He would not have raised the key issues of the 32% subscription increase, or the (so far) frustrated EGM requisition, had not the floor of his Haydock meeting demanded some answers. An apparently paralysed general council still has no strategy for reducing expenditure, and Brooke defended the decision to block the EGM by belittling Jeremy Hackett's requisition wording and quoting obscure still legal argument, which exposes his true motives. As one of the members at the meeting said, an RICS recognising the mood of the membership and acting in their interests, would have conferred with Hackett to devise a requisition that would have succeeded.
Brooke once more found it a novel idea that what the quantity surveyors really want is to be given back their profession. The charitable reason for his surprise is that as a non-QS president, he simply has no idea of what is driving the QSs. The less charitable reason is that he entirely understands the problem but has been told to toe a political line. He seemed totally unaware of the waves Paul Morrell has been making on behalf of his beleaguered profession, and if his appraisal of the QSs' problems at that meeting is to be typical of his approach at the other meetings, the QSs will come away as frustrated as they went in. It is a great pity that we in the provinces will have not had the chance to talk to Morrell before the RICS – as it now must – makes some radical changes in its policies.
Malcolm Taylor FRICS, via email