Pandora

LOOK OUT for this week's New Statesman supplement on Europe. You can't miss it - it's sponsored by the eurosceptic Business for Sterling group, whose logo appears on the cover. Surely a surprise move for the New Statesman, not renowned as a bunch of little Englanders? As luck would have it, a more euro-loving supplement is in the pipeline to balance this first effort. But when? New Statesman publisher Spencer Neal couldn't give Pandora a fixed date nor could he say which euro-friendly companies were queuing up to sponsor the issue: "I would like all our supplements to be sooner rather than later," Neal offered. Since Business for Sterling were allowed their supplement "when it was most effective for them", presumably the pro-euro lobby will get theirs this side of the referendum.

IT IS a more Europhile approach that wins the day on the latest adverts cajoling tourists to visit Cornwall. The EU funded the ad campaign, so it gets its little blue flag waved on all the promotional material. Eurosceptic Angela Browning (Con Tiverton and Honiton) contends this is not Euro largesse, but merely us reclaiming our own revenue. Whatever the funding arrangements, it is the symbolism that is the real choker: "That horrible blue flag! There's a Cornish flag that could have gone there instead," exclaimed Browning.

HO HUM. Out of 25 top tips from Company magazine for women to spice up their sex life, one certainly hits a high note. The magazine suggests that they make ready man's best friend by humming close to it. But beware: "Don't hum too hard - this will result in extremely unerotic noises."

SURPRISE SURPRISE. Comedian Sean Hughes's (pictured) favourite TV programme is Stars in Their Eyes. But the Irish jester, whose second novel, It's What He Would Have Wanted, is out in the autumn, doesn't aspire to ape any popular musician on the look-and-sound-alike show. At a recent party Sean confided to Pandora: "If I were to be anyone on the programme it would be Matthew Kelly."

SACHA NEWLEY, son of Joan Collins and the late Anthony Newley, was most revealing at his new exhibition, Nerves Upon A Screen, on Tuesday. Explaining his technique to Pandora, Sacha says: "It's done by electro-static tension, which I discovered while doing my abstract work in LA." However, later on during the party at the Proud Gallery, he came clean: "It's the same technique used by third-year infants making `butterfly' pictures with poster paint." Newley is planning to write a novel based on the diaries he kept as the Collins offspring. If stuck for a title the artist might consider "What I Did in My Summer Holidays".

TONY BENN was in predictable form at the launch of his video diaries on Tuesday evening. The veteran MP made pointed comments on the Scottish elections ("I'd prefer a Lab/Lab coalition") and on the Kosovo crisis ("They need fewer smart bombs and a few more smart leaders"), but he was upstaged by fellow lefty Bob Marshall-Andrews. Bob had thoughtfully brought along a street map of Belgrade, showing the Chinese embassy clearly marked. Ever-present Foreign Office man Denis MacShane felt duty-bound to commandeer the map for the Foreign Secretary: "I'm seeing Robin this evening," he declared. "I'll give him that." But this kind offer was declined by Marshall- Andrews, who made it clear he was reserving this pleasure for himself.

SMILE PLEASE - the Japanese recession could end sooner rather than later if only citizens would smile more. That's the thesis of Yoshihiko Kadokawa, who uses chopsticks to teach his fellow citizens to smile. Smiling is a no-no in Japan, where children are taught not to laugh in public so they don't upset wa, the sense of group harmony. Kadokawa, who charges pounds 625 to teach clients how to grin and bear it, contends his hypothesis isn't self-interested; he says he developed his "Let's Smile Operation" seminars after noticing that sales assistants in the store where he formerly worked moved more merchandise when they smiled.

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent. co.uk

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