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4. Being rude at a dinner party with US politicians

Peter Watt wrote of a dinner party he attended at 10 Downing Street hosted by Gordon Brown:
“My wife Vilma and I were invited with three other couples – the lobbyist Jon Mendelsohn and his wifel Louis Susman – a Democratic fundraiser who was soon to become US Ambassador in London – and his wife; and another American couple. “Arriving at the flat, we were ushered into the drawing room and there was stilted small talk over aperitifs. While Sarah pottered around getting the meal ready, Gordon began showing people to their seats but was interrupted by one of the No10 staff, saying he had an important phone call. He disappeared, leaving Vilma and two others seated, and the rest of us awkwardly milling about. After a few minutes, we all started to feel a bit silly, so decided just to sit ourselves down. When Gordon finally reappeared he was aghast to find us all at the table. “I didn't sit you all down,” he exclaimed angrily. It was hugely embarrassing and some of the guests started mumbling about getting up again. ““No, no, you might as well stay where you are,” he replied huffily. He sat at the end of the table and swivelled in his chair, so that he almost had his back to everybody, and leaned his head on his arm. For the rest of the meal he was monosyllabic, sulking because he had lost control of the seating plan. “The plates had not even been cleared when suddenly, without saying anything, he just got up and left. As Sarah had also disappeared by then, we all showed ourselves out. “He's bonkers,” Vilma whispered, as we trooped out. I wanted to disagree but she was right. The whole evening had been utterly bizarre” (Peter Watt – Inside Out))

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