Astragal, as readers will know, is a political beast, who regularly finds himself at the heart of government. Yesterday, while sniffing around the Labour Party conference in Manchester, he bumped into fresh faced upstart David Miliband – the former Minister of State for Communities and Local Government – at the RIBA truck. The recently appointed DEFRA top dog, tipped to one day take over as leader of the party, was having a nosey around the institute’s lorry, which is currently showcasing idea’s by Manchester schoolchildren for an eco-replacement for 10 Downing Street. Miliband was amazed that it had take the 16-year-old students just three days to come up with the designs. ‘Architects get paid for weeks and weeks for designing something like this,’ he observed. How they chuckled in the RIBA sponsored HGV. However Miliband was far cannier when Astragal cheekily asked him if he would consider an eco-home if he became Prime Minister. He sidestepped that one easily, palming away Astragal with a bland Defra-based retort. Moments before he had turned down the chance to be photographed ‘provocatively’ next to the life-size photo of a ‘green’ No 10 door. They’re not as daft as they look, these MPs.