Pandora: No thanks, Mr Blair: Filipinos snub ex-PM

And so to the latest twist in Tony Blair's career as a "peacemaker". It is, it should be said, a rather delightful one. For while most world leaders are only too pleased to be seen brunching with the former PM, it would appear that others – in this case legislators in the Philippine province of North Cotabato – prefer to keep their distance.

Startled by news that Blair had been invited on to a panel of "eminent" persons mediating between the country's warring factions, the vice- governor of North Cotabato issued an urgent statement entitled: "Thank You, Mr Tony Blair, But No Thanks." If charisma is all that is needed to solve the problem, he argues, why not involve some of the country's most popular actresses?

"Perhaps we should invite Judy Ann Santos and Sharon Cuneta?" adds the statement. "Maybe they can use their charm and charisma to convince people to end their terrorist activities."

The proposal, while thought-provoking, has yet to cause visible ripples among Blair's staff. "I don't know what this is a reference to," a spokesman said. "Mr Blair doesn't have any involvement."

No Laugharne matter, Irvine

Oh, dear. The organisers of this year's Laugharne Weekend appear less than impressed by Irvine Welsh's last-minute cancellation.

The Scottish novelist had agreed some time ago to address the literary festival, held every April in Wales – but has been forced to cancel after double-booking the date.

"Apparently he's in India that weekend," explains a note on the festival website. "This is really quite annoying. Maybe it's not his fault. Apologies."

Ken does his bit for modern morals

One suspects that Ken Livingstone could be doing rather more to help out with government crackdowns on anti-social behaviour. On Wednesday night the former mayor of London appeared at the trendier-than-thou north London bar the Boogaloo where, alongside a discerning selection of indie bands, he addressed punters on the "virtues of modern life". "Who here will admit that they have been to a strip club?" an enthusiastic Livingstone asked the pint-swilling audience. "And did anyone want to sleep with the dancer afterwards?" After a moment's pause, one plucky drinker put up his hand... only to be rewarded with a free drink. Tsk.

Alfie Allen becomes a regular catwalk fan

News, now, to strike fear into the heart of any retrosexual male: Alfie Allen, formerly of Evisu jeans and Foot Locker trainers, claims to have experienced a high-fashion conversion.

The (newly) dandyish young actor has been sitting in the front row at catwalk shows with increasing regularity – and not only, it would seem, for the sake of his girlfriend, the actress Jamie Winstone.

"I particularly liked the Westwood shows," Allen says.

"They have a great mood, great clothes and really good music. I'm getting a much better appreciation of it all. I'm still no expert but it has definitely become an interest."

How long until his father Keith follows suit?

Next stop for Eustice

Another career change for George Eustice, David Cameron's former spokesman, and more recently the Tories' director of external relations.

He has announced his intention to join Portland PR – the agency set up by Alastair Campbell's one-time deputy, Tim Allen. The move is the latest in a long list of career swaps for Eustice. Previous incarnations include Antipodean backpacker, European election candidate for UKIP and... strawberry farmer.

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

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back