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At long last I've made it. I've been to the Millennium Dome at Greenwich. I've been wanting to go all year, but I couldn't find the time. But with time to spare during the August lull, I suddenly thought, "Why not a family outing to the dome, to celebrate our elder daughter's 21st birthday?" So off we went.
The dome has had a relentlessly bad press. From well before it opened, no newspaper - from the "quality" broadsheets to the tabloids - has missed an opportunity to snipe and sneer at it.
One reason for this may be that the Millennium Night festivities with which it opened were so badly managed that large numbers of VIPs - leading newspaper editors among them - were kept waiting. The Queen and Prime Minister's party took the new Jubilee Line extension eastwards from central London, the natural way to reach the dome.
The other guests, for security reasons, were obliged to go to the east end of the line, and take it westwards from there. Newspaper reports at the time made much of the fact that they had to queue to go through a single security machine, and women had to stand for three hours in high-heeled shoes.
But even if that mishap had not occurred, critics of the dome have had plenty of ammunition. With London's schools, transport, hospitals and others crying out for new investment, was it right to spend so much on something so frivolous?
Even if you argue that the National Lottery money (its main financial source) is not taxation, and the money has therefore not been diverted from government spending, shouldn't more have gone, say, to provincial theatres? With the dome's failure to meet its targets for …