That's right, ostrich farming. I realise farmers are being urged to diversify, but unless somebody in government knows something I don't, I would have thought ostriches were a bit too niche even for the current occupants of Nobel House. Unless they are organic, of course. Anyway, it appears nobody else had spotted the unfortunate birds. The only complaints I heard were over the absence of certain important food groups from the splendid buffet of British fare. We needed beer, said one hack. "Yes, we were served Newcastle Brown last year," I said. "No. I mean proper British beer," came the response from someone who shall remain nameless, but who was clearly a card-carrying member of CAMRA. Another moan was over the lack of British cheese on offer. "If ever there was a time to support the British dairy industry, it's now," grumbled one hackette. Honestly, there's no pleasing some folk. It has to be said, food was the last thing on Larry Whitty's mind. The minister was heard bemoaning the fact he was putting on weight because of all the traditional grub he had been scoffing during British Breakfast Week. But my sympathy goes ­ for the first, and probably last, time ­ to his colleague Michael Meacher. Having Margaret Beckett tell a room full of journalists that you are a man who likes his food is a tad embarrassing, even if she hurriedly added, "it does not show". {{COUNTERPOINT }}