With George Osborne poised to apply a Swan Vesta to the bonfire of the quangos, was it wise of the Legal Ombudsman to be so free with the fizz at its Birmingham launch party last week? After all, champagne was banned at the Conservative Party conference, under way at the International Convention Centre not 50 yards away, since its conspicuous consumption remains off-message in these austere times.

Both attorney general Dominic Grieve and justice minister Jonathan Djanogly crossed the road to attend LeO’s august shindig. Fortunately, Legal Ombudsman Adam Sampson lived up to his reputation for attention to detail – the fizz on offer was actually prosecco, a cheaper dry Italian wine that tastes much the same as champagne to untutored palates like Obiter’s. Pictured at the event are Djanogly, Sampson (right) and LeO board chair Elizabeth France.

On the subject of booze, one has to hand it to the marketing folk at Wetherspoons, which has a branch next door to Birmingham’s ICC. It’s featured beverage last week? Thatcher’s Gold (a Somerset cider). Now that was very, very dry. Not ‘wet’ at all. Definitely not.