Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, the red conservative rag, has a story which may be of interest to Amcon readers. The Prince of Wales, Charles U.K, has just got himself into another spat with Lord Rogers and the architecture community. This time their rage may be justifiable.
Lord Rogers had just designed a one billion pound plan for the redevelopment of the old Chelsea Barracks. The Emir of Quatar ,who owns the plot, was going to pick up the tab for the most expensive building project ever in the UK which would have provided much needed jobs for our beleaguered building industry: in the last year, architects claiming unemployment benefit have risen from 150 to 1290 persons. In the current climate it would have certainly been passed by the planning authorities, however hideous it may be.
Prince Charles, realising that the case of the action group against the project would not be won by open debate in the UK, has written to the prime minister of Quatar, a cousin of the Emir, to complain, and hit the jackpot. The Emir has agreed to withdraw the plan, and to include the Prince’s Foundation for the Built environment in plans for a future design. Thus, for another year, the traffic of central London will not be blocked up with happy builder’s vans trundling back and forth, and 1290 architects will have to remain on the dole. I am interested in what American Conservatives may make of this story. (a) are such parochial uk matters of no interest (b) does it offend the American Republican spirit to have two princes arranging matters of public interest through private letters or (c) does the Thoreauan principle of “one man more right than his neighbours constitutes a majority of one” apply?