The Millennium Dome is an overgrown tent in London, originally designed to be a cultural landmark in our great city.
Upon entering what feels like a hangar, not vast enough to inspire awe at the sheer scale of it, but large enough to prove inconvenient to navigate, I realised that my original suspicions were to be vindicated.

The fact of it being a warehouse which has sprung up in the middle of wasteland and been filled with multi-coloured objects which may or may not serve any purpose, made me think, for a moment, that I was in fact spending my Monday morning at Ikea. Alas, The Dome possesses neither the perfectly executed floorplanning of the Uberstore - enabling the visitor to take a linear route around the place without losing the feeling of exploration - nor does it have the facility to buy stylish Swedish homewares at everyday prices.

The haphazardly placed disjointed exhibits, installations and interactive wank bear no relevance or relationship to one another, and smell of amateurism and desperation. The only common themes I could find were of corporate sponsorship and a surplus of food concessions, which would at least ensure that while visitors may leave the "attraction" feeling culturally famished their physical hunger at least will be sated.

There was one other common theme to the Dome , which is that each and every inch of it is an unconscionable waste of British taxpayer's money*.

(*Although actually the money was garnered from the National Lottery, which is in fact a tax on the stupid)

The Millennium Dome

Much of the information here is taken from various newspaper articles particularly from todays Metro free paper. This, of course, is all mixed up with my own opinion and bloody mindedness...

It was built between May 1997 and December 1999 at a cost of £758 million which was made up of money from taxpayers and National Lottery Funding. Apparently, it has since been discovered, only 5 of the 22 (then present) Cabinet Ministers wanted the Dome to be built. It seemed ridiculous even then, but the best was yet to come...

December 31, 1999/January 1, 2000 This was it, the thing the whole country had been waiting for. Yeah right. The night of the (supposed) new millennium and the night when we would see if the Dome fell flat on its face or not...

Well, it wasn't a complete success, but nor was it a complete failure. However, security delays caused 3,000 guests to miss the opening night.

May 2000

The managers of the Dome admitted that they would not meet their target of 12 million visitors. At this point they received a final handout of £29million from the lottery so that they could keep running. Also at this point in time, the CEO and the Chairman both quit. 2 potential buyers were named...

August 2000

After the previous final handout from the Lottery, there is another one... this time being of £43million. How utterly ridiculous. Also, as well as losing money by the bucketload, they are now going to lose even more as they then cut the ticket price in half! This was supposedly to boost attendance... hmm.

September 2000

More money, this time its another final handout of £47million from, yup you guessed it, the lottery. The Japanese bank that was going to buy the dome have lost interest and pulled out of plans to buy it. A report into the future of the Dome was commissioned and the recommendation? Bulldozing the entire site...

November 2000

The Labour party confirmed that the other preferred bidder, Legacy, had donated £100,000 to them. The National Audit Office investigated the sell off after there were allegations from other parties about cronyism. People began to throw doubt on whether Legacy would be able to fill the Dome with business tenants.

December 2000

The end of the Dome as we know, and nobody gives a damn. On New Year's Eve a party was held by the Ministry of Sound and was attended by 15,000 people, possibly the most ever in the dome at once ;-)

February 2001

More scandals for the Dome... A rumour that Legacy is being backed by royalty, which is denied, although Legacy lose preferred bidder status. There are now several different bidders for the site.

So, out of all this, what have we really got? A site in South London that is absolutely useless and has been a waste of a total of £877million of taxpayers and lottery money. Which, I think, would have been far better spent on other things. It was a totally ridiculous project, and seemed to be doomed from the beginning. If only they had used less money, had things people wanted to see and charged less to get in, it might have been a slightly different story. But it has always been troubled by various scandals, which have done nothing to help its cause. People I know, who have been, said that they would not have paid the money to get in, and only went because they were given a free ticket...

The millennium dome is situated in Greenwich, London, UK and was commissioned by the Conservative government in the mid-90's and, despite public opposition and financial problems, the project was completed by the New Labour government. But has anybody ever wondered why the project was completed and why the site has been maintained, despite its commercial failure?

The answer - it is the cover of a colossal underground nuclear bunker designed to house the government, heads of state and military elite in the event of a nuclear or biological strike on the capital. The complex of underground rooms includes stored provisions to allow the government and elite to maintain control of the country in the event of such an attack.

This is not a joke. Nor is it something made up by some paranoid conspiracy theorist trying to find fault in everything the government says and does - this was told to me by the son-in-law of a prominent member of the labour government who has himself been there and seen the complex.

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