John McCready enjoyed a simply splendid showing at the Business Design Centre yesterday.
Not surprisingly, in these troubled times, the entire audience (including The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph) was hanging on his every word to find out when he, as head of the Shareholder Executive's Property Unit, was coming out to play with all his shiny baubles.
I think, on balance, what we heard was very good news for regeneration and not such good news for profiteering. Hurrah!
His speech was authoritative and measured. And it was reassuring to feel that there was a calm approach being adopted, with an eye to real economic growth, rather than any panicky fire sales.
So, no quick fixes. All in all, we had a rather elegant canter around the issues facing property in the national economy (well he is elegant, John, some might even say "fragrant").
He made rather a droll reference to the "unfortunate aspect of debt" (that it needs repaying) and reaffirmed the government's commitment to "continue to protect the vulnerable in society" (which was rather more than did Justine Greening, the Treasury Minister, who followed him. Although, rather charmingly, she was late because she had dispensed with her government car and now travels on the tube).