Further proof of how competitive the multiples are came this week when Sainsbury and Tesco organised summer bashes for the same night, the same time and the same stretch of the Thames. Although one spin doctor admitted to me that the diary clash was "a bit of a cock up," it was made clear to my colleagues that the evening was going to be a test of their loyalties. Luckily, I am above all of that, and went instead to the Park Lane testimonial dinner for fast bowler Darren Gough. There was a trade connection ­ honest! The dinner was organised by Costcutter md Colin Graves. Meanwhile, while all the cricket luvvies were tucked up in glitzy Park Lane, a distinguished array of industry worthies, analysts and MPs tried to be in two places at once by making undignified dashes through the downpours between Sainsbury's party in a marquee on the south side of the Thames and Tesco's on a boat on the north side. As Tesco's vessel bumped and rocked at the quayside, boss Terry Leahy pointed out that he had the seasickness pills. Our Tel had to battle the motion sickness, plus the tolling of Big Ben and ship's music system, to give a short speech. Ever adaptable he quipped: "I'll sing the rest." Mind you, our man was early for that party and found himself in a pre-drinks staff briefing. "Remember, there will be journos and MPs here, so everything is on the record," the Tesco crew were told. "So be careful what you drink and enjoy yourselves." Then our man was spotted. "Don't worry, he's a Blackburn Rovers fan," chortles Everton FC devotee Leahy. Cheeky! {{COUNTERPOINT }}