DIARY: Bell snubs millennium celebrations in protest, but he’s a softie, really

Lord Bell tells me he boycotted the millennium celebrations, in protest at their being ’hijacked’ by the Labour Party. He spent new year’s eve sheltering in Sydney with his Australian wife, Virginia.

Lord Bell tells me he boycotted the millennium celebrations, in

protest at their being ’hijacked’ by the Labour Party. He spent new

year’s eve sheltering in Sydney with his Australian wife, Virginia.



’I find all of that attempt to own it rather offensive,’ says Margaret

Thatcher’s favourite PR man.



’It isn’t 2000 years of Tony Blair.’



Bell says the best present he can think of is not to invite anyone to

the Millennium Dome in the coming months. Nor is he particularly

enamoured with the year 2000. ’I’ve never had that much interest in new

year’s eve and I saw no special reason to celebrate this one just

because it had lots of noughts attached to it,’ he grumbles.



By contrast, Shandwick founder Lord Chadlington threw himself into the

London festivities by taking a party of six adults and no fewer than 44

children to see the fireworks. The party had dinner and then were

marshalled across the city to watch the spectacle from the office of one

of Shandwick’s shareholders.



However, before you start shouting ’bah, humbug!’ at Bell, at least he

and his team at Chime did donate the last hour of their 1999 salaries to

the Children’s Promise fund-raising campaign.



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