Society Diary: Is there a worthier cause than a bong for Big Ben? 

17 Jan 2020 Voices

Disclaimer: Big Ben does not look like that right now, it is covered in scaffolding because they are in the middle of complicated and expensive restoration work. But why shouldn't that be interrupted to mark our departure from the EU - it's what the people voted for, right?

Copyright: Fergus Burnett

Welcome to the 3,457th day of January, it feels like this month will never end. The upside to this would of course be that the UK remains in the European Union, downside would be that it would be January, the worst of all months, forever. Truly a catch 22 situation. 

Anyway this week Diary looks at the DofE’s activities for teenagers, and suggest some of our own and the most Tory crowdfunding attempt ever. 

Britain has faced many a bump in its Brexit journey, but perhaps none so barmy as the recent barney over a bong-less Big Ben (Diary challenges readers to say that sentence out loud).

Big Ben must bong…. Okaaay

A campaign titled ‘The Big Ben must bong for Brexit campaign’ had surfaced on Gofundme,  raising more than £162,000 so far. 

But the House of Commons has said it cannot accept cash raised directly from donations websites. Diary finds this disappointing. A costly, divisive, and purely symbolic gesture seems the perfect way to welcome Brexit.

Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said Parliament “shouldn’t look gift horses in the mouth”, but the odds are now unclear (48:52?)

In the event a bong isn't looking likely, Diary has prepared an alternative - hear us out. The public should simultaneously stand outside their homes, and in unison make their best bonging sounds. We think this could be a perfect metaphor for a Britain looking towards a more united future. 

And either way, it's not all bad. The crowdfunder page says that if it falls short of its £500,000 target, the fund will be donated to Help for Heroes. Diary will leave it to readers to decide which is a more worthy recipient.

25 experiences all teens should have, according to DofE 

This week the Duke of Edinburgh Award unveiled 25 experiences outside the classroom that help turn teenagers from being awful, selfish monsters into useful members of society. 

It includes many things that charities, and of course Diary, are in favour of, such as volunteering, campaigning, being nice to other humans etc alongside things that teenagers are known for being fond of such as going to a music festival and travelling, and things parents are definitely going to be keen on, like managing your own money and learning to cook. 

But Diary can’t help but notice that it is very active, and well, if you can’t be a bit sloth-like as a teenager, when can you? And so, based on Diary’s own teenage experiences, here are a few extra suggestions to help create a nation of well-rounded teens. 

1.    Watch every episode of Saved By the Bell twice over a 48-hour period. 
2.    Sleep in until 1pm and stay up until 2am, just because. 
3.    Hang out on a park bench eating McDonald’s chips in the middle of winter. 
4.    Spend a weekend in PJs reading Harry Potter books. 
5.    Extensively plan the huge house party you’ll have as soon as your parents go away for the weekend, but chicken out and just have a few friends over for takeaway pizza. 


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