Any Other Business - 15/08

■ Britain’s national debt is a little bit smaller today following the bizarre tale of Ms Joan Edwards. As The Capitalist explained yesterday, the recently deceased Bristol resident became the biggest individual donor in UK politics after apparently leaving her entire £520,000 estate to “the party of government” at the time of her death. The Lib Dems and Tories cashed their cheques – but then it turned messy. Edwards’ will turned out to lack any mention of party politics and, facing a scandal, the two sides fell over themselves to hand the money to the Treasury. At which point her solicitors insisted she HAD specifically said she wanted to help the parties. The net result? A headache for the coalition and a near-irrelevant reduction in the UK’s £1.2 trillion debt.

■ While artists are no doubt motivated by broader concerns than money, a £30,000 prize would surely be a welcome way of keeping the wolves from the studio door. The substantial sum – higher than the £25,000 given to Turner Prize winners – will be won by one of the six artists to have made it onto the Threadneedle Prize shortlist, announced this morning. Supported by Threadneedle Investments, the prize could be claimed by artist Seamus Moran who has plied his art on a pair of running trainers; or by Andrew Cranston, whose more conventional oil painting lampoons contemporary art. An exhibition of 111 of the entries opens on 25 September at Mall Galleries near Trafalgar Square.