The Queen is the cause of a major scuffle between the grown-up Lib Dems and their student counterparts. The younger tofu-eating generation are incensed by what they see as a deliberate ploy by the more conservative party policy makers to stifle debate about the monarchy - which they would like to scrap following the present Queen's reign.

Last year the grown-ups rejected the students' amendment abolishing the monarchy at the party conference, in favour of a subsequent debate. The matter was referred to the policy committee - a body chaired by Paddy Ashdown, responsible for presenting proposals to this year's conference.

Nine months later the matter had still not been raised. Blood boiling, pony-tails waving and crunching vegetables, the youths advanced on their elders and tabled a motion for the coming party conference, censuring the policy committee for inaction.

The grown-ups quavered, irritated in the extreme. As a damage limitation exercise, the conference committee has now accepted the motion of debate. The party's right wing is decidedly unhappy - miffed also by another amendment appearing on the Brighton agenda: the decriminalisation of soft-drugs.

I am glad to hear that the Pope retains an earthy sense of humour. I ran into a friend of his, Jerzy Kluger, at the launch of Letter to to a Jewish Friend by Gian Franco Svidercoschi on Wednesday evening. Kluger, 74, who is a frequent guest for breakfast at the Vatican (a somewhat early affair at 6am), recounted how he and John Paul II spent a happy evening together recently watching the World Cup (he can't, unfortunately, remember which match).

The Pope was in an enthusiastic mood (after all he was the goalkeeper in his school's team). Turning to Kluger after a particularly good goal he said cheerfully: 'They are champions.' Pause. 'But so am I' Further pause. 'No other Pope has been to hospital as many times as me.'

Following the footsteps of John Cleese, who made millions from management training videos, is Tim Brooke-Taylor, currently making a training video for barristers. The Inns of Court School of Law has hired the former Goodie to appear in a humorous film which shows pupils how not to treat clients, speak and cross-examine. Scene one shows a bespectacled Brooke-Taylor faced with a client who claims that her baby, strapped into a push-chair, is responsible for shoplifting from three shelves at a supermarket. Brooke-Taylor expresses condescending incredulity - absolutely verboten at the Bar.

'This is a pretty easy piece of cake,' says Brooke-Taylor, who himself read law at Cambridge. It would seem, however, just as well, that he turned to acting instead. He adds: 'I hate wearing a wig - it's appalling.'

Peter Stringfellow's girthist policy which I referred to yesterday on account of his invitation to 'skip lunch' appears to be affecting his staff.

Spotted inside the ladies loo at the party to mark the club's refurbishment were groups of scantily-clad waitresses surreptitiously scoffing platefuls of food.

'I only asked for two but he got me four,' exclaimed one delightedly, referring to the kindly gesture of one male guest who had listened to their pleas. Mr Stringfellow, it seems, forbids them to eat on the premises until well into the small hours of the morning.

Nota Bene BBC administration: you appear to be confusing my esteemed colleague, David Lister, the arts correspondent of this newspaper, with the fictional Dave Lister (played by Craig Charles), the protagonist of the cult comedy series Red Dwarf.

My poor beleaguered colleague is suffering severely. Each morning he opens his post which you have forwarded onto him and reads lines such as: 'Dear David Lister, I love the way you paint your toenails. . .'

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