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The Independent Culture
STELLA McCARTNEY, daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, has actively followed her late mother's zeal for promoting animal welfare. However, it seems that the fashion house where Stella is head designer doesn't share her enthusiasm. A report in this week's New York magazine names Chloe and a host of other companies under the umbrella of Vendome Luxury Group (Cartier, Dunhill, Mont Blanc and Sulka) as producers of goods and accessories made out of leather. No doubt Stella, who has helped the group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to raise awareness of animal cruelty in the fashion industry, does not sit comfortably with this. More uncomfortable still is the report's revelation that the Vendome- owned company Purdey's does a roaring trade in hand-made hunting-rifles.

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WHAT HAS got into the minds of New Labour's high command? A document recently sent to Labour Party activists suggests that a party be held on 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night, this year, for the purposes of recruiting new members. The idea that the attempted destruction of Parliament should be feted shocked one MP who told Pandora: "Even the left-wingers in the party would be too moderate to contemplate such a suggestion."

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WHILE REPORTS suggest that New Labour cronies are winning the top placings in the regional lists for selection as members of the Scottish parliament, things in Wales seem to be distinctly off-message. Over the weekend Ian Janes, a Tribune contributor, and Cherry Short were selected to fight the Welsh Assembly seats of Brecon & Radnor and Monmouth respectively. And the reason why these traditional Labour candidates will be particularly unpalatable for New Labour? They were the only candidates to mention the word "socialism" at their hustings.

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THE BBC's Crimewatch UK celebrates its 150th programme next week. As you look back over its history, there appears to have been an inauspicious start to the programme which was set up to help police investigations into a range of crimes. On its first broadcast in 1984, producers were concerned that the noise of policemen taking calls from viewers would distract the presenters. The solution? The policemen were put behind a glass-panelled box, known affectionately as a "pig pen". Needless to say, there was some explaining to be done to the boys in blue.

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NANCY REAGAN (pictured) has taken something of a bashing in a book by a US television journalist, Lesley Stahl. One story regards Nancy's horrified reaction when Barbara Bush, wife of the then vice-president, George Bush, turned up for a White House lunch dressed in red. An outraged Mrs Reagan believed that red was her personal colour, hers and hers alone. She told Mrs Bush, "Never wear red again as long as I live in this house" and, according to the author, Mrs Bush never did until she herself became First Lady. Pandora suspects that Cherie Blair would probably also prefer that her New Labour sisters forgo too many bright red dresses, although for different reasons.

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PANDORA WOULD like to apologise to the author Salman Rushdie for an item appearing in this column last Friday. The story, which stated that while dining out in a New York restaurant Salman Rushdie and his friends found the presence of Monica Lewinsky cause for amusement, is strenuously denied by Mr Rushdie, who told Pandora: "I have never even been in the same space as Monica Lewinsky." Pandora accepts this explanation.

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THAT ROCK legend of the Seventies Rick Wakeman has been explaining what it takes to sustain yourself between guitar solos - curry. In the latest issue of Mojo, the Yes man recounts how, during a live performance, he asked his roadie to get him a takeaway: "I remember my order: chicken vindaloo, bombay aloo, bindi bhaji, stuffed paratha pilau rice, six poppadoms. I hadn't meant straightaway. A bit later I looked down and he's got all these bags. So I laid them out and started eating. Everyone could smell it, the band, the audience. But I thought an incident like that made Yes seem more human."

If this snack sensation were to apply to today's Brit popsters, sushi would be appropriate.

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