As America celebrates its new president, what news of the RIBA presidential campaign? So far it is living well down to expectations, following the injection of drama last year when current president Marco Goldschmied launched his famous attack on the Internet candidate, Alex Reid. The boring correspondence on whether the sensible candidate, Paul Hyett, should dissociate himself from this attack threatens to send everyone to sleep. More interesting is the contention of Brian 'Private' Godfrey that he will 'cut the arms off ' any outside architect who comes into his local area. This charm offensive is going down like a lead balloon in those areas where he has so far put in an appearance.
Audiences at both single-speaker events, and those where two of three of the candidates are present, are at their usual rockbottom, suggesting that a 25 per cent poll would be a good result.
Ah well. At least Hyett is taking local appearances seriously: he will have spoken at 32 venues by the time the campaign is over. Happily he and Reid appear to enjoy a civilised relationship, one of the few crumbs of comfort in this troubled time. No doubt their different views on architecture help. Hyett thinks architects should design buildings, Reid seems dubious, never having done one himself and preferring the world of space planning while boss of DEGW. Most of the votes are probably cast by now, judging by previous experience, but there is no reason why we should not continue to enjoy campaign fun while it lasts.