Little Respect: George gives comrades both barrels

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The Independent Online

Even George Galloway's sternest detractors would be hard pushed to deny the firebrand MP has a style of oratory which could inspire even the most snivelling of parliamentary yes-men.

But in a recent note to his Respect comrades, Galloway adopts the sort of red-faced hairdryer tone you're more likely to expect from a shouty premiership football manager.

Last week, party members received a furious eight-page missive through their letterboxes which issued a lengthy list of criticisms in which "gorgeous" George claims the party is racked by amateurism and internal division. "It is clear to everyone, if we are honest, that Respect is not punching its weight in British politics and has not fulfilled its potential either in terms of votes consistently gained, members recruited or fighting funds raised," it reads.

Dismissing Respect's fundraising activities as "all but non-existent", he complains: "We have stumbled from one financial crisis to another. There is a deep-seated culture of amateurism and irresponsibility on the question of money." He concludes that "renovation is urgently required".

Interestingly, Galloway, who has confirmed he will stand against Labour minister Jim Fitzpatrick in West Ham at the next general election, says relations between the party's leading figures are "at an all-time low".

When Pandora calls Galloway's office about the matter, a tight-lipped spokesman cryptically remarks: "We're not commenting on it, but we're not denying he has written a letter."

Susannah turns to crime

Susannah Constantine, one half of the television fashion fascists Trinny and Susannah, embarked on a novel way of procuring clothes for the waspish duo's forthcoming show Undress the Nation.

Instead of just harassing ditzy fashion PRs for free handouts, Constantine encouraged the pilfering of one garment from an (as yet unnamed) shop.

"I got one of our old ladies from the new series to shoplift a scarf from a shop. She did it beautifully," she says. "I just told her to take it and put it in her bag. She liked it."

Light-fingered Constantine, who makes her confession in this week's Heat, says her recent crime spree didn't stop there.

"I've taught my dog to shoplift food off the bottom shelf," she adds. "I go and buy a packet of cigarettes and my dog will nick of packet of crisps off the bottom shelf."

Coe taken down a Pegg

Simon Pegg currently stars as a London Marathon runner in the film Run Fat Boy Run, but the British actor was never a supporter of that great British long-distance runner, Lord Coe.

"Seb Coe was just a terrible posh Tory, I was much more of a Steve Ovett fan to be honest," he told me recently. "He was rougher round the edges and much naughtier."

His Lordship would be entitled to take this outburst as an affront to his robust efforts in bringing the world's biggest sporting event to Britain in 2012.

Though, in that light of the claims made against Coe in last night's Dispatches programme on Channel 4, it's safe to assume Pegg probably fails to muster a place on his hit-list right now.

No-win game

Nicolas Sarkozy probably wasn't the only one looking miffed after the French rugby side were turned over by Argentina on Friday. The bombshell result may yet have repercussions for Gordon Brown.

One World Cup anorak points out that the result makes the previously unlikely prospect of an England-Scotland semi-final clash all the more possible. I won't even begin to try to explain how – it's far more complicated even than Gordy's ludicrously over-elaborate system of tax returns – but it could hand the Scots an easier route than expected to the competition's last four.

Brown has always said he'll support both countries if ever they were to meet in football. But with Scotland's woeful track record he knows that's unlikely.

Dangerous weapon that is Mark

The controversial biennial arms fair taking place today at the Excel Centre in London's docklands promises to be a lively affair. The Campaign Against the Arms Trade are planning to hold a peaceful demonstration at the event led by campaigning comedian Mark Thomas.

Thomas will also be joined by a colourful anarchist group called the "Space Hijackers", who you may recall, told Pandora last month they were trying to raise £5,000 to purchase a Russian tank for the event. Their balaclaved leader has since been in touch to inform me of their success. "We are now the proud owners of a Saracen MK1 APC," he tells me. "It has six wheels and weighs 8.5 tonnes unladen. It's a mean looking beast."

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