A traditional yuletide mix of partying, heartbreak and simmering violence this week, seasoned with saucy humour, excessive punning and – hold on, where is that music coming from?

What a Luff

MP Peter Luff proved he’s in touch with yoof culture last week at a Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform select committee session on construction. The group’s chairman told the assembled crowd he thought BRE was a “character from Desperate Housewives”, before turning his caustic wit on the BSRIA, saying it sounded like a “dodgy foreign office posting”. Obviously there’s nothing in the slightest bit funny about the acronym for Luff’s own select committee.

It’s my party …

‘Tis the season to be jolly, although maybe Judith Armitt, the former boss of the Thames Gateway Delivery Unit, took this a tad too far on Monday night. Armitt personally invited the firms involved in the early stages of the mammoth scheme to an event in east London to “thank everyone for their efforts”. This was despite the fact that she had left her post at the Gateway agency last week. I’m sure Santa will have taken note of this tremendous goodwill gesture …

What are you staring at?

It was a laugh a minute at the Movers and Shakers annual dinner last week. Irish comedian Dara O’Briain more than made up for chairman David Jennings’ string of howlers, but the best gag came from Liz Peace, chair of the British Property Federation. Peace told a ribald gag about the “iTit”, a computer chip that plays music through silicone breast implants. It’s a major breakthrough, she said, as women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Dreaming of a green Christmas

Anyone in London next Monday should steer clear of King’s Cross if they want to avoid the traffic. A fleet of 40 rickshaws has been booked to cart more than 300 people from Gleeds’ HQ in Marylebone to the company’s eco-friendly Christmas party at the Canal Museum. There the lucky revellers will be fed a thoroughly sustainable menu washed down with organic wine – even the crackers will be made from recycled paper. I’m sure the jokes will be 100% original though.

The same AIM

How Baqus must hate Turner & Townsend. The newly-formed QS has promised since August that it would float on the alternative investment market and only last week finally agreed a date – today. Trust T&T to come along and steal its thunder with its announcement yesterday that it plans a flotation of its own in the near future. Baqus can only hope the fact that two consultants are confident enough to be listing during the credit crunch will encourage potential investors.

Brand values

Members of the National Specialist Contractors Council need not worry that their trade body is failing to represent their interests. At its annual lunch earlier this month Graham Wren, the body’s former president, proved just how seriously he takes the organisation’s campaign to secure fair payment for its members. He lambasted guest speaker Rob Knight, head of procurement at the Olympic Delivery Authority, for not wearing his Fair Payment Campaign badge. I’m sure Knight, who holds the purse strings of the ODA’s £9.3bn budget, took this in good humour, but Wren’s subsequent threat of using a branding iron to get the message across may not have gone down so well …