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Apathy over method of election weakens RIBA

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Letters

I am surprised, but not totally shocked, at the lack of outrage expressed in your letters pages with regard to the 'closed shop' proposed for the selection of future RIBA presidents (that is by RIBA Council, not by the membership as a whole).

What kind of message is the small number of advocates of this policy trying to send to the profession as a whole? Such a move is profoundly undemocratic and regressive, and would only serve to heighten the perception of the RIBA as a body run by and for a small (metropolitan) clique rather than for all its members throughout the country. How is the RIBA going to encourage new entrants into the profession to join as members and convince them that the organisation is modern, relevant and inclusive when it is suggesting electing its most public figurehead in this manner?

If the absence of expressions of disgust can be read as indicative of the apathy of architects in relation to the RIBA, then is this not damning of both parties? If there is little reaction and such measures are given credence, then surely the profession as a whole is weakened, most critically in terms of its credibility with the public as a whole.

Jonathan Kendall, London NW1

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