You do need to get your priorities right in life, and I have often felt the Federation of Wholesale Distributors' annual dinner at the Savoy does just that. Short speeches, swift awards ceremony, lots of wine and a free bar. Sadly, this year's speeches were just a bit too short. The sensible money was on another bit of supplier bashing from the FWD chairman. After all: it's an important tradition. But Steve Parfett disappointed us all. Instead of brimstone and treacle, he gave us "goodwill and fellowship" between supplier and wholesaler. Is nothing sacred these days? Not a lot of supplier bashing at the Costcutter Supplier of the Year Awards either, though Costcutter's corporate affairs director Norman Walker probably alarmed a fair few of them with his performance. Always one for a theatrical flourish, he excelled during his introduction this year with impressions of TV quiz show hosts. Under the cover of dry ice, he ducked behind the lectern and reappeared a few seconds later ­ clad in high heels, fish net tights, a very short mini skirt, fur coat and blonde wig ­ as Lily Savage. And so to Wednesday's Export Innovation Awards organised by Food from Britain. Food minister Joyce Quin arrived late, due to a pressing engagement when the Queen opened Parliament just down the road. But full marks to the popular minister. Despite being two courses behind the rest of us she gleefully tucked into a well stacked plate of Welsh lamb, before devouring the posh ice cream dessert and assorted chocolate truffles . Another latecomer was Sylvia Jay, director general elect of the FDF, who had nipped over from Paris on Eurostar, only for the train to be delayed by a reports of Europe's most notorious exports ­ illegal immigrants. {{COUNTERPOINT }}

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