The Millennium Dome Bombing Saga

 

MD News
2005Thursday, 2005/01/13
Think of a number bigger than £500M

National Audit OfficeThe National Audit Office has warned that the government's big plans for cashing in on the Millennium Dome site as a development zone are "optimistic in the extreme", and that's before inflation has been taken into account. The country will be lucky to recover 30% of the National Lottery cash poured into the doomed venture, the government's own financial watchdog reported yesterday.
   Persistent questioning at a Labour Party do dragged an official statement (of sorts) from our caretaker prime minister. After Mr. Tudor's response had been translated into English, he appeared to be restating the official claim that the Greenwich Peninsula development should yield more than £600 over the next 20 years. Cynics observed that he was talking tripe in the certain knowledge that he won't be around to be called a liar if the prediction doesn't work out.
   The redevelopment plan has been dogged by years of bureaucratic delays, planning rows and sheer official bungling. "A serious problem is that too many people are making decisions without referring to other people are doing," the NAO report says. "And they often end up at cross purposes to the key players, who have their own agendas for the area. Another major difficulty is failure of A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's managing quango, to keep proper records of assets and debts."
   The chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Sir Carson Palmer, MP, added: "Every government department seems to want a finger in this pie. The result is endless confusion and muddle. And if the poor old taxpayer ends up with a deal which actually makes some money, it will be more by luck than judgement."

MD News is still trying to find out if any government department isn't involved in the Greenwich Peninsula development. Replies are very slow coming in; probably due to the aftereffects of the Xmas/New Year holiday, but we haven't found one yet!

filed by Faraday Grange [f.grange@md.news.uk]

Think of a number around £120K

National Audit OfficeBuried in an appendix on the National Audit Office's latest Dome report is a real chunk of political dynamite. It seems that Ludlum Roberts, a Labour party donor and friend of former prime minister Angus McBlair, put in a bid for the Millennium Dome site in June 2001, some four months after the Dome was destroyed. His consortium planned to create a "high-tech, knowledge city" on the wasteland of the burnt-out Dome site.
   His bid was was opposed by the NAO, civil servants and Whitehall lawyers but supported by the Dome's management, which was worried about running out of money. In the chaos following the collapse of the McBlair administration, an injection of cash from anywhere other than public funds; such as Mr. Roberts' consortium, would have been very welcome.
   The deal collapsed only when a leak from caretaker Prime Minister Henry Tudor's office made it likely that the negotiations would be exposed to public scrutiny.
   Spokespersons for both Mr. Roberts and his former partners have confirmed that it was 'the prospect of sustained adverse media publicity' which led to them withdrawing their bid.

filed by Madge Talmadge [m.talmadge3@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
2005Wednesday, 2005/05/11
Back To Square One
Brian the Binman
The New PM: 'Binman'
credit: Allpix Inc.
No one quite understands what happened in last week's general election, which left Labour in power, sort of. There was clearly some sort of deal made between the various wings of the party and the Liberal Democrats. That deal has imploded during an extended period of renegotiation as the 'partners' sought to exploit what they saw as positions of new strength.
   The fall-out has included the return of the sometime caretaker Labour leader Henry Tudor to his former position of deputy prime minister. After all the manoeuvring, our prime minister remains 'Brian the Binman', who replaced Alen 'Alien' Jenson, the student of UFOlogy, in last autumn's leadership contest. Brian wears his nickname with pride as proof that he once held a proper job. He has no wish to upset the 'dinosaur wing' of his party, and especially not the power broker, Mr. Tudor, who also once held a proper job.
DPM Henry Tudor
Renewed DPM: Tudor
credit: Allpix Inc.
   The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is now receiving a thorough service to make it even grander (at great expense to the taxpayer). In the meantime, DPM Henry Tudor is getting up to speed on what's happening on and around the site of the former Millennium Dome.
   MD News understands that Mr. Tudor has been charged with getting the best possible deal for the taxpayer out of the area to achieve maximum regeneration in Greenwich. Which means that old Henry's wife is probably polishing up their passports to get them ready for a new round of junkets abroad at the expense of foreign developers and people eager to give them lots of ideas while the British taxpayers' purse lies open.

filed by Kate Alien [k.t.alien@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
2005Wednesday, 2005/09/14
Another Dome Crook Gaoled
Brody: Lighting scam
The man who was in charge of lighting at the Millennium Dome has been gaoled for 5 years for a £5 million scam. Lax supervison by the Dome's management allowed him to award contracts to his own family firm, which inflated invoices by up to 230%.
   Despite having little or no relevant experience, Brody was put in charge of what was then "the biggest lighting project in Europe" on the strength of a "strong" CV, which was never checked, and which turned out to be about 90% fiction. Eight members of his family have already been gaoled for terms of 9 to 36 months.
   Brody was convicted last month of conspiracy to defraud A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's management quango, six counts of corruption, four counts of funishing false information and one count of removing the proceeds of crime from the UK.
   Brody was paid only about £1.4 million before someone at ANMD became suspicious and called in the police. In effect, Brody was then scammed by ANMD's accountants, who told him that cash flow problems were delaying payment of the balance of his invoices; a story which Brody seems to have accepted right up to his arrest.
   Most of his assets abroad have been located. A hearing to deal with confiscating his assets in this country will take place next month.

filed by Madge Talmadge [m.talmadge3@md.news.uk]
 

 

MD News
2005Tuesday, 2005/12/27
The Dome bombing 6 years on

Sir Ian McBlairAs a rider to his New Year message to London's police forces, Sir Ian McBlair (no relation to Angus), a.k.a. the Labour Party's favourite copper, expressed his confidence that the Millennium Dome bomber would never have got away with it under present policing arrangements.
   Further, he said, the new security precautions and surveillance systems, which have been put in place in the 21st Century, post 9/11 and 7/7 world, are such that the MDB could never have planted his infernal device and got away without being tracked to his base of operations.

   Dormant, cold even, but not closed

Sir Ian acknowledged that the MDB investigation is 'active but making no progress' at the moment, but he remains confident that the case will be cracked eventually. All big crimes (with the notable exception of the Jack the Ripper Case) are exposed via one of three routes: new forensic evidence and/or new forensic techniques, betrayal and memoirs.
   "All criminals have a pathological need for recognition," Sir Ian told this reporter. "And if no one gives it to them, they generally end up claiming it for themselves. I see the so-called Millennium Dome Bomber as being no different from the usual run of terrorists."

filed by Kate Alien [k.t.alien@md.news.uk]
 

In 2005
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