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The Diary assumes that insurance is a far cry from the frenzied world of gambling and spread betting. But not if one were to read the launch edition of betting magazine Inside Edge, edited by James Hipwell, previously co-author of the Daily Mirror&#39s City Slicker column.

What is this we read in the letters page? A certain Philip Martin of Edinburgh writes to ask for information on factors affecting spreads, state of the pitch, likely side in football – eh? – and experts&#39 views on how to build up an effective ante-post portfolio using exchanges to consolidate profits. Makes a structured capital-at-risk product sound simple to us. Surely this could not be Philip Martin of financial consultancy The Abacus and Hipwell partner-in-drink?

Next, Scott White of the Chesterfield Hotel in London urges an investigation of oddssetting by different bookmakers on novelty events such as I&#39m a Celebrity…. Get Me Out of Here and calls on the mag to smash this cartel. Surely, this is not Scott White, Aegon PR supremo and quaffing partner of Hipwell?

Another letter comes from a certain Simon Roughley, famous as White&#39s bookie and boozing associate of Hipwell. Last is a letter from a Robert Cole. Surely not the deputy business editor of The Times and renowned Hipwell drinking buddy?

Gentlemen, shouldn&#39t you be writing to Money Marketing? As for Hipwell and his Inside Edge (a name obviously pinched from a Money Marketing column of the same name), trying to poach our readers are you?

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