February 1, 2008
"Ear ye, ear ye, ear ye! Yes thet's thee plebians down thar; you, the filthy underbelly of my kingdom, sorry, this great nation of mine, oops... ours. Ahem... One believes thet one has hed enough of this Kendo Livingsore and his tall storeys. One's royally unamused at the carbunclisation of London. It must stop."
Not-so-young Disciple Charles clearly has some issues with Ken Livingstone and the tall buildings of London. Mostly, it seems, on account of them blocking his views of old buildings that he either owns or would like to own.
In a remarkable 'post-modernist' outburst he has basically said 'less is more'. Only he doesn't want Mies van der Rohe buildings shooting up all over the capital, providing jobs for armies of craftsmen and women and making the UK the premier place for City types to make their huge piles. No, Looney Prince Charlie wants us to go back to building our buildings out of poo and straw, with waterwheels, donkeys and a sheep in every garden.
Now Yours Truly can see that, in many ways, the man who would be king, far from making a monkey of himself, does have bit of a point. We should embrace sustainable technology and incorporate it in our new buildings. After all, that too would create jobs and would lead to a big need for new practitioners of old skills. Old skills like pargetting, or coopering, or wattling and daubing.
In which case, why isn't the barmy prince putting his weight behind the drive for skills, rather than waxed-jacketing on about architecture?
Or why doesn't he talk about poverty and what could be done about that? OK, so he does do that occasionally, like in 2004 with his Enterprise Works scheme. But what ever happened to that?
But then if he focused on something like poverty too much, he'd be putting himself and his wayward family in the spotlight and rekindling the kind of republican fervour not seen since... er... Charlie number one lost his head and Charlie the Second kept his.
However, it does strike Guru as strangely bad timing of the Prince Reject to start putting his foot in it in the week when keeping it in the family has come under such close scrutiny.
Tory MP Derek Conway has been banned from Parliament and has had to offer to step down before the next election as a result of using public money to fund his personal household by paying his wife and sons huge sums.
If Charles was serious about having an impact on society, he should announce his intention to renounce the throne and modernise his own strange family. And rather than letting the taxpayers to pay for his privileged sons to shoot and kill in the Armed Forces, perhaps he could get them on a wood-turning apprenticeship scheme... even if it is run by one of his cousins.
Of course, the UK's Number One Charlie has criticised the built environment on a regular basis for the past two or three decades. Ironically, in his previous outburst back in 2005 he berated London's planners for their 'cavalier' attitude to the capital's heritage. Perhaps that was his secret way of suggesting he will renounce the throne after all, as otherwise he would have berated them for their 'roundhead' ways. Either that, or he's a big fan of old roundhead himself, celebrity architect Sir Norman Foster (there's a clue in the title perhaps) who seemingly bases all his buildings on the shape of his own domed bonce – or the headgear worn by Oliver Cromwell's troops.