Odds-job man

How tame Charlie Whelan's gambling column is. Presumably we are meant to be titillated by great affairs of state being subjected to such treatment. Why not give us a real shock? What are the odds on:

- When will the Queen Mother die?

- Who will be the next cabinet minister with a child involved in a drugs scandal?

- When will Charlie Whelan get a proper job?

Ian Birchall
London N9

This article first appeared in the 08 November 1999 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - To uplift the souls of the people