Pandora

WITH ALL the controversy about "Tony's cronies", it is surprising that so little has been said about "Cherie's Angels", the women close to the Prime Minister's wife. In the dark ages before the dawn of our new Government, Cherie would sometimes take afternoon tea in her Islington home with friends like neighbour Margaret Hodge, Baroness (Margaret) Jay, and Baroness (Tessa) Blackstone. Hodge became a junior minister at the Department for Education and Employment in last month's reshuffle, while Baroness Jay became Leader of the House of Lords at the same time. And, of course, Baroness Blackstone became Minister of State for higher education at the DFEE after last May's election. Anyone like another piece of cake?

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PANDORA HAS learned that the Blairs shared cocktails last week at their borrowed Italian villa, Cusona, with ex-New Yorker editor Tina Brown and her husband Harold Evans, holidaying nearby in Tuscany. The New York power couple are avid New Labour supporters; they hosted a glittering fundraising event for the party before the last election. Indeed Pandora has been told that Tina was none too pleased to read in last Friday's Independent that the Prime Minister has been invited to a "British Invasion Part II" party organized by Liz Tilberis, current editor of Harper's Bazaar. Will Tony risk Tina's wrath by actually attending her rival British editor's event on 8 September? Yesterday the Downing Street press office said he was definitely not going to the party.

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AMERICAN TV sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld has never been one of Pandora's favourite performers, so it was no surprise to learn that the hugely wealthy comic had recently offended his gracious Australian hosts by describing Melbourne as "the anus of the world". Much more surprising, however, to read of a cringing Australian attempt - in Southern Cross, a London expatriates' magazine - to excuse this philistine's bad manners. "It is possible that Seinfeld was only making a reference to Melbourne's geographic location," the magazine suggests. Yes, and kangaroos may only be people dressed up in costume...

u

HERE'S THE latest update from the States about those "on the road" Thelma and Louise-esque adventures of Lady Thatcher and Nancy Reagan. Having left Martha's Vineyard, the two rollicking gals were chilling out on Long Island over the weekend in the impressive Southhampton beach home of a wealthy American named Caroll Petrie. How did the ladies entertain themselves? It seems they enjoyed a private home-screening of The Rat Pack, the forthcoming biopic about the late Frank Sinatra's glory days in Las Vegas. Ol' Blue Eyes was, of course, a close friend of Nancy. Perhaps Lady T was not immune to his legendary talents as well...

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SO FAR London Transport has refused to take any action in response to our Anti-Rucksack On The Tube Campaign, save for a feeble statement about how passengers are expected to act with courtesy and common sense. Yesterday on the Underground, Pandora was amazed to see a large LT poster reading, "Don't eat smelly food". A telephone call to the LT press office elicited the response that "Burgers with onions are particularly pungent". Perhaps not as pungent as 40 pounds of canvas-covered, aluminium-strutted luggage rammed into your face by a selfish oaf? Since London Transport is evidently more alarmed by odoriferous cheeseburgers than it is about innocent rucksack victims - many of whose harrowing stories have been published here over the past weeks - it seems the time has come to escalate our campaign. Yesterday we requested an emergency face-to-face meeting with London Transport.

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Larger than life television comedienne Roseanne (below) obviously has a great big heart. She has told an interviewer from George, John F Kennedy Jr's self-indulgent political magazine, that she would be willing to undertake voluntary intern work for President Clinton if he would increase the funding of Head Start, a governmental welfare programme for children in poverty. "If he'd do that, I'd like totally **** that guy myself," Roseanne said, adding, "I'd get a beret and the whole deal."

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