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Kicking up a fuss

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While loitering around the RIBA eco-truck at the Labour Party conference in Manchester, Astragal spotted Cherie Blair among the 1,000. Keen to discuss the possibility of wind turbines and solar panels on Number 10, Astragal was miffed to be brushed aside by a tenacious Sky News reporter armed with a torpedo-like ‘fluffy’ mike. Questions about Monday’s ‘did she, didn’t she’ hooha caused Mrs Blair to speed away from a potentially pleasant design-led chit-chat. Temporarily downcast, Astragal was soon perked up by the raucous members of Remploy – the hardworking champions for disabled workers. The group had decided to lobby the MPs from a spot directly behind the RIBA wagon in Albert Square. Armed with a loudspeaker, a looped taped of ‘Part of the Union’ and two meandering, massive inflatable clowns, the Remploy protestors stole the show. A booming call to arms to save Chesterfield’s prosthetic limb factory was a wonderful highlight. RIBA look and learn.

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