Letter: Millennium madness

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The Independent Culture
Sir: James Dalrymple's piece on the Millennium Dome sounds like a cry of desperation from the White Elephant Appreciation Society ("I expected the Dome to be a gaudy bore, but it is the most enchanting show in 1,000 years", 13 December).

The Dome is a very large, very expensive theme park in a tent, with a very limited lifespan, in which the general public exhibits a lack of interest bordering on apathy. Most people would rather have spent the money on something more worthwhile.

Mr Dalrymple writes that he left for his visit to the Dome from "decrepit" Baker Street Tube station. I am sure Londoners would have been much more appreciative of having pounds 758m spent on modernising the Tube. Alternatively, how many new nurses and teachers would it have bought? Perhaps instead we could have taken pride in a nationwide network of proper cycle paths.

We cannot afford automatic train protection, our state schools are failing to educate our children because of lack of funding and we have to wait months for an NHS hospital appointment. Who asked us if we wanted the Dome? The previous administration simply decided to foist it upon us and now, after spending pounds 758m the New Millennium Experience Company has the audacity to charge us an entrance fee.

MICHAEL D MITCHELL

Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire

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