for PRP Architects

“It would be quite amusing if Tony Blair was dragged out of Downing Street, hitting everyone with a handbag, like Thatcher did,” says Alex, with a chuckle.

“It’ll be difficult for him to hang on to his authority after this,” Andy agrees. “Maybe he’ll be pushed out before Christmas.”

As his colleagues dwell on this, all eyes turn to the plasma screen above our heads. Tony Blair is about to make announcement that he will go in the next 12 months.

“Well, that’s all very well,” interjects Scott. “But what if all this means that the Tories win the next general election? Do we really fancy David Cameron and Boris Johnson as an alternative?”

Alex thinks this would be rather amusing. She says Boris gave an after-dinner speech to a landscape designers’ dinner once and didn’t make a word of sense. “It was just a stream of consciousness,” she says. “It wasn’t planned or anything. That would make for interesting times.”

She goes on to bemoan the lack of Liberal Democrat opposition, but Scott explains this is because they are always in the pub.

Andrew’s mind, however, is still on Tony. “That’s what he’ll do after,” he reveals. “He’ll go round making expensive after-dinner speeches, although he probably doesn’t need to – he’s got Cherie to support him. And anyway, the man needs a holiday.”

Scott has a solution for the ailing Blair. “He needs to learn to play golf,” he says. That would relax him a bit. “He likes to play tennis, doesn’t he? He could do a tennis tour of the Bahamas with Cliff Richard!”

Andy’s thoughts turn back to Cameron & Co and what difference regime change would make to his firm. PRP has a reputation for sustainable design – it’s made the news recently by teaming up with Bill Dunster’s practice. But would Cameron really influence the sustainability agenda in the architectural world? He concludes that the Conservatives are saying all the right things about the environment, but that they have yet to prove themselves.

His colleagues remind him that Cameron did visit Greenland to see the effects of global warming – but went there on a plane, which goes against the point of the exercise. “He went to see an icecap,” Andrew explains. “And guess what – he saw it was melting. Go figure!”

All eyes turn to the TV as Blair emerges to pronounce on his future. The group turn back to their empty glasses and sigh – they’ve obviously had enough of politics. “When can we talk about our plans for improving the industry?” asks Andy. It seems architects have got their priorities sorted after all.

  • Chosen watering hole: The Bishops Finger, Smithfield
  • Ambience: Cosy pub frequented mostly by casual suits 
  • Principal topic: The assassination of Tony Blair 
  • Drinks drunk: one pint of Spitfire, one pint of Spitfire shandy, a half of Masters Brew

Those present …

  • Andy von Bradsky director
  • Scott Lawrie director
  • Alexandra Rook urban design consultant
  • Andrew Mellor associate
  • Vikki Miller Building magazine