Recently on the Daily Politics Show I suggested that we should turn the palace of Westminster into a museum for London, but given that it is known as the 'Mother of Parliaments' I suppose it would be a difficult proposition to move the parliamentarians out to a modern glass tower.
That said, I do genuinely believe that in less hallowed surroundings the possibility would present itself for a far more diverse cross section of Britain to be involved in shaping our laws and future. But assuming we are going to keep parliament where it has been for hundreds of years, why don't we make it a parliament by the people for the people. And by this I mean turn the place into the largest and most important Big Society project ever imagined. A £3bn one that could be the flagship for the training of a huge amount of traditional and modern trades.
Just think of the profile of such a huge project set slap bang in the centre of Westminster. First we use the existing parliament, rats, bad plumbing, leaking roof et al to pass a new 'Restoration Bill' making it mandatory that only British based SMEs that employ a certain ratio of apprentices are allowed to tender for the work. No big corporations, no companies with shadowy owners, or in fact companies linked to MPs at all.
We can use this unique project to train carpenters, stonemasons, plumbers, roofers, as well as all the high-tech electronic work that no doubt will need to be done around demands for security and broadcasting. There are, as we all know, a million under 25s out of work, and many of them are without skills or the motivation to enjoy and build good lives. How great would it be for some of this group to be able to look back at a successful Britain in 35 years time, being able to say 'I was part of that job, that's where I got my start!'
Yesterday, George Osborne spoke about a £50bn building industry stimulus programme. Well you know what they say about getting your own House in order, before starting attempts to sort out everyone else's. This has got to be the perfect opportunity to practice what he preaches.