Pandora: Gordon goads Goodison Park

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The Independent Online

First Kelvin MacKenzie and The Sun; then Boris. Now it's Gordon Brown's turn to upset the delicate blue wallflowers of Merseyside.

Everton football fans are bombarding the Prime Minister with irate messages since he took a pop at their dusty trophy cabinet, joking that the Goodison Park club's motto " Nil satis nisi optimum" ("nothing but the best is good enough") meant it could be "done" under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.

Evertonians have been emailing Downing Street with some choice Scouse vernacular. "The cheeky, ignorant bar steward," reads one of the politer missives. "I, an Everton fan of 40 years, felt offended by his uncalled-for remarks." An apology has been demanded.

A spokesman at No 10 confirms that Mr Brown will not be crawling to Liverpool on his knees, saying: "I think he was actually talking about club mottos and how inspiring they can be."

Dromey out: Labour roots move to topple 'Mr Harman'

Despite the money scandals to have embroiled Labour these past two years – several of which require the manpower of Inspector Knacker – the party's treasurer, Jack Dromey has displayed marvelling staying power.

Married to Harriet Harman, Dromey is not widely liked in the Labour party, a man whose hand-washing makes one worry that he, like David Beckham, has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Every time Knacker approached with truncheon raised for a reasurring "Thwack!", Dromey noisily proclaimed that, despite being treasurer, he knew nothing about the millions in "cash for peerages" donations; nor the dodgy £5,000 cheque his wife accepted; nor the "illegal" donations by property developer David Abrahams.

Others might resign for being kept in the dark.

Fortunately for Jack, however, he may have just a few more months left before he is led from the fog and grassed in a sunny meadow. For in a rare development, a Labour activist will challenge him when the treasurer post comes up for re-election in September.

Mark McDonald, a human rights barrister who runs the website LabourHome, will stand against Dromey at Labour's conference in Manchester. He says he does not dislike Dromey, but that public perception demands a fresh approach.

Destabilising for Labour and Harman, who awaits her fate over the cheque.

Lacking Labour grassroots support, Dromey's raised palms mean the hierarchy considers him a Pontius Pilate figure. Only fear of the "domino effect" can save him.

Eyes up: Bryan and Axl's hairy moment

The reformed rock star Axl Rose cuts an eccentric figure these days, so much so that even Bryan Ferry will have a cheeky pop.

The Guns 'n' Roses singer made an unexpected appearance at the chic Mayfair eaterie Le Caprice on Monday evening, where the following exchange was overheard between Ferry and a fellow diner.

Diner: "Did you know that Axl Rose is an anagram for Oral Sex?"

Ferry: "No I didn't. But did you know that the man is bald as a coot and wears hair extensions? He also wears a bandana to cover his bald crown."

Fortunately for Ferry, Rose was well out of earshot – which is just as well, when one considers his active role in ejecting unwanted members of a crowd. He was arrested in 1991 after sparking a riot in St Louis, when he leapt off the stage into the crowd to wrestle a camera from a fan.

Rose was not available to comment last night.

Scrumming on the sofa

The cruel might find it hard to sympathise with Zara Phillips's boyfriend, the England rugby centre Mike Tindall, even though he has badly bruised his liver and been sidelined from this year's Six Nations Championship. Yet, engaging as his recuperation at home with the Queen's niece may be, Tindall will have to stomach the 26-year-old's tastes in daytime television.

"If I'm in at lunchtime I'll sometimes watch Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis Murder, which Mike hates. I love a good murder mystery," Zara tells a magazine.

It is enough to drive a man, even one with a dodgy liver, to attempt to break the Australian cricketer David Boon's record for "tinnies" consumed (52). Then again, Tindall tried that after the 2003 World Cup – and narrowly failed.

Flat chance

Just as Derek "Jobs for the Family" Conway MP thought the dirty-macked hacks would leave his doorstep, along comes irritating news.

Westminster Council are said to have read Conway's comments in a Sunday newspaper with great interest.

Asked why his "all but invisible" sons were on his payroll but rarely seen at Parliament, Conway claimed they worked in his nearby flat: "It's more pleasant working from here than my Commons office, particularly in the summer, because there's no air-conditioning and it's like the black hole of Calcutta. At home I sometimes work in shorts, which might sound bizarre."

Aaaargh! The handbrake!

Westminster's planning department are now looking at Conway's use of his flat for business purposes. Gulp!

pandora@independent.co.uk

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