IN MY capacity as an impartial investigator and scourge of over-inflated egos I am, it must be said, widely ignored.This is as it should be, for I use my limbo-like profile to penetrate 'below the radar' and get right to the heart of the matter, whatever that matter might be.You need stealth, disguise and that much sought-after 'non-entity' status to find out what's really going on in this game.
I suppose that's why Renzo Porno, world-famous architect and visiting professor in construction design and planning at Margate University's new Whelks Centre for the Built Environment, commissioned me to find out once and for all what Part L of the Building Regulations is all about.
During the past three years I have been building up a portfolio of written analysis of Parts L. I have interviewed hundreds of civil servants, designers, engineers, academics, contractors, manufacturers and big-heads. I have written thousands of words on the subject without once being able to make any sense of it all.That's great, says Renzo: 'No preconceptions!'
So now my job is to go in under the wire with a clean slate and find out exactly how designers and builders should calculate their, er, calculations.
I'm delighted to take on this important role - just so long as I'm not expected to understand any of it.
THERE IS of course a world of difference between a novice who reports the facts (however impenetrable) in good faith and in the hope that somebody, somewhere, might understand them, and the confidence-trickster who peddles daft new ideas knowing for sure they are pure hogwash. I know that, you know that, and Stef Stefanou knows it too.
I just wonder how long Mr Stefanou had been thinking the things he finally said at that conference last week. I had always assumed him to be among those industry captains who were most keen to promote the Rethinking message - perhaps because he wears a suit, or perhaps because specialist contractors don't usually get to share a platform with the great and the good unless they're fully paid-up Eganites.
But to dismiss Rethinking Construction, Constructing the Team, M4I, Accelerating Change, Respect for People and KPIs as 'wagons hitched to the fantasy train'- all in one sentence - is a powerful gesture and I wish I'd thought of it.
I should add my own comments to Mr Stefanou's.After all, me and Stef, we obviously think alike; we can spot the charlatans a mile off and we're not afraid to point the finger. Just listen to what he said: 'There are some people writing things that have never been on a site. Some people fail in the construction industry then become experts and tell us how to do the work.'
Er, yeah.Well perhaps I don't need to add anything to that.Not that I haven't ever been on a site, or anything.
wrong place at the wrong time.
The story goes that the owl was spotted by a workman who 'rescued' it and 'released it into the wild'. I've heard of this happening before.
What normally happens is this: Curious digger driver rescues dazed bird (that is, picks it up after knocking it out of a tree); dazed bird then pecks digger driver; digger driver releases bird into the wild (in other words, curses and throws bird over hedge).
Result? Bird escapes fatal crushing injury and contractor gets positive publicity. See, I told you it was heart-warming.