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Wit and wisdom at the Political Book Awards

Andy McSmith

One of the sponsors at last night’s Political Book Awards at the IMax , by Waterloo Station, was the bookies’ Paddy Power, who presented each guest with a pair of green underpants bearing the legend ‘Paddy Powers Lucky Pants.’ The prize money was furnished by the billionaire Tory peer, Michael Ashcroft, who urged the assembled hacks, politicians and hangers-on to “put some money Paddy Power’s way” by betting on a Tory victory in this month’s Eastleigh by-election. “You can quadruple your money at odds of three to one,” he said.

At the same ceremony, Jemina Khan told a story, which she has since tweeted, of a conversation she claimed to have overheard, between an actor and a journalist, in which the actor said that he would like to exterminate all journalists, and the journalist replied: “If all actors were exterminated, there’d be no actors. If all journalists were exterminated, there’d be no democracy.” Everyone in the room assumed that the actor in question was Hugh Grant; but all were mystified as to who the sharp witted journalist could be.


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