An Olympics fit for a nation of spivs – MoneyWeek

An Olympics fit for a nation of spivs – MoneyWeek

AnaffectionatetributetotheQueen

AmongtheaffectionatetributestotheQueen,IenjoyedBenMacintyre’sinTheTimesMagazine–especiallyhisstoryaboutthenotesheoncesentherdressmaker。

Likealotofpeoplebroughtupinwartime,theQueendislikesextravaganceandwatchesthepennies。

“Thankyoufortheenormousbill,”shewrotetoherdressmaker,“whichwilltakealittletimetopay。



Shehatescockles,Macintyrealsoinformedus。

“Intheevening,shedrinksaginandDubonnet(onethirdtotwothirds)withasliceoflemonandtwoicecubes。

Sometimesshedrinkstwo。

ShekeepshercornflakesinTupperwarecontainers,andlistenstoaRobertsradiointhemorningwhileeatingtoastwithachoiceofmarmalades,anddoingTheDailyTelegraphcrosswordUntil1990shedyedherhairwithChocolateKisshairdye(‘therisk-freewaytogentlyblendgreyaway’)。



WhyCainehasparkedtheRolls?

I’mnotmuchimpressedbythenewsthatSirMichaelCainehasditchedhisRolexwatchandRolls-Roycebecausetheyaretoo“ostentatious”forausterityBritain。

TheactortoldThePeoplehewasuncomfortable。

“Itdidn’tfeelrighttobeallshowywhentherearepeoplescrapingandscrimpingtofeedtheirlovedones。

IstillhavetheRolexbutIleavethatinadrawerandwearthischeapplasticoneinstead。

Itdoesthejob。

”SirMichaelsaidhewas“veryfortunate。

Iliveinfantasticluxurybutitdoesn’tmeanIshouldforgetwhereIcamefrom。

I’veseenbothsides–richandpoor。

That’swhyalltheblinghasgone。



Theseareadmirablesentimentsandditchingblingmaymakehimfeelbetter。

Butifhereallywantstohelppeople“scrapingandscrimping”,thenwhynotsimplygivemoremoneytocharity?



StephenBayleylovesAstonMartins。

Whenafriendsoldhisfirmandmadeafortune,hewroteinTheDailyTelegraph,thefirstthinghedidwasbuya“longed-forAstonMartin。

Aboutsixmonthslater,hetoldmethatthemajorityofhispleasureinownershipwasthejealousyofothers。

InthatconfessionissomuchofthebittersweetmysteryoflifeandthestrangeallureoftheAstonMartin。



Queen’sJubilee–cost,nothing;benefits,priceless



“PamperedMPshavemoanedthattheirmarble-linedloosintheCommonsaredirty,”notesTheSun’sTomNewton-Dunn。

AndthecosttothetaxpayeroverthelastthreeyearstofindthisoutviatheannualSurveyofServices?

Atotalof£83,000。

AsimilarreviewconductedbyaprivatefirmofthefacilitiesprovidedintheHouseofLordsisduetotakeplacethisyearatacostof£40,000。

“It’sbonkerstospendtensofthousandsonthisridiculousexercise,”saysRobertOxleyoftheTaxPayers’Alliance,adding“theycouldjustgetasuggestionboxordoitonlineforfree”。



The189-year-oldcompanyDeLaRueissaidtobereadytofireupitsprintingpressesintheeventGreeceleavestheeuroandneedsdrachmas“atamoment’snotice”,saysJenniferSelwayintheDailyExpress。

ButyoumightaskwhytheGreeksarenotgettingreadytoprinttheirownmoney。

Theanswer–“thecountryranoutofinkrecentlywhenithadtoprinttaxreturnforms。

Funnythat”。



“AtlastRobertMugabehasreceivedtherecognitionhesorichlydeserves,”saysRodLiddleinTheSun。

The88-year-oldleaderofZimbabwehasbeennamedan“ambassadorfortourism”bytheUNTourismAgency。

“Thisisremarkableontwocounts。

”First,“becausehe’saracist,megalomaniac,mentalist,sanctionspreventhimfromtravellingtoanysensiblecountry”,andsecond,“ifyouhadtodrawupalistofcountrieswhereyoumightfancyspendingaholiday,Zimbabwewouldcomeoutabout195thoutof196(justaheadofFrance)”。



“Theweatherwasvileandnobodycared,”saysTonyParsonsintheDailyMirror。

Sundayafternoon’sflotillaofboatsontheThamesmadefor“acelebrationfitfortheQueenofourislandnation”。

Andthetotalcostofthis“lavishshow”totheBritishtaxpayer?

“Nothing”。

Itwaspaidforbyprivatedonations。

“BenefitstotheUKintermsoffeelgoodfactor,thetouristindustryandourglobalidentity?

Priceless。



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