Hypocrisy is a legitimate charge. An early Stan Blog entry rails against Awards and now we are thrusting ourselves in front of every Awards Panel out there. Our excuse? We have none. We are hypocrites who tragically feel the need for semi-public endorsement.

On Thursday I got what was coming to me and, in an unfortunate case of collateral damage, Sarah too got what was coming to me. The location was Town Hall, Birmingham, which, like Bullring, appears to have lost a definite article in its multi-million pound revamp. The date was last Thursday.

Still intoxicated with Midland World Trade Forum Runners Up – Exporter Of The Year bubbly I’d chucked my hat into the ring for a Not For Profit leadership award run by a well known institute. Dazzled by sheen on our Creative City Export trophy I’d lost sight of the fact that my only prior perception of this organisation has been as a right wing lobby group.

The Not for Profit Award turned out to be a very lowly cousin of the three For Profit Awards and was won by someone working for a not for profit organisation principally devoted to helping For Profit organisations make those profits.

We were fish out of water, not least because that water came in at £6 per bottle (I’ve drunk cheaper wine). We felt a natural affinity for Sam’s Carpets but their nominee in the Small Business class lost out to someone who flogs investment properties in Dubai. When the boss from a security firm stood up to collect the Large Business award two tables full of muscular guys jumped up with him, so obviously we enjoyed that moment. Generally however we spent most of the evening being reminded why we’re happy doing what we do.

Sarah, who had been a beautiful and elegant model of decorum throughout, finally redeemed herself at the announcement that the Chairman’s Special Award was going to the Headteacher of a Private School. Her “For f***’s sake!” was clearly lip-read by one of the Judges. And with that I think she spoke for all of us.

Still, there’s a bottle of Verve Cliquot in the Stan fridge as a reward for being short-listed and we’re certainly not going to pour that down the drain – hypocrites.

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