The Millennium Dome Bombing Saga

 

MDB News
Spring Saturday 25/03/2000
THE BOMBER SPEAKS OUT

The authentic voice of the self-styled Millennium Dome Bomber, somewhat electronically distorted, was heard on national television last night in the South-East. In a two-minute address to the nation, the MDB explained that his motive in attacking our symbol of nationhood was to spare the Queen the embarrassment of having to attend what he called the "Bogus Millennium Change" celebrations planned for last New Year's Eve.
   He added: "My actions have cost the nation a few million pounds in cash terms, but they have saved our national reputation. We now have the opportunity to celebrate the turn of a millennium, if that merits any real cause for celebration, at the right time."
   He continued, "All those who got it wrong at the end of last year will have a chance to put things right. The Twentieth Century will have its full 100 years. And I advise all those who bought bogus millennium change souvenirs to report the vendors to their local Trading Standards Office."
   A spokesman for the BBC said that security precautions have been stepped up at the relay station invaded by the MDB, or his engineers, and all similar isolated relay stations.

report by Insider [In-114@mdb.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Saturday 01/04/2000
"LEISURE ZONE" VIEWS
Basil de Renge, CEO, Gusvion Holdings
Basil de Renge, CEO,
Gusvion Holdings
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Mixed reports have been coming from those fortunate enough to have received a preview of the Gusvion Holdings Leisure Zone in the Millennium Dome. Situated at the North end of the Dome, it was damaged by the Christmas bombing and the company took the opportunity for an extensive re-think of its contents during the repair campaign.
   Views expressed on it vary from "Totally tacky" to "It's worth the price of admission on its own", with the people who enjoyed the Zone outnumbering those who didn't.
   "Whether the rating is tacky or value-for-money seems to depend on whether the person giving the view is a stuffed shirt or not," Sir Basil de Renge, chief executive officer of Gusvion Holdings, said last night.
   He added, "We are in the business of entertaining people but some people seem to be incapable of having a good time. Fortunately, we don't expect that sort of person to be visiting the Dome anyway. We are proud of our Leisure Zone and I am confident that the paying public will enjoy it."

filed by Jarvic Klute [j.klute@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Wednesday 12/04/2000
"You're Wrong, I'm Right!" – McBlair
Prime Minister Angus McBlair
P.M.: "You're wrong."
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
"You've got it all wrong," says the Prime Minister.
   Speaking at a heritage industry dinner last night, Mr. McBlair said: "The Government chose the easy path of going along with public expectations over the millennium change. Because of the advanced state of preparations reached by the previous administration, we considered it to be in the public interest not to become involved in the considerable expense of changing things. But now, we have the opportunity to get things right."
   He added, "On this coming New Year's Eve, on December 31st, 2000, our country will host the biggest party of all time to celebrate the arrival of a new millennium. And I confidently expect the world to flock to London and our Millennium Dome to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime occasion."
   The response from the news media to this shock announcement has been somewhat shame-faced. Newspaper and television sources insist that they too knew better, but they went along with the tide of opinion, which was government-led. All, however, welcomed the opportunity to "get things right" at last.

filed by Jarvic Klute [j.klute@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Thursday 27/04/2000
WRATHE RIGHT FOR DOME
Dame Alice Wrathe
Dame Alice Wrathe
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Sources close to the Prime Minister insist that he reaffirmed his support for the new Dome Secretary, Baroness Wrathe, in the strongest terms last night. Speaking to a specially invited audience on the Government's future strategy for the Dome, Mr. McBlair said: "We now have the right person in place to take the Dome forward and we will not allow our plans to be derailed by people of narrow vision."
   His comments received enthusiastic applause from Lord Hawksbane, who seemed to be present in the capacity of the Prime Minister's personal cheerleader. Heritage Minister Pierson McAndelsen also offered a warm endorsement of his leader's sentiments.
   The Prime Minister also announced that two new sponsors were on the verge of signing contracts with A New Millennium Dawn, the quango appointed to run the Dome, and actively planning a contribution to the Millennium Exhibitions within the Dome.
   A spokesman for the Leader of the Opposition pointed out that the number of new sponsors exactly matches the number of original sponsors who have not yet abandoned the project.
   The recently ennobled Baroness Wrathe is better known as industrial relations lawyer Alice Wrathe, who was linked with self-styled 'asset-ripper' Tom Todhunter (later Sir Tom) in the Eighties. She is a close friend of both the Prime Minister and his wife and she became briefly notorious in 1992 when she poured a glass of white wine - described as 'of rather indifferent vintage' - over George McDour, the current Chancellor, at a party.

filed by Dana Howmaj [d.howmaj@md.news.uk]

JUBILEE IN MAY

Henry Tudor
Transport Minister H. Tudor
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
At a Department of Transport awards ceremony last night, Transport Minister Henry Tudor announced last night that the official opening date for the Jubilee Line Extension has been rescheduled for May 4th.
   The Government is refusing to answer accusations that the ceremony is intended to be a distraction from its expected poor performance in the local elections and the prospect of a humiliating defeat for the Government's official candidate in the first ever election for London's Mayor.
   Insiders are describing the May 4th opening date as 'optimistic', 'tough to meet' and 'in his dreams' according to the distance between the person concerned and Mr. McBlair's propaganda machine.

filed by Maris O'Vishke [m.ov@md.news.uk]

NO DOME BUY-OUT

Winston Hardcastle
Opposition Leader W. Hardcastle
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Rumours of a rival buy-out offer for the Dome from a mystery millionaire were being dismissed last night by both the Government and the Japanese 'Doshan' Syndicate. "We have one firm offer on the table and we are in full negotiations," a Heritage Ministry spokesman said last night. In response to a suggestion that the Government was trying to make the Japanese syndicate worry about competition, the spokesman added, "This is a media invention and the notion is totally without merit."
   Winston Hardcastle, the Leader of the Opposition, speaking at a Yorkshire Brewing Industry benefit dinner, said, "In our experience, anything which is being denied so forcefully by so many people usually turns out to be true."
   A Conservative Party spokesman later denied that Mr. Hardcastle had called Prime Minister McBlair a 'shifty little bugger with a yen for owt that's free', although the denial lacked any degree of force. When pressed on the issue of whether the adjective was 'shifty' or 'shitty', the spokesman retired with an attack of the giggles.

filed by Jarvic Klute [j.klute@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Tuesday 09/05/2000
SINISTER DOME OFFENSIVE

A man believed to be a journalist was the victim of an attempted hit-and-run incident last night. People leaving a pub in North London were horrified to watch what is believed to have been a stolen car mount the pavement and attempt to run the man down.
   A spokesman for the victim, who refused to give either his own name or the victim's name, said that his friend had been researching the identity of the notorious Millennium Dome Bomber for the last four months. The attempt on his friend's life was a clear indication that he was getting uncomfortably close to the truth.
   A police spokesman said later that the incident has not been reported to the police and no investigation is in progress.
   In another type of assault, 19 Internet websites run by supporters of the Millennium Dome Bomber or members of the Millennium Dome 'Sabs' community have been closed down in the last six weeks. Civil liberties groups are now starting to become concerned by what they see as the Government's continuing confrontations with people exercising their right of freedom of speech in ways which mock authority without breaking the law.
   Assaults on government-operated websites continue as hackers gain revenge for the closure of their own websites. The Prime Minister's own website was closed down for three hours yesterday when it was found to be peppered with re-written links to anarchist and porn sites, and a site advocating assassination as the solution to the problem of too many Scotsmen holding the top jobs in the Westminster parliament.
   "We can take a joke as well as the next person," a Government spokesman said, "but if this sort of unacceptable behaviour continues, the Government will be forced to review the penalties available to the courts for those convicted of promoting pornography in this way."

filed by Dana Howmaj [d.howmaj@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Thursday 18/05/2000
JUBILEE LINE SETBACK

A Department of Transport spokesman has announced that the opening date of the Jubilee Line extension has been put back to mid-June due to unexpected geological problems at the last minute. He said: "Public safety is always and will always be the prime consideration in such matters. We are proud of this new addition to the Tube network and we are confident that it will be a great success."
   The Heritage Department is still refusing to announce an official opening date for the Millennium Dome. 'By the summer' seems to be the best that the department's spokesmen can manage.

filed by Jarvic Klute [j.klute@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Wednesday 24/05/2000
DERISORY DOME OFFER
Jiro Karo / Doshan Syndicate
Jiro Karo / Doshan Syndicate
Photo: Blackstock Agency
There are rumours in circulation that the Japanese "Doshan" Syndicate has offered just 85M for the Millennium Dome after an extensive re-evaluation of the entertainment complex's prospects. A Hertitage Department spokesman denied last night that a sale was being discussed or that the Government would ever accept such a low price.
   Syndicate member Jiro Karo, who is becoming identified as the group's semi-official spokesman, is believed to have expressed some serious reservations about the deal. He is believed to be unhappy about foot dragging by A New Millennium Dawn, the dome's management quango, and the vagueness in some of its communications
   The sticking point would appear to be the difficulty that the syndicate is experiencing in obtaining an exact listing of the Dome's assets and liabilities. The Japanese bidders are believed to be worried about being saddled with an 'incalculable liability'.

A free-lance journalist, named as Alan L. Marshall, is in hiding after his car was bombed last night. Mr. Marshall is believed to have been the target of an alleged hit-and-run assassination attempt made in North London two weeks ago. He is believed to have become a target because he is close to identifying the Millennium Dome Bomber through research among the UK's 'underground' community.
   A Fire Brigade spokesman described the device in the car's engine compartment as a 'crude incendiary device, which failed to ignite property and did very little damage'. The police are believed to have interviewed Mr. Marshall but no details of his statement have been released.

On a brighter note, the Government has promised a bigger and better "Wall of Fire" on the Thames to herald the real dawn of the new millennium. "The last one was just a dress rehearsal," a Government spokesman said last night. "A mere try-out for one of the most spectacular of a whole range of stunning events planned for the coming New Year celebrations."
   Images of the spectacle will be provided for the audience in the Millennium Dome on its giant TV screens so that no one enjoying the night there will miss anything.

filed by Maris O'Vishke [m.ov@md.news.uk]
 

 

MDB News
spring Friday 26/05/2000
Dredgefield 'Rioters' Innocent!

policing in DredgefieldA jury at Newcastle Crown Court took just a lunch break to decide that the four people charged with affray and public order offences arising from a 'riot' in the Prime Minister's constituency were not guilty on all counts. Senior police officers and Crown Prosecution Service officers had no comment to make as they left the court in a state of shock.
   The police accused the demonstrators from the 20th Century Appreciation Society of attempting to storm an MP's surgery held by Prime Minister Angus McBlair as an expression of support for the Millennium Dome Bomber.
   Eighteen arrests were made and ten people, including two police officers needed hospital treatment. All charges were dropped against everyone but the perceived ringleaders, the so-called Dredgefield Four.
   The protest concerned the Government's decision to celebrate the arrival of the Third Millennium at the end of 1999, thus reducing the 20th Century to just 99 years. The TCAS demonstration was about the loss of a full year from their favourite century. The police, on the other hand, saw it as prelude to violence and support for the Millennium Dome Bomber.
   When the case for the prosecution ended at lunchtime yesterday, the police case was looking pretty solid. But the defence ripped it to shreds on the basis of previously unseen news tapes and video shot by over a dozen TCAS members from strategic monitoring positions. By this morning, it was abundantly clear that heavy-handed policing was to blame for all the trouble.
   After the comprehensive 'not guilty' verdicts, a spokesman for the TCAS revealed that fourteen complaints against individual police officers are under investigation and the society intends to sue the local force for damages. The police have let it be known, unofficially, that they suspect the TCAS of having provoked the 'riot' deliberately for publicity purposes.

filed by Insider [In-113@mdb.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Thursday 08/06/2000
DOME REPAIRS GOING WELL
Dame Alice Wrathe
Dome Sec. Baroness Wrathe
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
The repairs to the Millennium Dome are two weeks ahead of schedule, the flow of visitors to the peripheral attractions is 60% ahead of expectations and two more commerical sponsors have signed contracts. Last night's bulletin from the Dome Secretary, Baroness Wrathe, was positively overflowing with good news.
   What she failed to mention, however, is that the two new sponsors are very small fish indeed and that another of the original major sponsors - the last-but-one - has lost patience with the project and pulled out. Her critics are now suggesting that it would be a good idea if the 'Dome Sec' spent less time in the bar at the House of Lords with her friend and mentor Lord Hawksbane and more time at Greenwich doing her job.
   Something else that seemed to get lost in the tide of joy was the continuing state of disarray over exactly what is going to go into the north end of the Dome to 'spice it up a bit'. The latest leak from A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's management quango, suggests that two more brilliant Big Ideas have been shot down in flames by focus groups of potential visitors.
   Somehow, the smile of pleasure on the Dome Secretary's face is looking a little strained of late.

filed by Maris O'Vishke [m.ov@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Spring Sunday 18/06/2000
BRIDGE OPEN FOR ONE DAY ONLY
Millennium Bridge reopens
Final preparations the night before. Photo Credit: Oliver Strange Agency

Just one day after the public were let loose on it, the Millennium Bridge has been closed again. Officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen a month ago, the bridge has been giving its designers - and the punters - more than they bargained for. When what should have been a level surface started swaying like a fairground ride, some kids started wailing and complaining that they were frightened. Others loved it!
   One of the bewildered parents, a qualified architect, talked about 'serious design flaws' and she was certain that, "No bridge should move about like this." An official spokesman blamed the weird motion on a combination of high winds and people crossing the bridge 'in clumps' and marching in step to enhance an effect akin to a bouncy castle. The chair of the Millennium Bridge Trust added that the bridge is supposed to be 'responsive' and assured the public that it is perfectly safe.
   The £21.8 million Millennium Bridge is the first river crossing to be built in central London for over 100 years. It was intended to have elegance and delicacy when compared to its neighbours, the Southwark and Blackfriars bridges. Although architects and builders alike are mightily embarrassed by the bridge's tendency to sway alarmingly when in use, most of the 80,000 people who got the chance to cross it enjoyed their experience.
   Despite extensive computer modelling before the Ribbon Of Light was erected, its designers failed to anticipate problems due to 'the wrong type of walking' and they have no immediate solution to offer. Indeed, the Millennium Dome Saboteurs have even been blamed for 'doing something' during the construction phase to cause the problem.
   The Government is said to be undecided over whether to keep the bridge closed until some sort of damping system can be installed or to keep it as it is, install turnstiles and charge the public 1 to cross the river on a novelty ride.
   After all the delays, it was thought that the opening of the bridge would coincide roughly with the Dome's opening - more by chance than by good planning. Alas, it seems that even this modest wish will not be fulfilled. Rumours that there is a curse on the whole Millennium Project are starting to look quite convincing ...
   p.s. Some of the visitors to the new bridge were hoping to see an action replay of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which famously shook itself to pieces in 40 mph winds in November, 1942. The latest reports indicated that the unused Millennium Bridge was still standing when we went to press.

filed by Jarvic Klute [j.klute@md.news.uk]
 

Spring
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