Thursday 22 October 1998
GOVERNMENT MINISTERS will be pleased that the opportunities to attend meetings, or rather receptions, are plentiful. The Greater London Labour Party (GLLP) will be holding a business dinner next month which MPs are implored to attend. The Labour members will receive complimentary tickets to the event and will surely be enticed by the GLLP's announcement that: "We are about to negotiate a `night off' for London MPs with the London whips." The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Byers, will be the guest speaker. At least there will be no need for MPs to ask Byers when he last met representatives of small business or training and enterprise councils, since they will be present at this Labour Party event.
THE ENTRE PRENEUR Richard Branson was a victim of an inventive youth armed with cherry pie in New York on Monday. Branson was at a Virgin Megastore signing copies of his autobiography when the youth emerged from the crowd and hurled the pastry in the Virgin boss's face. "We hugged, and I sent him on his way" Branson told the New York Post. Since his autobiography is called Losing My Virginity, Richard had to admit that cherry pie was an appropriate weapon.
TONY BLAIR was wowing MPs with a display of wit at yesterday's Labour Parliamentary Party meeting and, as is so often the case, Peter Mandelson was at the centre of the joke. At the meeting Mandy was praised by the Glasgow Maryhill MP, Maria Fyfe, for his strong sentiments over the arrest of General Pinochet. Blair apologised for Mandy's absence, quipping that he was "at a Socialist Workers Party meeting". There is many a true word spoken in jest. Pandora hears that the Campaign Group, the last bastion of hard-core leftism in the Labour Party, may be about to invite Mandelson to address one of its meetings. Peter Mandelson in the company of Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingstone? Now that really is a laughing matter.
THE ART-ROCK hero Patti Smith has been playing down her cult status. Salon magazine asked Smith this week if she woke up in the morning conscious of her icon status. "When I wake up in the morning, I wake up because one of my kids knocks on the door. And it's time to make the cereal because they're going to school. So I stumble down the stairs to make the cereal and make sure that the clothes I put in the dryer the night before are out for them to wear. And then I take my daughter to school. I don't think there's any part of my consciousness that considers that I have any kind of historic place on earth except in their life," says Patti. Perhaps even wild horses couldn't drag her away from this domestic bliss.
ATTENTION ALL beer promoters: Paul Newman (pictured) will advertise your product. "I'd do any commercial for a good-tasting beer" said Newman, at a charity event for the National Actors Theatre in the Big Apple this week. At one point in the evening Newman, already the star of his own salad-dressing production, was asked to pose for
a picture standing at the bar. He obliged, but was careful first to conceal with a napkin the label of the beer he was drinking. Perhaps next
the price is right, the napkin will come off.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson superhero movie from Marvel: 'To me it's a no brainer. Why is it taking so long?'
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: Drama returns in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
How to read Will Self: Unlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain