Pandora

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
A FETCHING press release with both the Lords emblem and the Stringfellows logo has arrived on Pandora's desk. This unlikely union has sprung from the innovative loins of the Conservative hereditary peer and poker player Lord Bethell. Bethell announces that Stringfellows is the venue for an evening reception of London's Conservative candidates for the European Parliament this week. The event will feature as guest of honour Lord Archer, "who will speak and auction a number of items for party funds". Pandora hopes, given the venue, that these are appropriate items for political fundraising. Certainly the description of the evening in the release leaves little to the imagination. Of Stringfellows it boasts: "Where better can the businessman, alone in the strange city, relax and enjoy himself after a difficult day spent on insurance and banking, or otherwise up the financial sharp end?"

u

AT FIRST glance the announcement by the National Archives in the US that some more historical documents have been released may not seem to thrilling. But the latest batch is an exception. Amongst the treasures being aired on 18 December are a map of the California gold fields, the arrest warrant for Lee Harvey Oswald and - the cherry on the cake - a letter from Elvis Presley to President Nixon asking to be appointed a federal agent-at-large. Well, the King may never have made it as an agent, but he certainly made it to being large.

u

AS PANDORA anticipated (in June) a new book about the Sports Minister and House of Commons jester Tony Banks has been published. The Wit and Wisdom of Tony Banks: A Tribute to a Parliamentary Career, written by Iain Dale and published by Robson books, is now available. But despite the deliberately affectionate title, Pandora has heard mutterings that Banks is not amused by the book. Banks appears to be trying to shed his jokey image to portray a more serious side, especially in view of the race to be Labour's candidate for London's mayor. Pandora contacted Banks's office for a comment on the book, but there was no response. Meanwhile, Pandora would like to remind readers why Banks is such a valuable asset to Parliament, with selected Banksisms such as this one: "I don't care whether I'm a minister, I don't care whether I'm a Member of Parliament. I'll do my job to the best of my ability... I don't think I'm in any way pompous because, in the end, I don't give a toss." Loud and clear Tony, and Pandora is sure that readers will enjoy being reminded of how funny you are, at least until we get a call to say otherwise.

u

THE US release of Woody Allen's latest film, Celebrity, has given the cult auteur a platform to pass his own judgement on the rich and famous. Allen (pictured), who says that he can live with the downside of fame by avoiding TV shows and honorary degree shows at universities, gives some in the public eye the benefit of the doubt. On Rupert Murdoch, Allen comments: "I hear that he is a charming man from people that know him, and I'm sure if I met him, I might be seduced by him or find him a charming man." he tells the latest issue of the New York Observer, "But you know I'm not a fan of the tabloids, either on TV or print journals."

u

PRESIDENT CLINTON has once again come under scrutiny for his personal habits, this time over what he eats. The Washington Post published the Clinton menu for Thanksgiving last week, with almost as many entries at the Starr report. At Camp David, Bill, Hillary and Chelsea tucked into a starter of corn chowder, followed by turkey stuffed with corn-bread dressing, roasted prime rib with horseradish cream, maple-glazed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, chilled asparagus, cranberry sauce, corn, squash and three kinds of pie: apple, pecan and pumpkin.

Meanwhile, Downing Street has assured Pandora that there will be "nothing unusual" about the Blair's Christmas meal at Chequers this year. Cappuccino all round, then?

Comments