Pandora: Sally spills the beans on New Labour jobs raffle

Kevin's new passion is collecting Insects

Pandora sincerely hopes that Baroness Morgan isn't planning an autobiography any time soon. With the gaudy indiscretions of Cherie Blair and Lord Levy still doing the rounds, the last thing Downing Street needs is another set of unfavourable memoirs.

Unfavourable, however, is what they would be – if, that is, her latest outburst is anything to go by. Speaking before an audience of education officials, she described her days as an adviser to Tony Blair in terms that wouldn't sound out of place in the script of Yes Prime Minister.

Beginning with the words "reshuffles were not always the finest moments," she described how office switchboards would be "backed up" with calls. "There was more than one connection when the wrong person came through," she said. "The Prime Minister would be half way through and then have to say 'I don't think this is the conversation I'm supposed to be having, why don't you come in next Wednesday?' People like me would have to come up with a job for them."

Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Sally Morgan – who, confusingly, shares her name with OK! magazine's "celebrity psychic" – also discussed how the government would promote under-qualified ministers to the Cabinet:

"Sometimes we threw people into senior posts who weren't ready for it. For someone who had been a stunning minister of state, the jump to a senior cabinet job was too soon."

* Kevin Spacey hasn't always been dazzled by the British entertainment industry. Not long ago the Hollywood star handed a vote of no confidence to the Arts Council for their stingy funding policies. Then in March he attacked the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything for promoting musical theatre over other genres.

How nice then to see him lending some support. Speaking to Pandora at a fundraiser, Spacey – recently granted a visiting professorship at Oxford University – gushed about his latest acquisition: a selection of pieces by the controversial English pop artist Paul Insect.

Insect, along with fellow celeb-favourite Banksy, is best known for his anti-establishment messages. One series featured Blair and Bush made up as clowns alongside Pinocchio with a giant missile for a nose.

The sometime graffiti-artist caught public attention last year when Damien Hirst snapped up his entire collection before it reached exhibition. It was reported that the ageing YBA forked out a hefty £50,000 for his prize. I wonder if Spacey got a discount?

Don't use the 'F' word

With her latest work The Edge of Love playing in cinemas, the screenwriter Sharman Macdonald has been praised for creating two of the year's strongest female roles.

The film, which stars MacDonald's daughter Keira Knightley – pictured here with her mother – alongside Sienna Miller, chronicles the life and infidelities of the thirsty Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Speaking to Pandora at a recent screening, Macdonald claimed that while she had intended to focus on women, she hadn't sought a feminist agenda: "A lot of people have pointed out that it's mainly a film about female friendship, but I don't think it's feminist with a capital 'F'. I've been re-reading a lot of my Greer and de Beauvoir, and I don't think it fits those paradigms."

Quiet at the back!

If you're a fan of The Who, you may want to pipe down now. Pete Townshend is trying to concentrate. In fact anyone visiting the band's subscription-only website this week will be treated to the following piece of information, posted by site editor and super-fan Rob Lee: "Pete's asked me to request that you don't make any more comments until further notice. He is writing and wishes not to be distracted." Hush!

Come now, why so modest? Iain Dale was positively bashful about his position is yesterday's Independent on Sunday "Pink List", our sister paper's annual study of where power lies among Britain's gay people.

In at number 49 out of 101, the Conservative activist described his ranking as "a bit like West Ham finishing 10th in the Premier League" (which would quite high for the plucky East End team). "If I'm honest," Dale mused, "am I really more influential than Rupert Everett?"

Yes, Iain, we think so.

Off yer bike, Boris

Boris Johnson is not what you would call a model cyclist. What with his repeated helmet-shunning and alleged light-jumping, the Mayor of London has had his fair share of problems.

Time, then, for another: Dr Peter Neumann, the director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College, London, has issued a warning that Johnson's cycling is turning him into a terror target. Writing in the Islington Tribune, Dr Neuman argues that "if someone wanted to do him harm it would be quite easy. It makes him very vulnerable. I would strongly advise him not to ride into work."

Mr Johnson, however, isn't buying it. "I will continue to cycle to work," he responds. "I am told by the Commissioner that there is no security threat to me."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition