Opinion  Infrastructure and urban planning 

Collective Cult

The Millennium Dome

Nick Cohen 

The bombastic voice of the Millennium Dome publicists alerts sceptical listeners to insecurity. Like tour guides from the former Eastern European dictatorships, they insist that, irrespective of other hard-to-refute complaints, their big tent is far, far bigger than anything that might be found in less fortunate countries. The Dome can hold “18.000 double-decker buses”, its website burbles. Or “13 Albert Halls”. Or “3.8 billion pints of beer”. Or “the Eiffel Tower on its side”. Boosterism isn’t confined to the public-relations department. The Dome’s fragile skin has been forced to carry enormous constitutional weight. “The overall purpose pose of all Millenniumactivity”, NewLabour’s advisers wrote shortly after they reached off office, “is to re-energize the Nation. The ultimate aim of the Company, therefore, is to change perceptions, more specifically: to raise the self-esteem of the individual: to engender a sense of pride in the wider community; to enhance theworld’s viewof the Nation”...

Included Tags: