Byrnes, Sholto, The Independent (London, England)
Foot toes the party line yet again
For most people three birthday parties in one year would be quite enough. Even the Queen only has two. But the celebrations for Michael Foot's 90th are not yet over. He's already had parties during July at Number 10 Downing Street, at the Gay Hussar restaurant in Soho and at the Foreign Secretary's residence in Carlton Gardens. However, such is the affection for the former Labour leader and such has been the success of the parties so far that it was felt there should be just one more. So after a month off in August, the festivities will resume at the beginning of September, when the Tribune editor Mark Seddon (who's on the celebrations committee along with Alastair Campbell's partner Fiona Millar, the cartoonist Martin Rowson and the journalist Geoffrey Goodman) will host a garden party at his Buckinghamshire country residence. It is hoped there will be a special "hello" for Mr Foot from a grandee of British comedy, but at this stage Pandora has promised to say no more.
INTERESTING TO see the diminutive figure of Peter Bruinvels (right) popping up again drawing up a plan for the Anglican Church to increase the number of church schools. Bruinvels is now a Church Commissioner, but in a previous incarnation was a well-known Tory MP of bracingly right- wing views, once volunteering during a debate on capital punishment to do the job of hangman himself. This led to jokes about his not being able to reach the lever. Even John Major was not averse to teasing the former MP about his height. At a Conservative candidates' conference when Major was still in office, Bruinvels attempted to raise a point. Pretending not to hear what he was saying, Major asked him to stand up. Bruinvels then had to explain that he was, in fact, already on his feet.
Alan Parker, the director of such classics as Midnight Express and The Commitments, is delighted with his new metier as a novelist - his first effort, The Sucker's Kiss, is out next month. "Publishing is an infinitely more civilised world with infinitely more gracious people than the film industry," he tells The Bookseller, "which is pretty hideous. …