The suggestion that departed RIBA director general Alex Reid might make a comeback to Portland Place - as president - is one of the best laughs observers of the institute have had for years. As someone who apparently had difficulty in distinguishing between policy-making and operational control, Alex would perhaps find himself in conflict with his replacement Richard Hastilow (aka Captain Invincible). On the other hand, perhaps the ex-naval types would find an accommodation. But how would Roula Konzotis, communications director, feel about Dr Reid's possible return? Readers will recall the bizarre circumstances in which Reid, in his dying days as director general, summarily dismissed Konzotis, only to reinstate her days later. How did this happen?
An emergency late-night meeting of the policy board was called, to which Alex was summoned. He was asked to give an account of himself, and so unsatisfactory were his reasons for the dismissal that he was instructed to withdraw the sacking and take Konzotis back. Is Reid's flirtation with the idea of becoming president some form of revenge for how he feels he was treated? He left his post six months early, essentially because president Marco Goldschmied had no regard for him. What better response than to replace Marco! It is such a stupid idea that it might just succeed.