Tall poppy syndrome appears to be alive and well in Cambridge. After the recent sale of his business to Country Mutual, Bury St Edmunds baron Bob Beckett was all smiles at last week's Cambridge Insurance Institute Christmas dinner.

But others, it appears, were less keen to join him in celebrating. In fact, Beckett's accomplishments were the butt of several jokes throughout the night.

Can Bob really afford to buy the whole of Cambridge, as some suggested? A touch of jealousy was in the Christmas air, perhaps.