Pembroke: Benetton plans colourful jump on to wrists

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The Independent Online
I am intrigued by the announcement that Benetton, purveyor of brightly coloured knitwear stacked in neat piles, is diversifying into clocks and watches. Courtesy of a link-up with Timex, weekend trendies will be able to buy colourful timepieces from this autumn. Perhaps Benetton has not heard of the saying 'stick to your knitting'.

This seems an odd move as I should have thought consumers would be no keener to own a Benetton watch than, say, a Royal Doulton shirt, or Burberry crockery. I await their debut in the market with interest.

Peter Ind, the jazz musician whose two jazz clubs, the Bass Clef and Tenor Clef, slid into receivership earlier this week, is most unhappy at his treatment by the officials at HM Customs and Excise. Mr Ind, who speaks in the mellifluous tones befitting a jazz musician, tells me that his big problem was VAT. The club fell into arrears of about pounds 16,000.

But last month, while Mr Ind was out, the bailiffs arrived and carted off just about everything of value, including the sound system, the beer, glasses, tables and chairs.

'Obviously it was very distressing,' says Mr Ind, who claims the property removed included some of his own belongings.

Mr Ind has since written to his Hackney MP, Brian Sedgemore and consulted m'learn'd friends. A spokesperson for the London Central region of HM Customs & Excise said: 'We have not received a complaint so far, though we would investigate it thoroughly if we did.'

Meanwhile Mr Ind, who claims he faces personal bankruptcy has rented equipment to keep the music playing. 'I plan to write a book about this,' he says.

You would have thought that readers of the Financial Times would score highly in terms of financial prudence. Not so. According to a survey, British people waste a combined total of pounds 12bn a year due to errors such as unclaimed tax relief and selecting the wrong type of bank account. FT readers, it appears, waste more than anyone, throwing away an average of pounds 526 per person, against an average of just pounds 68 by readers of the Sun.

'The more money people have, the less they are bothered about being careful,' said a spokesman for market research company Mintel, which conducted the survey.

The sobering news is that Independent readers came just below the FT, wasting pounds 336 a year. Check your files now.

Ambrose Carey, an investigator at Kroll Associates Corporate Intelligence Agency, comes across as quite a little piglet in the March issue of Harpers & Queen. In a feature chronicling the 'hidden concerns of people like us', people are asked what they have eaten on a given day.

Mr Carey, described as a 6ft 3, 32-year-old eligible bachelor, reels off a menu that would have made a medieval banqueter blanche. Six slices of toast and four tangerines for breakfast, a six-course lunch at a Greek restaurant, followed by four cans of Boddingtons at a party, then a giant bowl of salad with pitta bread and taramasalata before retiring. 'It was one of those days when I just didn't get enough time to eat,' he says astonishingly.

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