As you will remember, no doubt, Alan Milburn told us that he left the government to stop his partner dumping him. But it has come to my attention that the Blairite former health secretary may have had a hidden motive … At last week's conference of the PPP forum, Milburn told a story from when he was still in the Cabinet. It seems that a small boy buttonholed the Geordie minister when he was touring a school. "Are you Tony Blair?" he wanted to know. Milburn said he was not. "Are you his brother? "No", Milburn replied, before dropping in the quip, "although it sometimes feels like he is because he is always on my back". "On your back … " the child mused. "Does that mean that you sleep together?"
Jumping into the grave
Who's after the empty chairman's spot at CABE? It seems candidates are thin on the ground, partly as a result of anger over the shoving out of Sir Stuart Lipton. One runner who has emerged is Marco Goldschmied, former president of the RIBA and shortly to be former managing director of Richard Rogers Partnership. But beware the dark horse that is Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate. What he may lack in knowledge of CABE's new social agenda he'd make up for in his lack of chairmanships in large property companies.
The Kingsdale experiment
Our review last week of the rebuilding of the Kingsdale school, a rundown south London 1950s comprehensive, has drawn some perplexed responses from the education community. One brave soul who temporarily taught there after its makeover was not convinced about the beneficial effects of architecture on the behaviour of the, er, schoolchildren (her exact phrase cast doubt on their parentage). Apparently, the kids' response to the new library was to rip up many of the books.
A riddle wrapped in an enigma
That picture up there was produced by Midas Property Services' PR department. It is intended to offer a visual expression of the firm's performance, which is "well on track" to finish its first year with a healthy turnover. The press release is entitled "Midas quick off the mark in first year". I wonder what they're trying to say?
Hard man Willmott
Good old Rick Willmott. Not only did he host the Willmott Dixon construction five-a-side football tournament at Highbury on Monday night in aid of men's cancer research, but he good naturedly took a ball bang in the face from the sweet left foot of Building's business editor Mark Leftly, and didn't even flinch when the team of mere journalists romped to a 4-3 victory. But this year's Greek heroes are BPTW Architects, who beat Gardiner & Theobald in the final.