Violet Hudson

A work of art in more ways than one

Neil Hegarty’s new novel, The Jewel, is a mass of contradictions. It’s about an art heist, but it’s not fun. It’s a love story,  but it’s not romantic. And it features a woman’s wasted life, but it’s not without salvation. The overarching plot follows three characters. John, a ‘seedy’ artist-cum-art-forger-cum-art-thief, has been commissioned to steal

Debs, dances and big-game hunting

Anglea Huth, the broadcaster and author of some 18 books, has now written her memoirs, Not the Whole Story. And though it may not be the whole story, what a story it is. Huth is the daughter of the actor Harold Huth and the flighty Bridget Nickols, who had an amitié amoureuse with the King

Has the bubble burst?

I always suspected I disliked Jeff Koons, until I saw one of his monumental pieces at Frieze London a few years ago. Then it was confirmed. Cynicism seemed to ooze out of every millimetre of his vast, shiny sculpture. It was vividly apparent that this artwork wasn’t about beauty or transcendence or emotion. It was

The post-Brexit takeover bids begin

UK workers are near the bottom of the wage-growth table compiled by the TUC, says the Independent. The average wage across 112 countries rose by 2.3 pc per year in the period 2008 – 2015. Meanwhile UK workers saw their wages fall by 1 pc. Great Britain comes 103rd in the table, ahead of the West

In defence of Melania Trump

We all love Michelle Obama. Of course we do. For the last eight years she has been ‘mom in chief’ of America – and the world. She has personified grace, courtesy, warmth, humour and, not incidentally, shown us what a good marriage looks like. Tirelessly supportive of her husband, but successful in her own right,

Trump, Theresa and trade wars

It’s inauguration day, and as the world watches with bated breath to see how President Trump’s first days in office pan out, the dollar is dwindling. Reuters reports that it fell 0.1 pc in the hours before Trump’s speech, which economists hope will shed some light on his economic policies. Hitherto, his pledges have been

Corporation tax, Facebook and Italian banks

Corporation Tax The Prime Minister will today pledge to match the lowest corporation tax rates within the G20 — even if that means sinking to President-elect Trump’s 15 percent, says The Times. At her conference speech, Theresa May seemed to signal that she would be cracking down on big business which saw tax as ‘an

Mark Carney, car manufacturing and house prices

A new day, a new Brexit consequence. Several papers lead with the possible stepping down of Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who is reported to be considering quitting in 2018, five years into an eight year term. The Guardian discusses the criticism that Carney has faced due to his opposition to ‘leave’

Money digest: Bad news for savers, good news for borrowers

Savings accounts are disappearing rapidly as the expected cut to the base rate draws closer, says the Guardian. Moneyfacts, a data provider, found that 13 best buy savings deals were withdrawn in July – and have yet to be replaced. These include a three-year bond from Saga at 1.8 per cent and other deals from

The brakes are put back on Hinkley Point

The Times has investigated train fares and found that millions of passengers have been paying more for a whole journey than they would for its constituent parts. The findings come as rail company bosses set up meetings with the Department for Transport to seek approval for a new airline-style booking system. ‘Any measures to address

Money digest: Lloyds axes 3,000 jobs

Lloyds bank is to axe 3,000 jobs in the UK and close 200 branches in an attempt to save £400m by the end of 2017. Chief executive António Horta-Osório said that ‘a deceleration of growth seems likely’ following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, in the six months to June the group

Nick Clegg issues a Brexit warning

Real earnings have fallen by 10.4 pc since the credit crunch began in 2007 says the Guardian – making Britain equal bottom on the wages growth table, alongside Greece. The Trade Union Centre found that over the 2007-2015 period wages have grown by 23 pc in Poland, 14 pc in Germany and 11 pc in France.

Are negative interest rates on the horizon?

RBS and Natwest customers could be charged negative interest rates, reports the Independent. If the Bank of England cuts the base rate to below zero, 1.3 million business and commercial banking customers could be charged for investing with these banks. ‘Global interest rates remain at very low levels and in some markets are currently negative. Dependent

A stronger pound, Cuban coffee and ‘back yard’ funerals

The pound has enjoyed its biggest one-day surge in value for eight years as investors bet on Britain remaining in the EU. And the FTSE 100 recorded its best day for a year as shares in British companies soared by £47.5 billion, the Daily Mail says. ‘Analysts said the rally was a sign that investors from around the world now

Property, Heathrow and spending after Brexit

Property prices in England and Wales have hit a record high, says the Guardian. Prices are 5.5pc higher than they were in June 2015, reports a study by The average house now costs £310,471. Deals are also going through with unprecedented alacrity: it now takes 57 days to sell a property, compared to 65 this