Published  14/01/2002

Millennium Dome doom

Millennium Dome doom

As the year proceeded, the Dome displayed its accursed, doom-laden trajectory downwards. Various dreams of ownership enterprise were touted. Legacy plc proposed a business park, Nomura and Sony teamed up to offer an outdoor market within, to be called Dome Europe, even the Tussaud Group fantasised over a megalomaniac waxworks display hall (notable for not including a platform of government ministers); by others a ‘fat farm’ was proposed. But perhaps the most seriously plausible idea was that put forward by Tim Smid (of Eden fame) together with the London Eye architects Marks Barfield. But it all came to nought, until now, at the year’s end, when it has changed hands by seeming stealth and no questions asked. This is in the great British tradition of weaponry brokerage — indeed the Dome, if transported to an enemy, might be a useful hidden disaster for enemies of the state. Which is why the idea to offer it to Ground Zero, New York was quickly suppressed. 24-hour winter shelter for Afghan refugees might be more reasonable, or for combining this with poppy-growing all the year round. The Dome, however, will continue to ruin well wishers, like the collapsed soufflé (with candy sticks) which it resembles: it will stay Thameside, to haunt us. One thing is certain, that no dedicated terrorist flyer would spare it a glance. It would be doing us too much of a favour.

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