The Millennium Dome Bombing Saga

 

MD News
Winter 2b Friday, 02/02/2001
'Capt. James' Goes Free

Captain JamesA police spokeswoman said that none of the nine people in custody in connection with the foiled second Millennium Dome bomb plot is known to have used the alias 'Captain James'. Releasing further information about the suspects, she added, would be 'unhelpful'.
   Captain James, or a good look-alike, is believed to be one of the three people who were released on police bail last week pending further inquiries.
   The picture (left) was obtained by enhancing part of a group photograph taken in 1994. It is believed to show Captain James in a dress uniform following the successful conclusion of a campaign in central Africa, where he has served on several occasions as a mercenary leader.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Sunday, 04/02/2001
'Capt. James' Political Connections?

Photographs were released last night of 'Captain James' with both Pierson McAndelsen and Angus McBlair. They are thought to have come from the same source as the pictures of 'Captain James' with Lucrio Sospettoso, the new owner of the Millennium Dome.
   Those pressing for a full investigation of the circumstances of the sale of the Dome are now asking pointed questions about why the McBlair administration and the Sospettoso organization had connections with someone like 'Captain James'.
   Former prime minister Angus McBlair had no comment to make on the matter last night.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Wednesday, 07/02/2001
'Demolish Dome' Plan?

There are persistent rumours circulating in the wine bars and coffee houses of the City of London that its new owners once had quite different plans for the Millennium Dome. Instead of turning it into what is arguably the most popular attraction in the capital, they wanted to demolish it and replace it with something a lot more profitable. This scenario meshes nicely with the previous administration's willingness to give a new owner a free hand as long as they were spared the embarassment of coming up with the £40million demolition cost.
   Of course, the conspiracy theorists are having a field day and demanding a full investigation of the circumstances of the sale of the Dome without further delay. They are particularly interested in 'secret protocols' in the deal. Prime Minister Henry Tudor is insisting that he has much more important business occupying his attention right now but cracks are starting to appear in his defences.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Friday, 09/02/2001
Dome Profit Gone

What's the latest scandal to come out of the McBlair Government's murky dealings over the Millennium Dome? That no provision was made in the sale contract for recovering a slice of the profits if the Dome is ever sold on or the site re-developed.
   Most of those involved on the Government's side with drawing up the contracts have become mysteriously and permanently unavailable. The Sospettoso Organization is staying aloof from the speculation and refusing to fuel it with comments on the issue.
   What most commentators are expecting now is an embarrassing leak. The only question is whom it will embarrass more - Angus McBlair or his cronies?

filed by Luca Varn-Haight [lvh@md.news.uk]

"Not me, Gov!" Rides Again

P.M. Henry Tudor
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Different people, same old tired story. The Millennium Dome is the fault of the previous administration. Even though there is a huge amount of overlap, Real Labour and New Labour could lie at opposite ends of the political spectrum, to hear some people talk. And a great many of those people are New Labourites who have switched hats to keep themselves in a job.
   Anyhow, current Real Labour Prime Minister Henry Tudor is not going to try to sort out the mess left by Angus McBlair and his cronies. His regime has higher priorities, the most important of which is squaring the circle of greater workers' rights demanded by the Trade Unions and the EU, and a downturn in the country's financial fortunes while the present Chancellor gets to grip with his fief.

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

McBlair Ermine-Free Zone

There will be no peerage for past prime minister Angus McBlair - and that's official. A spokesman for the present prime minister's office said that a proposal to that effect had been deemed "inappropriate". A majority in the Cabinet did not think it right that someone who did so much to make the second chamber irrelevant should become a member of it.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Sunday, 11/02/2001
Dome Investigation? Yes!
PM Tudor "Investigation? Yes!"
The Dome Affair - all the scandal arising from its construction, operation and sale - is to be investigated after all. The present government has chosen not to involve the National Audit Office, however.
   A spokesman for the prime minister's office said that Mr. Tudor is looking for "a fast, completely independent investigation by outside consultants". Insiders suggest that he is looking for some firm apportioning of blame - away from himself and his party's current leaders, of course - before the anticipated spring general election, which now seems inevitable, given Mr. Tudor's problems with his minor-party allies.
   The same insiders, mindful of the fun and games and sheer dodginess which we have seen through the Dome's chequered history, are also scoffing at the prospect of a result before the spring of this year. Spring 2004, maybe. But don't hold your breath!

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Wednesday, 14/02/2001
MILLENNIUM BRIDGE REOPENS
Millennium Bridge Opens
Beating the rush on a grey day.
Photo Credit: Oliver Strange Agency
It was a day of winter gales blowing at speeds of up to 79mph Up North, floods in the North East, the North West and Wales, and snow in Scotland. Lorries were being blown over on motorways in Yorkshire and on the Forth Bridge and the Met Office was warning that it was "unwise to go out in any high-sided or light vehicles". Guess which day the Government chose to reopen the somewhat reinforced Millennium Bridge to the public!
   Yes, the Government has finally decided that the bridge is safe to use - but with a few reservations. There are large notices warning all users that they may find the motions of the bridge unsettling and those who turned up for the 10 a.m. reopening found that there is a £1 fee for using it.
   The trustees of the £21.8 million bridge floated the idea of a fee last year, but the money was to be used to pay the wages of 'bridge marshals', who would control the number of people on the bridge. That idea has clearly been discarded in favour of a straight grab of the cash via automatic turnstiles, which regulate the human load on the bridge. Presumably, the marshals' wages will be used to help pay the additional £6 million blown on making the structure stable.
   Critics have accused the Government of turning the bridge into a fairground-style novelty. Supporters of the bridge, who opposed its closure so vigorously, have accused its opponents of being moaning minnies. The reaction of the public in general, and visitors to the capital in particular, has been broadly favourable. Apart from some sniping about the £1 charge for using the bridge, after contributing to the £9.2 million which the bridge received from National Lottery funds, its users have reported that it is a very convenient and enjoyable way to cross the Thames.
   "Hey, I'm on the bridge!" trilled mobile phone users as many of the people crossing it stopped to do a static version of the Twist to try to make it shimmy. The Millennium Bridge, now fitted with shock-absorbing dampers, refused to budge.
   Both the designer and the architect of the bridge tried to gloss over its difficulties. Australian architect Foster Slager said, "When the bridge first opened, it had passed every test and complied with every regulation ever devised for bridges. It was never unsafe. The subsequent work was merely to address issues of user comfort." A spokesman for the bridge constructors added, "There's never been any question of blame. We said we would fix it and we have."
   The present Chancellor, whose name still escapes most people, has denied accusations that he intends to follow the 'stealth tax' policy of his predecessor, George McDour, who was variously known as The Mugger and The Grim Reaper in the popular press.
   "The 'purely nominal' £1 charge and the restrictions on the number of people using the bridge," the present Chancellor said yesterday, "are part of a necessary safety regime." His statement had a credibility rating of 50% in a straw poll held during the same afternoon.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Thursday, 15/02/2001
"Dome To Be Election Symbol"
Fraud at the Dome
The Millennium Dome: Election symbol
"The Millennium Dome is a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness, excellence over mediocrity," Prime Minister Angus McBlair told the nation in December of 1999, three days before the Millennium Dome Bomber struck and put a kink into the then Prime Minister's symbol of a brighter new Britain.
   Speculation about the fate of the Dome has returned to haunt the Labour Party as the manoeuvring towards a spring election continues. There are significant worries that the new owner, Lucrio Sospettoso, could run the attraction for a while longer, until the shine rubs off it, and then make an 'indecent' profit through redevelopment of the site.
   The monster tent was once described by Angus McBlair as 'A glittering New Labour achievement which will be featured in the first line of our 2001 election manifesto'. That view had moderated by the time last year's Labour Party conference came around.
   The day before he was deposed, McBlair admitted that there were things that he have done which had made people angry and he should be open enough to admit them. He added, "Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I could have my time again, I would certainly listen to the people who said governments shouldn't try to run a tourist attraction."
   The Conservatives' leaders are calling the Dome – which the heir to the throne (no friend of bad architecture) is said to have described as a 'monstrous blancmange' – an enduring symbol of the waste and incompetence of Labour, New and Real. It's a symbol which they intend to exploit to the full in the coming campaign.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Friday, 16/02/2001
Yet More Dome Fraud Arrests
Fraud at the Dome
The Millennium Dome: Contract fraud
Police in Liverpool and Manchester have arrested six people in connection with allegations of fraud related to Millennium Dome contracts. Two women in their 30s were detained in Liverpool and property was removed from two homes and a business in the Wavertree area. Three men and a woman were arrested in the Crumpsal area of Manchester. The joint operations were carried out by Scotland Yard and offices from the Merseyside and Greater Manchester police services. All six were released on police bail until July.
   The investigations in the North West were in connection with contracts to supply equipment and services to the Dome site, a Scotland Yard spokesman said. The contract were all issued by officers of A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's management quango.
   The spokesman added that the current investigations are unrelated to the arrests made in the Merseyside area in October of last year, which concerned consultancy fees and alleged improper relationships between contractors and officers of ANMD.
   Police are conducting at least seven further Dome-related enquiries involving contracts worth tens of millions of pounds.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Saturday, 17/02/2001
DOME DUO DO BUNK

Angus McBlair has left the country. All attempts to contact the former prime minister over the last week have failed. Mrs. McBlair, who seems to be taking some time off from her legal work, is refusing to comment on where her husband is or what he's doing.
   Scandal-mongers are suggesting that McBlair has chosed to disappear because he's afraid of something getting out. But what?
   Another mysterious absentee is Pierson McAndelsen, the former prime minister's head crony, who has not been seen for at least 3 weeks. The last his constituency party heard of him was that he was "taking a break away from it all".
   Several journalists have persuaded their editor to let them look for the wanderer in Italy. Some Real Labour insiders are suggesting that they might have more success looking in newly constructed motorway bridges ...

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Monday, 19/02/2001
DOME HORROR CRASH
Fire at the DomeFireman at the Dome
"The Dome in flames" Photos: Oliver Strange Agency
A small passenger jet aircraft, believed to be of the LearJet type, crashed onto the Millennium Dome in the early hours of this morning. The aircraft, inbound to the City Airport, just dropped off the approach radar screens according to a spokesman for the London Area Air Traffic Control Authority. No information is currently available on the numbers of passengers and crew aboard but a police spokesman said that there is no hope that anyone could have survived the crash.
   The accident happened at just after 2 a.m., fortunately when the Dome was totally empty of staff during a night-time security exercise. Fire brigade units from all surrounding districts converged on Greenwich to tackle what was described as London's biggest blaze since the Blitz.
   Due to a heavy fuel load on the aircraft, the fire raged out of control for most of the night. In the dull light of a drizzly, February day, the shining white canopy of the Dome is no more and all that remains is twisted metal wreckage reminiscent of the aftermath of the crash of the Zeppelin Hindenburg in 1937.
   The owners of the Dome have promised a press conference in the afternoon but at present, they are struggling to come to terms with their loss. A police spokesman said that no press statement will be released until relatives of those aboard the aircraft have been contacted.

filed by Arthur Foxwell [a.foxwell@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Winter 2b Thursday, 22/02/2001
DOME CRASH PUZZLE

The recent heavy rain has damped down the last of the wreckage and allowed crash investigators access to the site of the former Millennium Dome. Initial reports indicate that there is not the slightest trace left of the crew and passengers on the aircraft due to the intensity of the blaze.
   Crash investigators are now engaged in the difficult process of recovering wreckage from the aircraft. The intensity of the fire was such that they are having great trouble in telling what belongs to the jet and what are the remains of the Dome's high-tech exhibits.
   Curiously, reports are emerging that the investigators have found residues of pieces of equipment which belong to neither a small passenger jet nor the Dome's exhibits. Officially, the crash investigators are saying nothing but the present government is expected to be as porous as the McBlair regime was. And it is thought that Henry Tudor, the Prime Minister pro-tem, is anxious to quash rumours that the aircraft was brought down by a blunder involving a secret missile defence system for the capital.

filed by Arthur Foxwell [a.foxwell@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Winter 2b Monday, 26/02/2001
DOME CRASH MYSTERY

A preliminary forensic report on the aircraft which crashed onto the Millennium Dome one week ago reaches some startling conclusions, our Aviation Correspondent has learned. No traces of any human occupants have been found. There were no bone fragments or even residues of garments or accessories - no remains of metal fasteners, zips, watches and watch straps, fillings in teeth, etc.
   What the investigators have found, however, are intact pieces of control circuitry of a type not normally used in aircraft. The suggestion is that the aircraft was under remote control when it crashed. By whom, or for what reason, is as yet unexplained.

filed by Arthur Foxwell [a.foxwell@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Winter 2b Tuesday, 27/02/2001
By-Elections On The Way?

UK ERCFollowing extensive investigations by the UK Electoral Regulation Commission (UKERC), 13 independent MPs have been found to have made errors in their election expenses. The charges relate to both overspending and failure to declare items. Experts have warned that some of the rulings are borderline issues which, if allowed to stand, will have further repercussions.
   At present, the UKERC is saying that the elections in the 13 constituencies will all have to be re-run. And surprise! All of the by-elections will be in areas where Labour lost a formerly safe seat to a protest vote against former Prime Minister Angus McBlair.
Clive Denison, MP   One of the constituencies, conspiracy theorists were encouraged to learn, is Greenwich, home of the wreck of the Millennium Dome. The sitting MP is market trader Clive Denison, an independent who took the seat for the Dump The Dome Party at the last election.
   He is denying strenuously that he fiddled his election expenses and challenging the decision to include the disputed items in his accounts. He also seems to have two solicitors on his team, who are monitoring press and TV reports for potential libels; which is why we are watching our step!
   This looks like an issue which will run and run – and get a whole lot dirtier as it does so.

filed by Joe Deblat [j.deblat@md.news.uk]
 

 

MDB News
Winter 2b Wednesday, 28/02/2001
Definitely Not Me – MDB

The Millennium Dome Bomber has released another statement to confirm the rumours that the MD2 terrorists, the gang arrested for the second attempt to bomb the Dome, has nothing to do with him. The police are now admitting, with some reluctance, that the successful and attempted bombings are 2 separate cases. And while they are optimistic about sending the MD2 gang to gaol, they are as far away as ever from the MDB.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Wednesday, 28/02/2001
A Minority Speaks Out

UK ERCFollowing loud cries of 'Foul!' from the other political parties, members of the Electoral Regulation Commission for the UK have published a minority supplementary report at great speed. The original report, published yesterday, called for by-elections in the constituencies of 13 independent MPs, who had 'irregularities' in their election expense returns.
   The minority report gives details of similar problems in the accounts of 17 Labour MPs. In each case, the commissioners found evidence of services rendered for a fee, which were left out of the accounts for one reason or another. The MPs concerned are protesting their innocence, but if the independents have to re-submit themselves to the will of the electorate, so will the Labour chaps.
   Given the apparent partiality of the first UKERC report, it can be no coincidence that all 17 Labour MPs hold seats which could be won by the Tories or the Liberals on a swing of just 1-3%. Interestingly enough, the same sort of swing could hand Greenwich, home of what's left of the Millennium Dome, to either Labour or the Tories; or put the seat even more firmly under the bottom of its present occupant, Dump The Dome Party MP Clive Denison.

filed by Joe Deblat [j.deblat@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
Winter 2b Thursday, 01/03/2001
SOSPETTOSO AT BAY
Lucrio Sospettoso "Legal action"
Photo: Tim deLong
Signor Lucrio Sospettoso, the owner of the prime development site on which the Millennium Dome once stood, is up in arms. Lawyers in four countries are threatening legal action against individuals and news organizations who have been reporting the rumour that he was responsible for hiring the MD2 Gang to destroy the Dome.
   As the bulldozers move on to the site in Greenwich, questions were being asked in Parliament about the terms of the sale contract. With the Dome gone, its owners stand to make up to £4 billion out of redeveloping an area which is considerably larger than that occupied by the Dome and its peripherals.
   The knives are out for Angus McBlair and his cronies with a vengeance. McBlair, it seems, has left the country for good, family and all. His representatives are still repeating that he told them that he needs to spend some time in quiet contemplation. But searching questions are being asked about how he can afford to do so.
   There is some speculation that McBlair knows too much and that certain parties in foreign countries have offered him a refuge - or even taken him prisoner to stop him talking. In the meantime, McBlair's constituents are outraged because they are now effectively lacking an MP. Indeed, there are moves afoot to impeach him and get him sacked for improper conduct and deserting his post!
   The Real Labour Party is resisting these moves - not because the people running it now have any love for McBlair but because the prime minister pro-tem Henry Tudor is planning a spring election in May and he doesn't need the distraction.
   If he expects the Dome scandal to go away, Mr. Tudor is liable to be severely disappointed. A police spokesperson confirmed last night that Pierson McAndelsen has been reported as an official missing person and Interpol has been brought in to the hunt for him.

filed by Arthur Foxwell [a.foxwell@md.news.uk]
 

 

MDB News
Winter 2b Saturday, 03/03/2001
MDB'S LAST WORD
White To Green – M. Inquay
"White To Green - The Millennium Dome site undergoes
a transformed to parkland" – painting by M. Inquay
What the Millennium Dome Bomber announces will be his last word on the subject has been posted on several websites around the world in range of languages. Newspapers and television news stations have been unable to report the full statement for fear of legal action by a certain Italian billionaire. MDB News, however, is fearless in the face of threats.
   In his statement, the MDB regrets the passing of the Millennium Dome and repeats his message that his attack on it was not directed at the Dome itself. Rather, he wished to send a message to the ignorant politicians, who were celebrating a bogus millennium change at vast expense to the taxpaper. He also wished to highlight the abuses of power and taxpayers' money of the crony-ridden McBlair administration.
   As for the beneficiaries of the sell-off, the MDB now concludes that they are just as corrupt as the politicians and just as cynical. The private owners turned the Dome into the nation's top attraction and then cynically destroyed it. When a bombing attempt failed, they chose to crash a remotely piloted aircraft laden with fuel onto it. The only thing that can be said in their favour is that they had the decency to empty the Dome of people on the pretext of a night-time security exercise before the crash.
   The MDB concludes his final message to the nation with the following statement of justification:
"If a government uses the instruments of power in its hands for the purposes of leading a people to ruin, then rebellion is not only the right but also the duty of every individual citizen."

As a postscript, Commander Paul Brass of the MDB Taskforce announced that the hunt for the Millennium Dome Bomber continues and it will be pursued as vigorously as the hunt for all those involved in the final and successful attempt to destroy the Millennium Dome.

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

 

MD News
Winter 2b Thursday, 15/03/2001
A Highly Irregular Election

UK ERCSix Tories, two Liberals and four more Labour MPs have been found to have presented irregular election accounts. Six of the independents named in the first round of this process have been cleared of attempting to gain an advantage by fraudulent means. Henry Tudor's Real Labour regime is now becoming bogged down in distracting accusations of gerrymandering. Where's it all going to end?

filed by Joe Deblat [j.deblat@md.news.uk]
 

Winter 2b
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