Last night I was watching something or other on television and dropped off to sleep. Now I live alone, I tend to do this because the conversation is so dull. When I awoke I found that Newsnight was having a go at poor old Charlie, for having commented to a friend that he didn’t appreciate the architecture his friends was proposing. I will not go into the details because they are on the Internet. The architect in question, and presumably others, are proposing to sue Charlie for using undue influence in an area where he had no technical qualification, or something along those lines. These people anyway, were after his piggybank.
I have always liked and respected Charles, he has a tough life with people picking on him at every turn, and all he is doing mostly is voicing what most of us thinks. As you probably know I was a civil engineer, and the sort of work that we do doesn’t exactly lend itself to flights of fancy, it is reasonably impossible to try make a sewage Works look other than what it is. Architects on the other hand, like interior designers, if they are any good, obtain their work through word of mouth, which means that they are in competition with one another, which in turn means that they’re designs too must be original and eye-catching if they’re going to be successful. This in turn leaves the whole system open to people trying to out-do others of the same ilk. It’s not surprising that Charles has complained often, I have myself, but nobody will sue me because I have no influence.
So what is influence? Influence is only likely to be successful if there are financial considerations involved, for which the person doing the influencing stands to gain, or that what he says is seen to be reasonable and fair. From my reading of this case, the furore is concerned with itself losing money, and trying to blame it on Charles. I cannot see any reason why Charles cannot write to a friend giving his own views on what his friend is doing. It’s beyond belief that Charles has any financial interest in stopping the project, merely that he likes common consideration, not competition, to dictate planning policies in the interests of Great Britain. On the contrary he is well known for his concern about many things in this country, and voices them at regular intervals, to the approval of his many admirers. I tell you this, I would sooner have my backside rubbed with a brick than be a Royal!