This morning I heard Lord Rogers on BBC Radio 4, Today program complaining that Prince Charles had overstepped his remit. Lord Rogers was tipped to build a new luxury apartment block on the site of the old Chelsea Barracks overlooking Hyde Park and Prince Charles has written to the sites owners complaining that the plan was unsympathetic.
On the Today program Lord Rogers was puffed with self riotous indignation (PUWSRI) and said that Prince Charles has broken the “constitutional understanding” governing the role of the monarchy. He also said that there could be “a dangerous political clash” unless the power of the royals is re-examined.
Lord Rogers is famous for controversial structures such as The Lloyds Building and The Millennium Dome and accuses Prince Charles of preferring classical designs. Lord Rogers said in the interview: “I think there’s a dangerous precedent that the Prince has entered into, which is very much about how he sees style,” and Lord Rogers said a committee of constitutional experts should be set up to examine “the powers of the Prince and his ability to change the political direction” and complains that Prince Charles is not an expert in the field of architecture. Lord Rogers makes mention of The Prince’s Trust which helps disadvantaged young people. Presumably this also is unconstitutional and dangerous?
It seems to me (ISTM) that the construction of any public building is a matter for public debate and that one need not be an expert to express an opinion because large architectural projects affect thousands, if not millions, of people.
It’s interesting that Lord Rogers is so interested in democracy now that he is having problems getting one of his designs built. I don’t recall him arranging any referendum on The Lloyds Building or any of his previous buildings. Come to think of it, I don’t recall Lord Rogers expressing any interest in democracy when he was created Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1996.
In actuality Lord Rogers is part of an unelected establishment which feels free to, not only comment on, but make laws in The United Kingdom. The same unelected establishment which has the British monarchy at it’s head.
Lord Rogers does not care a fig for the British constitution or democracy but only about his own balance sheet. I wonder if Lord Rogers would quietly accept defeat if the criticism had come from Gordon Brown. Ah, but of course he wasn’t elected either.