| Thursday 07/09/2000|
|DOME BEANO FOR FERGUS|
The Government seems to be suffering from terminal leak-o-mania at the moment. No sin can be committed without someone taking the opportunity to rat to the media.
|The Birthday Boy|
Photo: Janet O'Vishke
The latest leak is about the Prime Minister's brother, Fergus McBlair, who is reported to have held a birthday party for 150 guests in one of the Millennium Dome's peripherals on Saturday at the taxpayer's expense! A Government flunkey came up with some load of tripe about an official function but the story simply doesn't hold water.
We have also learned that the Prime Minister has been in the habit of letting both his brother and his sister hold their birthday parties at Chequers, his taxpayer-funded official residence, since his election. And this is the same Angus McBlair who issued a stern, election-victory warning to his party "not to abuse the privileges and trappings of power".
The leaker added that the PM's brother "wanted to do something different this year as it's his fiftieth birthday".
Not abusing taxpayers' property would have been a nice change.
filed by Dana Howmaj [firstname.lastname@example.org]
|TIME, GENTLEMEN, PLEASE!|
In an astonishing act of unity, many of the national newspapers chose today to vent their anger over the way the Millennium Dome is run. The main target for their fire is the 'Dome Minister', Lord Hawksbane. The Daily Mail and the Daily Express both want the Prime Minister to sack him without delay. The Sun takes exception to the government's decision to award just £4 million to research into the causes of prostate cancer on the same day that the Dome received yet another grant of £47 million of National Lottery money.
|On Yer Bike, Your Lordship|
Last night, Leader of the Opposition Winston Hardcastle called for the Prime Minister to sack the Dome's administrators and launch a public inquiry into the whole Dome fiasco; and he seems to have struck a popular note. Mr. Hardcastle was especially scathing about Mr. McBlair's former flatmate, Lord Hawksbane, who was not elected to his high government office. Mr. Hardcastle also urged the Prime Minister to close the Dome 'without delay' and divert the public money wasted on the Dome to 'genuine good causes', such as cancer research.
The strong criticism of Lord Hawksbane follows his recent interview on Radio Four's Today programme, in which he made a number of extraordinary, and bogus, claims about the benefits to Greenwich of the Millennium Dome. Today's Daily Mail exposes 10 official lies about the Dome, which were told by the members of the McBlair government (including Lord Hawksbane), the previous Tory administration and the Dome's administration. It also lists a number of 'better causes', which were refused grants from the National Lottery Fund.
Rubbing salt in the wound, leaks emerging from the upper echelons of A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's management quango, show a high degree of disenchantment with the project. The quotations include:
- "The original decision to build the Millennium Dome was unwise."
- "Most people are unable to relate to its contents."
- "We seem to be revising the visitor-number forecasts downwards on a daily basis."
- "The lack of parking facilities is a major problem."
- "The Dome is one hell of a hard place to get to."
Despite all of the above, ANMD's management remains confident that a buyer for the Dome will be found. Given that it is on offer at a fraction of the building cost, whoever buys it is: 'guaranteed to make a killing and I envy them', according to ANMD executive Robyn Carnell-Wyatt. But a lot of people are asking themselves, if it's such a bargain, how come no one is buying? The latest government leak suggests that the recent bid by the consortium led by Sir Tom Todhunter is likely to come to nothing. The consortium is reported to be getting cold feet after an unfavourable 'profit potential assessment' from an independent consultant.
filed by Jarvic Klute [email@example.com]