Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Signoff: David Taylor

THE BIDS to host the UK's first regional super-casino are now closed and the judges are embarking upon a series of hearings around the country to decide who's going to be allowed to build one.

Exciting isn't it? Forget X-Factor, disregard Restoration Village. And don't even mention Big Brother.

There's a lot more riding on this one - not least the contract to build the casino itself.

The Millennium Dome's still favourite, according to the bookies, but it's far from being a clear winner.

You may recall that earlier this year John Prescott accepted a cowboy hat from the Dome's current owner, US billionaire Philip Anschutz. This, according to some commentators, was a blatant bribe and a sign of Mr Prescott's utter corruption.

And yet I haven't seen Mr Prescott wearing his new hat, have you?

Perhaps he doesn't much like it, in which case it's not much of a bribe, if you ask me.

But back to the building contract.

What is there to build? The Millennium Dome has already been built - and blimey, don't we know it?

But if the Dome wins the bid there will be hotels, an arena, a cinema, bars and restaurants to be built as part of the casino development.

There's a lot of money riding on this one and the lobbying is fierce.

Mr Anschutz says it's good for the area, and his company, AEG, recently told the Government that God thinks it's good for Greenwich too. Smart move, because Mr Blair takes notice of God.

Unfortunately, AEG had misquoted the Greenwich Peninsula Chaplaincy as giving the scheme the thumbs-up when it actually disapproves of the scheme.

AEG has had to back-track.

So I checked in the Bible and it seems that God's hedging His bets when it comes to gambling. In the book of Proverbs it says: 'He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.'

But Joshua says God is in favour of 'casting lots': 'By lot was their inheritance, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses'.

So no hints there from the Almighty.

I'M NOT a gambling man myself, but even I can't see the point of a motor race with only one car in it.

Colleagues travelled all the way to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to watch a JCB go through its paces last week when it was clear to everybody who was going to win: there wasn't anybody else in the running.

Yes, I did say a JCB. But this wasn't a normal JCB; it was a car - of sorts.

This particular car was essentially a carbon-fibre cigar tube with two tuned-up digger engines in it and a jet pilot at the controls. It went faster than a car but slower than a jet and strangely enough everybody seemed quite happy with that.

Particularly pleased was JCB boss Sir Anthony Bamford, who turned up at the racecourse with most of his extended family to watch the event.

The fact that this vehicle can get from site to site in record t ime is perhaps something worth celebrating, but everybody seemed to overlook the fact that, once on site, the machine is absolutely useless, with not even a vestigial bucket to dig with. What is Sir Anthony up to?

The answer, it transpires, is an ambition to enter the luxury car market. No sooner had his car sped over the finishing line than Sir Anthony revealed his desire to buy up Jaguar.

Funnily enough, he's not interested in Jag's sister company Land Rover - a far better fit with JCB and arguably a better investment.

I wonder what dear old Joe Bamford would have said about that.