As an aside, the original choice of stone for the carving presents a classic example of ease-of-construction vs suitability for use in the long term!
Whilst appreciating its status symbol, and the fact it is well-connected to a lot of existing Whitehall infrastructure, surely the better solution would be to maintain it as a museum (perhaps the requirements for the refurb could be then less onerous as less need to make it suitable for 600+ MPs).
Then, a new parliament with an "in the round" type debating chamber, similar to the Scottish Parliament and the Bundestag could then be created. This could really improve the way that politics is conducted in this country as the curved debating chamber reduces the concept of opposing sides, and could have the effect of making Parliament less confrontational.
Debates about whether its location should still be in London are probably pie-in-the-sky, however by de-centralising decision making out of London, it would improve the balance of our cities. Currently London is the chief administrative, financial and cultural city (along with arguably best for civil engineering); moving Parliament out of London would go a long way to resolving this, albeit this is unlikely to happen in practice.
It's pretty grim as things stand. Regardless of HS2/HS1 /CTRL connectivity, there should be a good walking route from Euston to King's Cross St' Pancras that doesn't involve walking down a heavily congested road that doesn't have pedestrian crossings on the side streets. An alternative route through the backstreets would be beneficial, perhaps even a canopy to make it more enticing?
Comment on: Elon Musk offers to assist Thai cave rescue
Whilst the sentiment of Mr Musk is no doubt appreciated, I think turning up mid-way through a rescue operation that was already bearing fruit was a shameless PR stunt.
There needs to be a serious public investigation into how such fees were racked up. To the best of my understanding this did not include significant costs such as ground investigation, nor the securing of the landing point on at least one bank.
I recall at the time there were concerns about the procurement process, with different bidding parties given different amounts of pre-tender information and opportunities to revise commercial submissions.
Initiatives to improve our industry (e.g. Project 13) are great, but until there is greater public transparency on seeming wastes of money such as this, the industry will continue to suffer from a poor reputation in the eyes of the Public.