Election appeals to the architects of Great and/or Broken Britain
It’s baby-kissing time for Ian Martin
LABOUR. We’re not mindreaders. But we do have a sort of smug intuition. That’s why we think we know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that the period 1997-2010 was characterised first by the preening neuroticism of the lying shit Blair, then by his boring successor Old Bruin, the clunking automaton of Threadneedle Street. You will be wondering why we devoted so much energy to outsourcing everything from municipal space to civil rights. Or why we decided that the future of our publicly owned built environment could safely be left in the hands of volume housebuilders and PFI cartels. Well, all we can say is this: we know you think we were wrong, but YOU’RE WRONG. You need to stop dwelling on the past and think about the Olympics etc. Yay! Plus, if re-elected we might organise a Future Fair For All next year for the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. It may involve some sort of futuristic funfair for everyone, or something. Ideas are still in flux. We certainly won’t be consulting the so-called Mayor of London as he is just a fatuous loaf in a cycling helmet. Everything’s set up nicely. Don’t ruin it for us by voting Conservative.
CONSERVATIVE. You don’t need us to tell you how hugely important architects are. You know that already. But now we invite you to join us in redesigning the whole country. To create A Changed Britain. A Fixed Britain. A World-Class Britain. Of course, we can’t promise that the next few years will be easy. There is much to do. However, things will go more smoothly if we organise ourselves properly. Architects and Conservatives have much in common: a haughty overview, benign self-interest and natural team-leadership qualities. Together we can marshall those with natural followership qualities to get the job done. How? By capping council tax. By scrapping stamp duty. By introducing penalties for idleness and/or collective bargaining. Plus free Enya CDs given away with the Daily Mail. But hurry. Every word of this sentence is costing taxpayers more time.
LIB DEM. We believe in something worth believing in, and we’re definitely not Tories. Of all the political parties, we are without doubt the most ‘architectural’. Comfortable in our trousers. Clear in our aspirations. Liberal in our elocution. We share a vague though effortlessly moralistic worldview. Like you, we have given up smoking. Now we champion the rights of better, fatter citizens and join with the architectural profession in calling for wider ‘foot’ prints. Come with us on our Journey Of Hope as we seek to secure ‘40 per cent clean electricity’ by 2020 and ‘100 per cent clean enough’ by 2050. Underemployed and ‘resting’ architects should remember we’re planning 40,000 zero-carbon social houses in addition to the six million ‘slightly carbon’ houses already earmarked for special attention in the future. You, as an architect old before his/her time, will know how unkind the years can be. Vote Lib Dem and feel young/idealistic again, NB evenings and weekends only. Summary: pyjamas come and go, corduroy endures.
GREEN. The landscape of sustainability (aye, the cityscape of sustainability too) is changing. We also must change. Change into sustainable human beings. ‘Mm, what are they?’ you ask. Stay there, we’ll tell you later. Try putting the prefix ‘eco’ in front of every single noun. NOW do you get the picture? Summary: changing Britain from an industrial baritone to an organic countertenor.
NUTTY INDEPENDENT. We have specific local policies for nearly every suburban area in Britain. What are they? Mind your own business. That’s private information and we don’t live in North Korea – yet. Like you, we are loveable and irascible. We are free spirits. If you’re into upside-down buildings and psychedelic masterplans, dream on with us.
BNP. British Architecture for British People! That’s what we say in a caption above this awkward montage of 1! A church built shortly after the Norman Conquest! 2! A Lake District farmhouse with a VOTE BNP sign in the front garden! 3! Paternoster Square with only white people visible! Yes there is a place for modernity! And that place is a fictional place! Because that place is the scrapheap of history! Architects, we ask you to cast your minds back to a time when ancestral myth-making WAS the future!
Vote for us and fantasise about your building as the setting for a Leni Riefenstahl film! Aha, gotcha!
DON’T KNOW.Like much of the architecture produced these days, we are thoughtless and uncertain. Vote for us and we will remain totally clueless on your behalf. twitter.com/IanMartin