Pandora: Labour wants you (to design its posters)

After, we assume, several long hours in the Downing Street bunker discussing the Conservatives' latest less-than-flattering M&C Saatchi designed campaign advert, Labour party officials appear to have found a new strategy. Namely, DIY.

We're told that Douglas Alexander, party election coordinator, has sent an email to all MPs and supporters asking them to submit their suggestions online in the (some might say improbable) hope that they can do better.

"Our ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi [no relation], have produced some great work for us," he writes. "And unlike the Tories, we'll be sticking with our agency – but we want to see if you can do better."

Philip Gould, meanwhile, has offered his "top tips" for making the volunteers' efforts effective ("keep the message simple, include strong images, try to weave in humour wherever possible"). Winning propositions will be aired online over Easter weekend.

Naturally, party officials insist the idea has everything to do with participation. And nothing whatsoever to do with Labour's shoestring budget.

Plenty of fashion vim in Vivienne

*Those fearing an imminent career change from Dame Vivienne Westwood: time to breathe a sigh of relief. The design doyenne assures Pandora that, contrary to speculation, she has no plans to abandon the catwalk ahead of filming Get A Life, her forthcoming pilot for a television show about "climate change and culture". "I was bored by fashion for 15 years," she explains. "I just did it because I was good at it. But I quite like it now – and it gives me a mouthpiece." Lovers of tartan and tailoring can relax once again.

MP4 issue a Cross Party release

*Hark! Word reaches us of the most exciting event in recent muso-political history. Yes! It's the release of MP4's long-anticipated debut album on Revolver Records. Produced by Sade collaborator Robin Millar, Cross Party went on sale yesterday, complete with Pete Waterman-remixed bonus track. The House of Commons' premier (albeit only) rock band will promote it this afternoon with a, ahem, guerilla gig in the Commons. Lucky fans may even be in with a chance of getting a signed copy. Cue Beatlemania levels of excitement.

Shilton is waiting in the wings

A less than subtle hint, now, for those BBC bigwigs plotting the line-up of next season's Strictly Come Dancing.

Should they find themselves a man down on their sports star quota, there's a certain goalkeeper waiting in the tunnel for a turn.

"Bring it on!" enthuses Peter Shilton of the prospect. "I did ballroom dancing lessons when I was a youngster. I could actually do the steps."

Let's hope the challenge doesn't take its toll. Shilton recently took part in Let's Dance for Sport Relief. "It was absolutely nerve-wracking. I didn't sleep for three nights before. It was like being in the dressing room on a delayed kick-off."

Flying solo

*News that Nick Clegg is to fly, Obama-style, in a private plane accompanied by members of the media throughout the general election campaign has elicited but muted enthusiasm from Lembit Opik. The lothario of Montgomeryshire had, after all, once offered his own piloting services to Clegg, only to be met with a rebuff. "It's not going to be me," Opik reflects. "But as Parliament's best-known pilot, I'm pleased my leader is supporting aviation in this way. I'm still considering getting my hands on a second-hand jumbo jet myself." So kind!

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent