Pandora: Vince turns a blind eye to Obama circus

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The Independent Online

The peculiar paradox of Obama's credit-crunch-busting entourage appears lost on the upper echelons of the Liberal Democrats. Or, if not lost, then studiously ignored ( Pandora suspects the latter).

"I'm not going to start slagging off the President," protested the usually prudent Vince Cable when pressed on the matter of Barack's surely not inexpensive travelling army of 200 body guards, six surgeons and multiple chefs (not to mention Reggie Love, the President's delightfully-named BlackBerry handler). "Though MPs' expenses are a mess. An absolute mess."

Similarly tight-lipped was Nick Clegg, still – reportedly – smarting after being left out of the Presidential meet-and-greets. "I've got nothing to say on the matter," he sniffed.

Paxman brings it home

Pandora is yet to be convinced by Jeremy Paxman's attempts at post-modern manhood. After his nostalgic dawdle into the territory of today's inadequate undergarments, the Newsnight rottweiler makes the slightly implausible claim that when it comes to the laundering of his smalls, he's something of a hands-on fan. "I rather enjoy housework so I wouldn't confine it to women," he asserts during an audience with – of all things – Good Housekeeping. "If it's all you can do, of course doing the ironing is boring... [but] you see a result at the end."

Smith is still ringing in their ears

New York's annual Tartan Week continues apace, doing its best to uphold the eye-wateringly tacky precedent so far established. Saturday saw a parade led by the one-time Bond villain Alan Cumming (who, by brilliant coincidence, has just swapped his Scottish citizenship for American). Then on Monday, sophisticates were treated to Sir Sean Connery's, ahem, inventive foray into fashion, with the star-studded Dressed To Kilt show. The high (low?) point was, however, saved until last night when the author Alexander McCall Smith and his self-styled "Really Terrible Orchestra" gave a performance. I'm told New Yorkers are still removing their earplugs.

Russell bites his tongue for once

Russell Brand's unexpected arrival at the Bank of England for yesterday's G20 protest caused considerable excitement among the roving reporters. "Don't talk to me!" he pronounced theatrically, swatting away the Sky News cameras. "Listen mate, I'm just here for the same reason as everybody else... I'm here to observe and participate in the process, peacefully. I ain't angry. Why don't you speak to the others?"

Naturally, Brand's newly-acquired modesty didn't quite extend into cyberspace, where he kept fellow square eyes admirably up to speed on his activistic manoeuvre plans.

"My Booky Wook is number six on the New York Times bestseller list," he boasted via Twitter to his 159,530-odd "followers" yesterday.

"We must get it to the top of the chart. Burn its opponents... Now I must have some breakfast before heading off to the Bank of England to withdraw all their pens."

Eddy's loud and proud

And so, finally, to news that Peter Temple-Morris's bottom-baring son, Eddy, is to once again display his talents, this time on stage at Camden's cooler-than-thou Proud Galleries. The Xfm DJ is to perform a set at the subtly-titled "Bangers and Mash Me" night. Included, apparently, are "free props, live caricature art, face art and jugglers with neon balls". No doubt his father, a House of Lords peer, will be left at home for this outing.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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