Colin Harding tells us how he took on the architects
From the early 1960s I realised that contractors would never make a viable profit while they allowed so many external consultants to make a living supervising them. But how to do anything about it? Consultants controlled the procurement process; anyone who stepped out of line got struck off their tender lists. How could I spread the message that the God-Architect was no longer omnipotent without ruining my business?

I had to wait until 1988 for my chance: Prince Charles' "carbuncle" speech about the National Gallery extension. I then persuaded the Building Employers' Confederation in 1991 to publicly debate "Building without Conflict", and from that conference came Sir Michael Latham and later Sir John Egan.

Then, last year, the strategic forum reopened the split between design and construction to maintain consultant supervision. So I penned a column in February last year, which said a lean industry cannot afford external consultants of any kind ("Feeding the parasites"). Howls of rage followed from the architects.

And what were the consequences? Hopefully, the industry has been nudged a little bit further towards full modernisation; my business has been refocused on much more productive, integrated and satisfying work.