BRITISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, GAMBLING, DOMES
The Millennium Dome in London. Future site of Elvis impersonators and all-you-can-eat lobster feasts?
The other morning, as I lay in bed with Radio4 in the background, my conscious had a massive civil war with my subconscious.
This is how I "wake up" in the morning, getting my daily dose of the best news radio program in the world. Problem is, sometimes I can't differentiate between my dreams and the top British stories. This morning I could have sworn I heard something about Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the Millennium Dome, and casinos--super casions, to be exact.
Later in the day I found out, fully conscious, about the whole sordid Prescott story. It wasn't a dream after all.
Just some background: this is the third Prescott scandal in the last two months, and these Limeys just can't get enough! First, there was the affair with the secretary (pretty big fuss)then, about a month later, he was caught PLAYING CROQUET on his country estate when he was supposed to be in the office (massive fuss), and now this--the man was found to be "in bed" so to speak with the billionaire owner of the Millenium Dome who wants to turn it into London's first super-casino.
Prescott was found to have visited the Texas ranch of billionaire Dome owner Philip Anschutz a total of SEVEN times, on the British taxpayers' dime. I mean, to the British, this is a huge deal, it's like, as crazy as paying billions per year to keep an old lady prancing around in a royal palace with outrageous million-dollar tiaras! Outrageous!
The interview this morning between Radio4's John Humphreys and Prescott showed the ever-intrepid John Humphreys in top form. Excerpt from interview:
Humphreys: Why should the British taxpayer pick up the bill for you and indeed your officials going to stay with a very rich man to indulge your interest in cattle and cowboys?
Deputy PM Prescott: Well, I would say it's a...as to whether the charity money should be used, that's a legitimate point made and I would, I never got into the details of it, I just assumed all those matters of payment for accommodation wherever you were [unintelligible] was cleared and arranged by the Department and that's what happened, and you're quite right to raise that question but in fact it wasn't one that was put to me.
Pow! Kazam! Take that bumbling jerkface.
Masha Gessen is the author of *The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia*, which will be published in October. In the July issue of Har...
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