MORE uplifting was the Whitbread Book of the Year dinner the same day. The arts and business mixed well, until Sir Michael Angus, chairman of Whitbread and president of the CBI, praised the Government for its interest rate cut made earlier in the day - to pained expressions from many of the liberal literati present. His call for a round of tax cuts on beer also struck the wrong note.
He may have got the message later when he opened the envelope and announced the winner of the book prize. The crowd cheered to the rafters for Jeff Torrington, a former Glasgow factory worker who suffers from Parkinson's Disease and took 30 years to write Swing Hammer Swing], an account of life in the impoverished Gorbals.