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Tunnel vision


The death of that redoubtable construction industry client and nemesis Alastair Morton reminds Astragal of the story told at a civil engineering dinner about the procurement process for finding contractors for the great man's Channel Tunnel project. Messrs Murphy from Cork arrived for an interview, and the more talkative of the two brothers, who owned the firm, outlined their strategy.

He would start from Folkestone and his brother from Calais, and their tunnels would meet up halfway. 'What happens if they don't?' 'We both keep digging until we reach the other side, and you get two tunnels for the price of one!' General laughter. The dinner host turned to Morton and said: 'Of course, Alastair, you got one tunnel for the price of two?'

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