Pandora

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The Independent Culture
IT SEEMED almost that Peter Temple-Morris's final break from the Conservative Party was foreseen by the organisers of the Three Counties Show in Malvern last week. The Leominster MP had been told that he was to be seated at Table 1 with the President of the Three Counties Agricultural Society. However, Temple-Morris was just about to sit down when he was led away by the event director to Table 14. Perhaps the move was just as well, as William Hague was sitting on Table 3. All parties have denied that the Hague camp was instrumental in this. Had they been in closer proximity, Temple-Morris said, "He would have nodded to me and I would have nodded to him". Surely that would depend on whether Hague had got wind of the MP's impending defection.

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NEW YORK'S mayor Rudy Giuliani held a party at his home last week to celebrate Israel's 50th Anniversary. Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News lavished Giuliani with praise at the event saying "it is not unusual that the mayor of New York has opened up his home; he has long been a great supporter of the state of Israel". He added that Giuliani was "a person who has shown up at absolutely every occasion on behalf of the state of Israel. He lends his very powerful voice in the cause of ... backing Israel's right to exist". Praise indeed. Perhaps this was all a reaction (as rival the New York Post gleefully points out) to a Daily News cartoon published the day before. The cartoon mocked City Hall's plan for an emergency command centre, depicting Giuliani as Adolf Hitler, sitting in a bunker with an aide saying "Uh, Rudy, there's an Eva Braun to see you." Oops.

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KEITH ALLEN, comedian and actor, was a very unhappy man last night. England's dismal failure against Romania did not go down well at an event loosely designed to promote the Canal Building development in Islington. The co-creator of the World Cup anthem "Vindaloo" bravely gave an encore after England's defeat. Despite the show of strength Allen and Blur's Damon Albarn (pictured) were visibly gutted. Not the best time to ask Allen about the artistic integrity of this moronic tune? No. "It's not a f***ing hooligan song, it's a football song. The reason that the right hijacked Jerusalem is that it's emotive. This is a people's song," Allen gently pointed out. "Vindaloo" and "Jerusalem": odd comparison. No curry was served, but that other staple food of laddism, the kebab, was munched on thoughtfully as "Anarchy in the UK" played over the sound system.

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AT THE same time, England's finest demonstrated their "martial spirit" in Toulouse after their team's defeat to Romania. Unfortunately, MP Alan Clark, at the centre of controversy over the fans' behaviour, has no plans as yet to publish any more books on his pet subject, military history. "I don't know what his next project might be," said his office. Alan may be missing a trick here - how about The Charge of the Light Ale Brigade?

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WATCH OUT for revolutionary insurrection in the British Library. The Queen is due to open the new building tomorrow, meaning that the Library will be shut for the day. A leftist group called "The rank and file British Library Reader" has issued a pamphlet moralising that perhaps Her Majesty might "use her day in the Library productively to read up on books dealing with the decline of the monarchy". The pamphlet is even more radical in criticising the restaurant for having the bourgeois cheek to charge pounds 2.80 for an egg sandwich. Agent provocateur is none other than Keith Flett, a recent subject of Newsnight which reported on his prolific turnover of letters to the press in support of various noble causes including the "Beard Liberation Front". Asked if he was simply a professional agitator, he said: "I am a trade union official, so I suppose that is one facet of it." Never a truer word.

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