Sir Teddy turns to the bottle at holiday time

People & Business

"Empty pockets every night into a large bottle. The result can be put towards a family holiday," advises Tory stalwart Sir Teddy Taylor. This is just one favourite money-saving tip revealed by a clutch of top MPs to Virgin Direct, in what Richard Branson's company tastefully describes as its "Questions of Cash" survey.

Alan Clarke of "Diaries" fame recommends "never writing a cheque" while fellow Tory Michael Mates suggests "hiding the wife's credit card".

The Labour suggestions are a lot more politically correct but most of them are by MPs I've never heard of. Nicholas Palmer, member for Broxtowe, suggests "avoiding politics", Steve Pound (Ealing North) urges you to cut down on "beer and fags" while Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley) simply says: "Deep pockets, short arms."

As for the Lib Dems, Andrew Sanders (Torbay) declares: "Don't buy shaving foam, use soap instead."

Virgin claims the results of the poll of 51 MPs show clearly that they prefer direct distribution of financial products: 41 per cent of those polled opted to buy direct from the company. Our political leaders seem to be a pretty well covered lot; over two-thirds have a personal pension, 47 per cent hold a PEP and 37 per cent invest in Tessas.

Last but not least, 73 per cent of the MPs polled admitted they were still learning about money management. What this says about the future prosperity of this country I'm not sure.

It must be fun being a risk manager for a large company. Every other October you get the chance to attend the Monte Carlo Risk Management Forum, three days of lectures and lunches. This year insurance brokers Sedgwick are making the occasion even more agreeable by sponsoring the City of London Sinfonia (CLS).

On Tuesday 7 October the Orchestra will play for the first time in the principality with a concert including pieces by Tchaikovsky, Campra and Vivaldi. Which is all fine and dandy, but when I think of Monte Carlo I think of casinos. Do any of their delegates ever get the urge to test their risk management theories at the gaming tables?

Tony Richards of Sedgwick laughs: "It's been known. The only disincentive is the amount of money you need, I think." Not that Mr Richards has ever been tempted: "I'm risk-averse myself."

Is this another Martin Taylor in the making? Mr Taylor, now chief executive of Barclays Bank, started his career writing for the Lex column on the Financial Times before being whisked away by Christopher Hogg to help run Courtaulds.

Now John Kingman, a writer for Lex and a former private secretary to Stephen Dorrell at the Treasury, is being whisked off to work for John Browne, chief executive of BP.

Mr Kingman will work with Nick Butler, BP's group policy adviser, advising on BP's strategy. When I say "whisked", he's got to serve out his three months' notice, of course. Seeing that Mr Taylor wound up at Barclays, perhaps Mr Kingman will succeed Derek Wanless at NatWest - who knows?

It looks as if the search to replace Ray Snoddy as the FT's media guru has ended - the Pink'un's banking expert John Gapper is firm favourite for the job, although he modestly insists that "nothing has been decided yet."

Mr Gapper will write on international stories while a yet-to be appointed reporter will help out on UK stories. Also, Simon Davies from Lex is going to be the FT's international capital markets editor from 22 September.

You know it's the holiday season when the Global Markets Economics team at Bankers Trust can devote two-and-a-half pages of its European newsletter to a learned article by Flaneur de Boulevardier: "Red wine: A blue chip investment?"

The newsletter usually comments on the latest monetary signals form the Bundesbank and the like. I don't recognise Mr Flaneur's name either. He obviously knows his stuff, however. Did you know that "in the last four- and-a-half years the BT first-growth claret index has risen by nearly 350 per cent, compared to a 64 per cent gain for the Footsie."

The author analyses why top French wine prices have shot through the roof in the last five years, so that now you can pay a pounds 100 deposit for a bottle of something that hasn't even been bottled yet. The chief culprit is the juxtaposition of relatively fixed quality wine production and an increase in demand from a richer and more knowledgeable public.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions