More tales of woe and vengeance, with a guest appearance by Jean-Luc Picard as President Pringle and a soundtrack by the scaffolders …

Jean-Luc Pringle of space station RIBA and Jacques Picard of the starship Enterprise
Separated at birth?
Jean-Luc Pringle of space station RIBA and Jacques Picard of the starship Enterprise

Holyrood latest

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse at the Scottish parliament building, I hear a new peril is set to strike. The controversial building is proof against wind, rain and tactical nukes but not, I hear, Edinburgh's skateboarders. I'm told there are concerns that the four-wheeled fiends may end up sullying the project’s landscaping, and that obstacles may have to be added to stop these young hooligans. This is, of course, going to add to the final bill. But after you’ve had your head blown off, you can probably take a sprained ankle in your stride …

History today
I was talking with Building columnist John Smith the other day, and the conversation drifted onto Trafalgar House's takeover of Cunard in the early 1970s. It seems the late Sir Basil Smallpiece, then chairman of Cunard, had an enormous office “with a desk big enough to land helicopters on, and carpet deep enough to need snowshoes”. After being told about the takeover, Smallpiece shouted that “that little Jew will succeed over my dead body”, referring to Lord Victor Matthews of Trafalgar. After the bid did in fact succeed, Smith was told to prepare a cupboard halfway down a staircase as Baz’s new office. He just managed to squeeze in a tiny desk and some hooks for him to hang a coat, but alas, he never returned to see it.

The New Scaffolders
If any of you were left unmoved by Fat Midget's dazzling synthesis of Dada and situationism at the architecture biennale, I'm am pleased to report that not all the industry's beat combos are so pretentious. David Mosely, training manager at the scaffolder's association, leads a rock group called Moses. In fact, he was spotted playing in a pub in London’s Kings Cross on Sunday night. I assume they were the support act (geddit?!).

Varsity blues
With the news that only six out of 60 undergrads managed to pass their degrees in architecture at the University of Central England, I'm concerned that construction is, after all, attracting the wrong type of candidates. Still, our loss is McDonald’s gain …

Can you help?
You would have thought that Bill Olner MP, secretary to the All Party Construction Group would be the last person to have difficulty obtaining a tradesman, but not so. I hear the MP has had to delay his home extension by six weeks until he found a builder prepared to do the work.

Shrewd media management

Having taken accurate aim at their feet, managers at the Scottish parliament just keep blasting away. The latest shot has been to alienate the only people that can help get them out of their hole: members of the press. First, the official opening by the Queen has been scheduled to coincide with a Scotland's match against Norway for a place the World Cup in Germany. And second, there will be no reward for those hacks that do attend: I'm told there are plans to ban journalists from the parliament's only bar and restaurant ...