This week, we paint a vision of a dystopian future – a world in which journalists are politicians, the credit crunch ends in murderous pillage and the word ‘Olympics’ may not be spoken …

He’s behind (you)

Rafael Viñoly’s Leicester Theatre – or the Curve, as it is known – has seen more than its fair share of drama before it has even opened, what with planning problems, budget rises and delays, so it is with great mirth that we hear the £60m venue will premiere with … a pantomime. Considering Viñoly’s recent problems in Colchester we thought a farce was more appropriate, but a panto should provide plenty of laughs. Will it be ready for opening night? Oh yes it will! Oh no it won’t!

Come back, Eddie Waring

Where else but the London Festival of Architecture could you have seen four red telephone boxes chasing Battersea Power Station around an assault course? At the It’s an Architectural Knockout event in Clerkenwell, teams built towers from cardboard boxes and created a rainwater harvesting system with plastic bottles, a paddling pool and buckets with holes in them. In the finale, they ran around an assault course dressed as buildings. Somehow the judging panel, which included Will Alsop, saw through the chaos to appoint Ash Sakula, dressed as the Thames Barrier, the winner. See pictures and video at

Mira, Mira gets a call

Some might say Boris Johnson owes more than a little debt of gratitude to the London Evening Standard for its support in his mayoral campaign. Well, it’s possible that this connection could soon take on a more concrete form as I hear that Mira Bar-Hillel, the paper’s property editor (and the former news editor of this esteemed journal) is in the running to be Boris’ housing adviser. The moptop is no doubt keen to make some heavyweight appointments after difficulties with his deputy mayor and, of course, taking the advice of journalists sounds like a marvellous idea to me.



I’m starting to understand why contractors working on the Olympics seem reluctant to talk to me. In a triumph of censorship that would have astonished George Orwell, the Olympic Delivery Authority’s lawyers have produced a 32-page document telling contractors how they can – and can’t – talk about their success in winning Olympic work. They can mention their work for the ODA, but only if nine other clients are listed, too. And the Olympics must not be top of the list. Or in bold. Or in a larger font. Or if the sentence in which it appears contains more than 20 words or uses one of several “listed expressions”. The full No Marketing Rights Protocol can be viewed at Remember – public money pays for this stuff.

Things really could be worse

As if times weren’t interesting enough for them, a group of developers were treated to scenes of landowners being tortured, robbed and killed last week. The ashen-faced audience were watching Fanshen, a David Hare play about land reform in rural China, in a derelict warehouse owned by the Property Merchant Group. Actors moved freely and threateningly through the audience, cajoling and even slapping them. If James Bowdidge, the group’s owner, seemed more relaxed than most, it was probably because the daughter of his eco-adviser, Richard Burge, was the producer of the show.

Breast endeavours

Irish tiling firm Burex received a rather enticing commission recently, from what they called a “broadminded” businessman. The fellow wanted his bathroom wall tiled with a life-sized picture of his naked wife. Burex is more used to producing football crests than undraped women, but its staff got to work with aplomb. Tom Finnegan, its general manager, said: “Nobody realised what the job entailed until the electronic file came in, but we are a professional operation and simply entered the details into our system and got on with the job.” Good luck with the grouting, chaps.