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Against all odds, it seems we hate to see bookmakers losing | David Mitchell

Bookies are the victims of the parliamentary betting scandal, but do they deserve our sympathy? Shall we make this interesting? You must be hoping I will. So, come on, let’s spice things up, introduce a bit of financial jeopardy. What do you bet I’m writing about and how much will you stake? You may have trouble getting a bookmaker to take the bet, of course, because they may not believe you hadn’t read beyond this paragraph, however fervently you promise it and point to how unfinishable my columns tend to be. They may still suspect you had the “inside information” that comes from having somehow slogged through to the end. A betting market can’t really exist about this sort of thing unless columns were published paragraph by paragraph over several hours, and even then you’d have desperate Observer editorial staff trying to supplement their salaries by placing spread bets on how many times this week’s Andrew Rawnsley piece uses the word “strategist”. It’s the election, of course! Would you have made money? I don’t think you’d have been given great odds, even if you’d managed to get anything on. I’m talking about the election and how loads of people suddenly seem to be betting on it. Why this flurry of flutters? Well, to make it interesting, I suppose. Without money riding on it, they fear the campaign may struggle to hold their attention. That’s a bit of a red flag about political apathy, particularly as many of the people I’m talking about are parliamentary candidates . David Mitchell’s new book, Unruly , is now out in paperback (Penguin, £10.99) Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 250 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at Continue reading... always shares this Contents with License.

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