The Institute of Directors was bustling with activity last night as it hosted a handful of events in its hallowed halls, but boss Simon Walker only had eyes for one shindig – the Think Tank Awards.
“It’s fantastic to host an award for these folks, we love think tanks… well, most of them,” he told The Capitalist.
Any attempts to stoke up some inter-wonk rivalry, however, were shot down by the various tankers, who insisted they were one big happy family. “There’s none of that here,” Glynn Brailsford, creative director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) told us. “A lot of us have worked together, we’re closer than you’d think.”
Up for awards were the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the Institute of Economic Affairs, Reform, IPPR and Chatham House – to name but a few. The IFS walked away with UK Think Tank of the Year on the night. The winner of the Think Tank Top (it exists, it’s knitted and it’s brown) remains under wraps for now.
■ Boris Johnson cleared up any doubts about which topics got his goat more than others during one of his regular Twitter Q&As yesterday. When asked about the fact that Oxford St is the most polluted street in the world, the mayor responded to this perceived slight with “B*ll*cks: ludicrous urban myth.” Luckily, the mayor was able to round his chat off with warmer feelings, when someone asked him what love was. “Love is knowing when to stop your Twitter session before you outstay your welcome.” Or before you drop the F bomb, eh?
■ The term “champagne socialism” must have been achingly absent from the brainstorming session at Labour HQ when it birthed “One Nation Fizz” as an acceptable title for book written by 14 Labour MPs. When the book launched yesterday, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls went along and the Tories aimed and fired. “Bollinger Bolsheviks,” was the first bomb out of the sling shot. “Taittinger Trots” followed swiftly and “Moet Marxists” brought up the rear. In case you’re wondering what One Nation Fizz is about (if not about delivering crates of Veuve Clicquot to every household in Britain), it relates to the “fizzing” of ideas among Labour MPs. The Capitalist made a quick call to Labour to see if champagne was being served at the One Nation Fizz party but no reply came. The term “quiet bat people” springs to mind, if you know what we mean.