facebook
Twitter
Linkedin
Feedback

Wednesday30 July 2014

Oldham issued with reprimand over 'ethnics' email

  • Email
  • Comments (9)
  • Save

Architect pledges to ‘continue to fight against the Arb’

An architect found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct over an email in which he referred to Arb election candidates as “the ethnics” has been issued with a reprimand.

George Oldham was forced to resign from the Arb board after a leaked email emerged in which he used the term when referring to RIBA president Angela Brady’s endorsement of Stephen Lawrence Trust candidates for the elections.

Oldham claimed he had intended to “lampoon” what he saw as an inappropriate choice on the grounds of race and stressed that the email was not meant to be made public.

But the Arb’s professional conduct committee decided Oldham’s email was “contrary to his obligations to maintain the reputation of the architects’ profession”.

A reprimand was the least severe sanction available to the Arb, which decided against more serious penalties such as a fine, suspension or removal from the architects’ register.

Responding to the decision, Oldham told BD he had decided against an earlier pledge in which he vowed to take legal action over the committee’s ruling.

He said: “I have been advised by my solicitors that a judicial review should stand every chance of succeeding. However, I am not in a position to risk the heavy costs.

“I shall, of course, continue to fight against the Arb, not simply on my own behalf, but also on behalf of those others who have and are similarly suffering persecution.”

The Arb committee noted that while there were no allegations of racism, Oldham’s comments were “capable of adverse interpretation” and “showed disrespect” to the candidates to whom he referred.

Share

Readers' comments (9)

  • Quote from case report and email in question:
    "On a personal note, I had been looking forward to returning to the civilisation of RIBA Council from the bureaucratic inanities of the ARB. Now I’m profoundly depressed and am simply feeling ‘a plague on both your houses’.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • so what exactly would he have had to say for there to be an allegation of racism?
    lampooning...really?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Munter Roe

    PC rubbish. 1984 has arrived.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Seems to me this is vindictive abuse of power. Who's next?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Who's next..? hopefully any one else in a position of authority who thinks that terms such as éthnics', in what is clearly used in a derogatory manner, is acceptable. Anyone who thinks that such censure is PC or vindictive should consider whether they would choose to use those terms to the face of the subject they are being directed towards.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Munter Roe

    Can always depend on Adrian Watson for the PC view.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Adrian, I said vindictive because Mr Oldham has been a vociferous critic of ARB. I suspect what he said in his email is derogatory but ARB decided to make an example of him, at great cost, because they disapprove of him. In my view, that's abuse of power.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Arb is rancid gas trapped in the belly of a pig. What exact does it do that cannot be done more efficiently by a computer program hosted on Amazon Cloud server, Bloody waste of time of pointless existence. Arb is one of the reason architecture is of total masters and servant/slave configuration. It should be closed down and whatever is left of it assets should be sold and used to throw a party for its demise.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No one here recognising ARBs role of consumer and professional standards protector. Petty self interest rules and architects trying to disband the one body that keeps them in business is the most moronic attitude i have come across in a long time. Stand up and act like a professional, and if you use inappropriate and frankly obviously racist slurs, even in private, you deserve everything they throw at you. You seem to have got off very lightly.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register
  • Email
  • Comments (9)
  • Save
Latest
News
Sign in

Email Newsletters

Sign out to login as another user

I'm searching for in
Desktop Site | Mobile Site