Pandora

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT peer Rupert Redesdale was on duty as an international supervisor during the recent Bosnian general election. The young Lord was acting as a polling official on the outskirts of Sarajevo. Unbeknown to Rupert, a stash of Molotov cocktails left over from the war had been found in a building neighbouring his polling station and reported to the local police. As this discovery reached higher authorities, the truth became shaken and stirred. Consequently, SFOR, the Nato-led stabilisation force turned up - helicopters and all - outside the polling station. They had word that 31 people had been massacred by a grenade thrown through the window and were poised for action.

"It obviously wasn't the case," sighed Rupert to Pandora this week at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton. "I just wanted to get them out of the way so I could carry on and run the polling station." A noble Lord, indeed.

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MEANWHILE IT seems that the Lib Dems are taking the election of London's mayor very seriously indeed. The rules for those wishing to stand for the party as candidates for the post warn that certain promotional items will be forbidden during the internal selection campaign. These items include tea-towels, baseball caps and - of all things - talking key rings. Surely, the Lib Dems have missed out on a great marketing opportunity here? Pandora would be first in line to buy a key ring that played out the opinions of Simon Hughes (the Party's most obvious mayoral candidate), particularly if he devoted some lyrics to his policies on rucksack abuse on the tube.

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PANDORA NOTES with interest the petition signed by over 60 public figures from around the world in support of Bill Clinton. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is reported to be one of the petition, which is now being circulated by Jack Lang, the former French culture minister. The signatories include actors Gerald Depardieu, Vanessa Redgrave

and Emma Thompson, and film directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders and David Puttnam. But the call has also been heeded by intellectuals Jacques Derrida and Henri-Bernard Levy. Perhaps the intervention of such philosophes marks the start of a new era for the cross-fertilisation of politics and culture. Not so much "Luvvies for Labour" as "Post-modernists for the presidency".

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A PRIVATE view of "Destroy", Dennis Morris' collection of Sex Pistols photographs, was held at the Proud Gallery in London on Tuesday evening. Morris, who clearly had unrestricted access to the Pistols, talked to Pandora about life with the anarchic band. "You were always on the edge with them. I remember one time we were having a drink at John [Lydon]'s house and the door was bashed in by a gang of blokes with baseball bats." Who were these rude intruders? enquired Pandora. "People who were in favour of the royal family I suppose," Dennis replied. Obviously there was no time to ask questions.

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IT IS very unlikely that Claire Danes (pictured), the American actress who starred in Romeo + Juliet and Little Women, will be going back to the Philippines in a hurry. After filming Brokedown Palace in Manila earlier this year, Danes told the latest edition of US movie magazine Premiere, the Philippine capital "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over and no sewage system, and the people do not have anything - no arms, no legs, no eyes." Danes' candid opinions have enraged Jun Juban, one of the producers of the film and a Filipino. "I cannot apologise for Ms. Danes' acerbic tongue. I can only hope she chokes on it," Juban says. Is this a case of cinema verite?

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WACKY DIRECTOR John Waters (Hairspray and Serial Mom) has been talking about his involvement with the militant gay scene in the Sixties. Waters, whose next film is endearingly entitled Pecker, tells Salon magazine; "The gay movement was pretty square in the Sixties until drugs. Drugs made gay men much hipper. I used to go to the riots because all the boys with the bombs were so cute. I was against the war in Vietnam, but I was more interested in the parties."

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