Pandora

WHAT HAVE Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jim Davidson and a belly dancer named Asmahan got in common? They will all be present at a ball for the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association to be held on 27 November. Sources say that the appearance of a belly dancer at this function has caused Jacob Rees-Mogg, son of Lord Rees-Mogg, some consternation. To Pandora, however, he said "I'm sure it will be a great success," adding somewhat cryptically: "I wouldn't want to be a belly dancer myself." Despite his misgivings about the display of Egyptian dancing to be performed before the Egyptian Ambassador and his wife (who are guests of honour), Mogg will attend the function. "I am assured that its going to be a very respectable belly dancer," Mogg confided to Pandora. Accompanied, no doubt, by an equally tasteful Jim Davidson.

IN A sight almost as impressive as the D-Day landings themselves, the DreamWorks film company is forcing Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan to beat a retreat. Despite grossing $190 million at the box office the film is being pulled from all but two of the 502 locations it was showing at in the US. According to Entertainment Weekly this plan will allow DreamWorks to re-release the film in February when the Oscar nominations are announced. But Private Ryan will face stiff competition in the Academy Award stakes from The Truman Show among others. Like the risky decisions taken by Tom Hanks's character in the film (pictured), perhaps Spielberg's defence- as-the best-form-of-attack will pay off - but at a cost.

"WHEN THE Government carries out the next census it may ditch the old ABC1C2DE [social] classifications," suggests Christine Walker, head of Walker Media. At the annual conference of the Marketing Society this week, Walker will suggest some new categories, including Nipples (New Irish Professionals Living in London) and Sitcoms (Single Income, Two Children and Oppressive Mortgage). Kenneth Clarke and Sir Bernard Ingham will be addressing Britain's finest marketing minds, and for the purposes of categorisation Pandora suggests they be referred to as Pet (Pro European Tory) and Bun (Blunt Unreconstructed Northern-er) respectively.

IT SEEMS that the strengthened Blair-Ashdown axis has been too much for some Liberal Democrats. During the Party's parliamentary meeting last Wednesday, held after the Blair-Ashdown statement, feisty Lib Dem MP, Dr Jenny Tonge rose to enquire whether her colleagues had lost their bottle over furthering policy aims. The Lib Dems' foreign affairs spokesman, Menzies Campbell, normally a model of restraint, suggested that Dr Tonge "prescribe Viagra" to Paddy's, mostly male, colleagues. A fair suggestion: anything to stiffen the party line.

HOW KIND of the Daily Telegraph to give a generous marketing boost to the Mirror Group's Docklands freesheet The Wharf. The decision of Dan Colson, Telegraph chief executive, to ban copies of The Wharf from the Telegraph's offices has achieved just that. A gleeful story in last week's Wharf makes the most of the ban by quoting a number of Telegraph journalists who say they will continue to read the free paper despite its enforced disappearance from their offices. Colson maintains that security is a concern and that "there's nothing sinister" behind the decision but when the story first broke Colson reportedly tried to persuade The Wharf not to report the ban. What next? Journalists to be forbidden to talk to journalists?

ENOCH POWELL called them "parliamentary graffiti" and there can be no doubt that Early Day Motions (EDMs) are the MP's licence to doodle. Pandora salutes one recent example of daydream politics from the Labour MP for Lancaster and Wyre, Hilton Dawson. Mr Dawson has composed an EDM as follows: "That this House recognises the superb achievement of Lancaster City in reaching the first round of the FA Cup; understands that a pulsating victory against their worthy opponents Northampton Town would bring even greater glory to the wonderful historic city whose name they bear; and dares to dream of a third round tie at home to Manchester United, Arsenal or best of all Sunderland." Sadly, as last Saturday's result showed, this was another EDM that failed to make into the back of the net.

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