May 23 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The tower housing Big Ben is set to be renamed in honour of the Queen under plans supported by the majority of MPs, mirroring a tribute bestowed on Queen Victoria.
Subject to commission approval, the proposal to change the name to ‘Elizabeth Tower’ will be formally presented to the Palace and a renaming ceremony organised which the Queen would be invited to attend (hopefully on dry land – I for one don’t want to see an 86-year-old forced to stand up in a boat for three hours while the heavens open for their own wet tribute again).
Of course, thanks to every pub quiz in the land, we all know that it isn’t the bell tower itself that’s called Big Ben, it’s the bell housed within it which bears the moniker.
Fact, however, never gets in the way of reality and to all of us, Big Ben is the whole clock, from the floor to the sky. Call it ‘Elizabeth Tower’ and we’ll call it ‘Big Ben’ – even if the penalty for doing so is beheading at the Tower of London.
To be entirely clear: there is more chance of me emptying the North Sea using only a fork and a sieve than there is of anyone adopting Elizabeth Tower over Big Ben. Especially after I’ve heard that David Cameron is backing the proposal.
Personally, I’m pretty much convinced that the Queen has enough stuff named after her: hospitals, bridges, day care centres – if so much as an envelope opened this year it was immediately given a name that included the words “Elizabeth” and “jubilee”.
At best, pub quizzes will have a new question, at worst, Big Ben will become Big Betty, at very worst comedians will have a field day with “Big Ben is inside Elizabeth’s tower”-style ribaldry. I only said it because they will and after 12 weeks of miserable exercise, see below, I reckon I can outrun a Beefeater.
On top of all my compelling arguments (I once won a debating competition, you know, even though I was forced to argue for the death penalty WHICH I DIDN’T EVEN AGREE WITH) I would add that Big Ben doesn’t need any more worldwide publicity.
It is a cast-iron fact that everyone on the planet recognises Big Ben, even really thick people.
If you’re going to rename a tower, make it one that desperately needs a bit of good PR: I suggest Westlegate Tower or Normandie Tower, either of which would benefit from a bit of royal glitter (that or a bulldozer).