Mhairi Black launches astonishing broadside on UK’s foremost landmark
She hates bongs
Firebrand MP Mhairi Black is gaining a fearsome rep for her no-holds barred start to life in Westminster.
The 20 year-old recently ripped apart George Osborne and the Labour Party in her maiden speech, which has been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube. Last week she painted the town SNP yellow as she threw shapes in Glasgow club The Garage.
Now she’s turning her rhetorical firepower on a truly colossal foe, a British icon for more than a century and one of the most recognisable sights in the entire world: Big Ben.
This weekend, Black, who graduated with a first in politics from Glasgow University in May, was interviewed by The Times Magazine. Topics ranged from her phenomenal defeat of top Labour honcho Douglas Alexander during this year’s general election, her sexuality and the way Tory MP’s sound “like a drunken mob” during PMQ’s.
But she reserved her real dynamite for one of the world’s most cherished landmarks. As Big Ben struck ten during the interview Black said:
“It does my nut in. You’re on the phone and you have to get your sentences out between bongs.”
Black’s poisonous opinion of the world’s second largest four-faced chiming clock is out of step with the public’s long-standing admiration for it. A 2008 survey of 2000 people found that the tower and the bell it contains was the most popular monument in the United Kingdom.
It’s cultural significance has seen it become a popular shorthand for the entire nation in films like 28 Days Later, V for Vendetta and pretty much every Bond film ever made. Virginia Woolf immortalised it in her groundbreaking 1925 novel Mrs Dalloway, writing:
“Big Ben strikes… First a warning, musical; then the hour irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.”
It’s pretty clear Parliament’s youngest MP doesn’t see the musical side of the famous old clock, when it interrupted her interview for a second time she said:
“This will annoy you. It will start to annoy you.”