Stephen Bayley has got a point. The former creative chief of dome builder the New Millennium Experience Company resigned at the beginning of the month. He accused Peter Mandelson, the minister in charge of the project – Peter to his few friends, the Prince of Darkness to his many enemies – of being a “dictator”.
Mandy does seem to have learnt a few tactics from old Comrade Stalin, such as rewriting history. He declared to The Daily Telegraph that Bayley had never been the creative director of the project.
“He wanted to fulfil that role but others didn’t think it was appropriate,” slavered Mandy, angel of the bottomless pit. Funny that. The Diary went straight to the filing cabinet and pulled out the press release on Bayley’s appointment to NMEC’s predecessor Millennium Central last June.
To quote: “Stephen Bayley has been appointed creative director… with responsibility for ensuring design cohesion for all aspects of the Millennium project.”
Naturally, Bayley is perfectly outraged at this ungracious slur by the Prince of Darkness, the son of Satan, Beelzebub’s brother, Lucifer’s laddie, the foul fiend, the cloven-hoofed one, the enemy of mankind.
“It’s a pure bit of Stalinist revisionism, like the airbrushing of Politburo photographs. I’m in the surreal position of having resigned from a job which never existed,” pouts Bayley.
Of course, no chance of mistaking Mandelson’s job title. In the cabinet but “without portfolio”, he hasn’t really got one.