Pandora: McCartney finds beef

Sir Paul McCartney's appearance on the
Today programme yesterday provided a little welcome relief from the election coverage. Who knew it could prove so controversial?

The former Beatles front man was booked to discuss his campaign for Meat Free Mondays with presenter Sarah Montague; last year he launched a drive to encourage people to forsake meat one day a week in order to reduce levels of methane in the atmosphere. It was, he told Montague, "not a veggie idea, but a planet idea".

Alas, the British Beef Association hasn't taken too kindly to the description, and is taking out its wrath on the BBC. Citing claims made in various foreign studies, it defends its cattle against the charge of global warming and is now petitioning the Beeb to correct its "reputation for balance and accuracy". The BBC isn't saying whether or not it plans to take any notice.

For his part, Sir Paul declined to comment. Let's hope there's no beef. (Sorry.)

Picture haunts Cameron

Much speculation as to whether or not The Mirror will face sanction for using the notorious photo of David Cameron in Bullingdon attire. The image is owned by Oxford company Gillman & Soame, and using it breaches copyright. Still, it's been seen elsewhere in this election: last week we noted its appearance in the literature of Labour candidate Gordon Prentice. And, he tells us, he has yet to hear any complaints. A good omen?

* Of far greater import, naturally, than discovering who shall occupy No. 10 for the next few years is the question of who will have the chance to tackle Alastair Campbell. The Labour spinner will join other names in Cystic Fibrosis Trust's annual "stars vs MPs" football match. The MPs side has, of course, yet to be picked. Try-outs on College Green, now!

* Speaking of the beautiful game: Kit Kat has launched its World Cup ad campaign. Front and centre in the clip – tagline: "Keep your fingers crossed" – is Sol Campbell. Campbell is far from guaranteed a place in the squad. The England manager, Fabio Capello, will make his choice next week. Fingers crossed there's no need for a re-edit.

Brian May: the political Tinker Bell?

Far and away Pandora's favourite pundit over the past four weeks has been Brian May, who kick-started hostilities by calling David Parsons, the Tory leader of Leicestershire County Council, "a pathetic, arrogant, jumped-up, snivelling little dweeb". Fitting, then, to close on another word of wisdom from the Queen guitarist: "Whenever Cameron says, 'When I am Prime Minister...'," he writes, "A fairy dies."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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