Pembroke: Some budgetary blasts from the past

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The Independent Online
THE EX-CHANCELLORS, and there are many, have been out in force in the welter of post-Budget analysis.

Lord Lawson didn't waste any time, popping up at a dinner hosted by the accountants KPMG Peat Marwick only hours after Kenneth Clarke had sat down. He couldn't resist a dig at the the style and speed of Mr Clarke's address.

''Although this was a Budget in which quite a lot was done . . . it was delivered in a far more cursory way than any previous Budget speech this century - or perhaps ever,' he said.

Lord Healey was in even more ebullient form. Guest speaker of Ernst & Young, the accountants, he ribbed Mr Clarke's 'distinctly dodgy arithmetic' before making some interesting political observations.

The speech, he concluded, established Mr Clarke as John Major's successor and he looked forward to Mr Major joining him in the 'home of the living dead' as perhaps the first recipients of the new incapacity benefit.

THE 25 STAFF at the Highland Park whisky distillery in the Orkneys, Britain's northernmost, couldn't believe their luck on Budget day. For the third time running the Chancellor delivered his speech fuelled by an occasional sip of their 12- year-old single malt.

The patronage of Norman Lamont was no great suprise, given the former Chancellor's Shetland connections, but the thumbs-up from Kenneth Clarke, who usually prefers a beer, is some going.

Asked to explain the good run, Highland Park said Mr Lamont might have left some lying around No 11 on his departure.

LOOKING REMARKABLY fresh after a budgetary Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman was at it again yesterday morning. A few hours' sleep, a change of suit and he was on stage at the Barbican in London chairing a discussion on small business measures in the Budget.

You would have thought he had had enough, wouldn't you? But perhaps his interest was the format of the debate, which was run along the lines of BBC's Question Time.

Peter Sissons' chair is believed to be up for grabs and Jeremy 'Garrick' Paxman and David Dimbleby seem to be the front-runners. Maybe he was using yesterday's session as a dry run.

IF YOU THOUGHT sex and shopping went together only in Jackie Collins novels, Sir Alistair Grant, chairman of Argyll Group, owner of Safeway, can prove you wrong.

Expressing confidence that Safeway could be one of the winners in the price war, he said: 'Price is like the missionary position. It is not the most satisfactory way to do things, but if you can't do it, you're nowhere.'

(Photograph omitted)

INTERESTING to see that Vernons Pools is to sponsor the travel programme Wish You Were Here from next Monday, exploiting what it sees as a link between the kind of people who dream about winning the pools and those who fantasise about luxury holidays.

What next, one wonders? Littlewoods sponsoring the game show Lose a Million? Only Fools and Horses coming to you courtesy of Ladbrokes? Or maybe Strike it Lucky, brought to you, a little late, from British Rail?

IT MAY BE common for soccer stars such as Ian Wright and Ryan Giggs to get paid for putting their name to a pair of football boots, but restaurants don't usually endorse food manufacturers' brands, especially if they have no intention of using them.

A good deal, then, for Harry Ramsden's, the Yorkshire fish and chip shops, which have agreed to endorse a batter used on Ross Young's frozen fish.

Harry Ramsden's will get an initial fee plus royalties from the United Biscuits subsidiary, though its own recipe will remain a secret.

DON'T THROW AWAY those Hawaiian shirts just yet, they could be worth a few pounds. So could your old teddy bears, paperweights and comics. According to the latest issue of Forbes magazine, just about anything is worth something these days in the auction room.

Madonna's nightie from her blonde ambition tour fetched dollars 16,5000, a used Soviet space suit went under the hammer for dollars 49,500 and an Elvis Presley guitar went for dollars 150,000. So as items more accustomed to the auction rooms cool off in value, things like baseball memorabilia and movie posters are deemed 'hot'.

As if to prove the point, a blue Steiff teddy bear is up for grabs at Christie's in London this month and is expected to fetch dollars 20,000

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