Pandora

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LANCASHIRE POLICE have produced a most helpful pamphlet for all those attending this week's Labour Party conference in Blackpool. Among the useful tips is "Don't volunteer to strangers too much personal information about yourself or your security which could help in planning a crime." Could this have been aimed at thwarting Liz Davies and her fellow Grassroots Alliance candidates for the NEC - who started planning their iniquitous assault on the Blairite citadel months ago - from making too many new friends at Conference?

AND WHAT about this tip: "If you must carry any mobile telephones, pager or cassette recorders to the Winter Gardens, you should disclose them to security staff each time you reach a checkpoint." Pandora salutes whatever young Policy Unit genius devised this excellent way of checking to ensure that every party stalwart is always pager-equipped, 100 per cent on-message.

REMEMBER WHEN it was just leaves stopping the trains from running on time? Now Virgin Trains has worrying news for its passengers: on track investment is disrupting regular services two days a week. Under the heading "investing for the future" the Virgin entry in the new "Comprehensive" High Speed Train and Sleeper Services guide to Great Britain says, "Our colleagues in Railtrack are carrying out much renewal work on the track, signalling and structures to ensure a safe and smooth railway." Hence the lack of any listings for Virgin train services on Saturday and Sunday until May 1999. Could this possibly explain yesterday's report that Frank Dobson and other delegates were late due to Virgin Train delays?

OF ALL the obscenities that have appeared in the media as a result of the Zippergate scandal, Pandora finds yesterday's comments by President Clinton's former strategist, Dick Morris, the most stomach turning. Mr Morris, you may recall, had to resign when it was revealed that he talked to Mr Clinton while partaking of inappropriate pleasures with a prostitute. When Monica Lewinsky surfaced, Mr Clinton rang Mr Morris immediately and asked for advice. Mr Morris conducted a rapid poll and, as a result, advised the President that popularity polls indicated he should not admit to any sexual affair. Yesterday Mr Morris wrote in a New York newspaper that the President's "false friends will help him continue to avoid facing the reality of who he really is... there is nobody around Clinton to tell him the truth, to face down his anger, to contradict his denials, and to make him face his worse half without blinking or turning aside." Pandora wonders how Bill's " true friend" Mr Morris faces himself in the mirror.

HAVE BRITISH supermodels become too big for their Manolo Blahnik boots? Following local criticism of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell (pictured) for failing to turn up this weekend on British Fashion Week catwalks, a nasty attack on "imperious" Naomi appeared in a New York tabloid on Sunday. However, the barbs should assuage the British fashion industry's hurt feelings for they explain why Naomi missed Fashion Week. She's been acting on location in Toronto for a film called Passion of Love. However, according to the New York Post, her prima donna behaviour has alienated both the film crew and her Toronto hotel's staff. Her worst sin, it seems, was smoking in non-smoking areas! The poor girl is lucky she wasn't immediately imprisoned. Come home, Naomi, all is forgiven.

WHILE ON the subject of North American anti-smoking habits, outlandish TV racing pundit John McCririck had something puzzling to say last week. Dressed in a fez-like hat and purple velvet suit, McCririck was launching a stable of books for Macmillan/Channel Four at London's Bistrot 2 restaurant. His ultimate accessory consisted of an absurdly large cigar, which caused Pandora to ask what he thought the odds were on President Clinton's survival. "He'll make it," Mr McCririck pronounced. "He's been a great boon to us cigar smokers, both over here and over there." Why that's the case eludes Pandora. One clue from Mr McCririck: "The only problem is that over in the States they are so fascist they won't let you smoke them in most places." Has non-inhaling Mr Clinton been such a boon because he has shown Americans how best to enjoy a cigar when you cannot actually smoke it?

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