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What's in a name

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astragal

It is always a sign of desperation when organisational reshuffles become obsessed by name changes. And so it is with the Department of Culture's notions about architecture in the post-spending review world. It is seriously suggested that a 'champion for architecture' (no bad thing) could head an organisation called, catchily, the 'Standing Committee on Architecture'. Not surprisingly, the Royal Fine Art Commission, as gloomily predicted in this column three weeks ago, would probably have a new role, and a new name, since the public obviously cannot make any connection between fine art and architecture, poor dears. I know, what about 'Royal Fine Architecture Commission' - brilliant. Chris Smith's gang seems to think that the commission is a quango (it is not). They also keep banging on about working with regional architecture centres, noticeable for being largely non-existent, with Cambridge closed and Bristol in desperate financial straits. The role of the rfac is very simple: to oppose rubbish without fear or favour. It needs no new name or new links to carry on with this task, but it could do with some more architect members. You do not need 'community links', whatever they might be, to spot rubbish.

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