out. My understanding is that it is currently being entirely rebuilt, but that this total rebuild is having to be visually disguised as a mere refurbishment. Seriously, it might well have made more sense to flatten the entire place, then rebuild it entirely, with the outside being meticulously reconstructed to make it look as if nothing major had happened.

Meanwhile, it’s all a great background for Oliver. Memo to self: Dig out more photos of this statue, with varying backgrounds, and show them here.

One thought on “Cromwell plus scaffolding”

  1. My understanding is that the present plan is for the politicians to vacate parliament house for six years from 2022 while the building is essentially gutted and rebuilt from the inside. Any big refurbishment is much cheaper if people are not trying to use it at the same time that it is being rebuilt. At the moment they are doing things to the exterior, because that can be done while there are people still working inside.

    I personally don’t think it is a very distinguished building, but it is such a recognisable symbol that I understand why people want to keep it. Also, politicians and bureaucrats tend to become very grandiose in their plans when building new parliament buildings from scratch, and these things tend to go horribly overbudget. See the new parliament house in Canberra opened in 1988 – in that case there was nothing wrong with the old one*, and it was an absolutely stupid waste of money, the parliament building in Edinburgh, the Northern Territory parliament building in Darwin, and lots more.

    (*there was a shortage of office space, due there being more MPs and in particular more staffers than was the case when the original building was opened in 1927. This could have been easily resolved by building a tasteful but boring office building nearby, but this wasn’t grandiose enough).

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