Blair gets the boot

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The Independent Online
Blair gets the boot

ABOUT a hundred women and children marched through the village of Brecon in mid-Wales on Saturday afternoon. While the British property market may be thriving in London and our bonus-fed City boys still awash in Bollinger, life on small British family farms is tougher than ever, in large part due to the BSE crisis.

The Brecon women's placards bore slogans like "Tony, our kids' livelihoods are in your hands." The climax came when the mothers placed dozens of their childrens' Wellington boots (uncleaned) into a large parcel addressed to 10 Downing Street. It will be interesting to see how the spin-doctors handle this pungent evidence of contemporary British lifestyle. An exhibit in the Dome? Somehow Pandora doubts it. Chilled out MP

WHAT IS UP with David Prior, Tory MP for Norfolk North West? A few days after admitting to have inhaled cannabis, he took about 30 minutes of Commons time to complain about the effect on his head of white lines painted in the middle of roads. He also put in a plea to change street lights from orange to white. His fervent plea was to calm down rural life. "Otherwise, people may be tempted to speed through the countryside." Far out, David - how about painting all those trees psychedelic orange? Academic wisdom

TONIGHT is the night when all of America is submerged under a flood of gratuitous thank-you treacle at the Academy Awards. Pandora must confess to feeling unwell every time a glittering star gushes his or her thanks to the "Academy". Is this the same sagacious and beneficent Academy that failed to nominate for Best Film such indisputable masterpieces as Some Like It Hot, The African Queen (above), Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Singin' in the Rain?

He swallows it

SPEAKING of inhaling, an American journalist and

former Oxford classmate of President Clinton's last week revealed an impressive dimension to Teflon Bill's spin-doctoring talents. Recalls David Maraniss, "We spent enormous amounts of time trying to teach him to inhale" when he was a Rhodes scholar, but without success. On the other hand, Clinton "consumed several brownies with various hashish and marijuana in it". When asked about Maraniss's claim, a White House spokesman said: "I don't know, and I don't care."