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Don't get it

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Now Annette Fisher and her RIBA-presidency supporters are going round saying she is the victim of a dirty tricks strategy because attention has been drawn to her 'fund me for president' campaign. This has included seeking support from a developer who she assumed (wrongly) would back her because her big rival had dared to criticise the said developer over the quality of one of its schemes. Fisher's supporters are doing her no favours with this sort of campaign, which is fundamentally misconceived. Asking for financial support from architects is one thing; asking for it from developers and contractors is quite another.

Not that all architects have rational views about this. Marco Goldschmied's increasingly bizarre pronouncements make you wonder what he would have said had Fisher been standing against him when he bid for the presidency. Goldschmied, as he would be the first to acknowledge, is white, rich and middle class. Is he saying he should never have been president, or is it just apres-moi le deluge? Astragal has always believed that the president should be supported in office, but it should be by the institute and its members. Sponsorship has real merits, but it has its limits. A sponsored president would, in effect, mark the end of the RIBA as a professional body.

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