While I have enormous respect for Robin Nicholson, he is wrong to say that Alex Reid's detractors are determined to settle old scores (Letters, AJ 15.2.01).
Nicholson has been away too long from RIBA affairs to have any appreciation of the inappropriateness of Reid's behaviour and policies both prior to and during Marco Goldschmeid's presidency. During his reign there was:
no interest from him in any liaison with government or any staff member to do it. Now there is real interest and a specific government liaison staff member;
no communications director.
Reid took on this function and achieved nothing. When Roula Konzotis was appointed he tried to sack her;
no single member of staff responsible for developing policy. Now we have them;
no capital budget, much to the surprise of the auditors.
Now we have one, allowing us to make major capital investment.
However, all that apart, I believe it is simply ethically wrong that the immediate past chief executive officer should impose himself upon our new and excellent chief executive, and one must speculate whether or not Richard Hastilow would wish to continue under such circumstances.
I also feel that it is disingenuous for Nicholson not to acknowledge the very creative hard work put in by Sunand Prasad and his team in developing RIBA policies around 'Rethinking Construction', and the design quality indicators.
Nor has he recognised Goldschmeid and Professor Peter Smith's lead on policies for sustainable futures, and my open and strong support for government procurement policies.
We have a young, dynamic vice-president practice in Tim Gough, who is committed to developing policy on all areas highlighted in Nicholson's letter.
However, all these initiatives are a commitment of Paul Hyett and he, not Reid, is capable of taking them forward, and has been working to ensure that these get into the curriculum.
I do agree that the way we go about electing a president is a major distraction from RIBA's work. Let us work constructively together to make the RIBA the responsive body Nicholson wishes to see.
Reid is the past, we need to build the future.
John Wright, RIBA vice-president international affairs