Cary Grant could have given a valuable lesson in construction procurement to the “client” for the Scottish parliament building (23 July, page 50) – or the client for any large or complex development, come to that.
Grant played the starring role in the 1948 film Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. The story shows how the protagonist’s desire to move from a small flat in Manhattan to a large house in the country is blighted by his poor briefing of advisers and inability to accept their advice.
He constantly interferes with the contractors, makes uninformed off-the-cuff decisions, and his wife’s late changes require a partial rebuild of the completed building. Costs soon spiral out of control. Fortunately for Mr Blandings, the final result was only a high second mortgage and an appalling journey to work for the rest of his life.
Perhaps the Edinburgh client should have been given a copy of this film to watch before dictating its vision and appointing advisers. It is less likely to get off as lightly as Mr Blandings!
Alistair Rose, via email