BROCKET DIGS DEEP IN SPORTS CARS HUNT

IT IS almost 13 years to the day since Lord Brocket walked free from Springhill open prison after serving two-and-half years for insurance fraud, and The Capitalist hears a party is potentially in the offing to mark the happy occasion.

This will be no ordinary celebration though, if the outlandish suggestion actually becomes a reality on the anniversary of Brocket’s release date of 7 August – the idea is to stage a giant game of “Find the Buried Sports Car” around the grounds of Brocket’s ancestral seat.

If anyone finds a piece of the three Ferraris or the Maserati that Brocket dismantled and buried in 1991 as part of the £4.5m fake car insurance claim that landed him two-and-a-half years inside, partygoers will receive free membership to the Hall’s golf club for a year.

Dieter Klostermann, the chairman and chief executive of CCA International, which took up the 60-year lease for the Hall in 1996, finds the theoretical notion highly amusing. “That would be so funny,” he exclaimed when presented with the idea by a regular golfer at the conference venue and golf resort.

Although the joke could be on Klostermann, if the “party” turns out to be merely the latest in a string of marketing stunts to promote Brocket Hall International, the arm of CCA that runs the Hall, which posted a pre-tax loss of almost £900,000 in its accounts for 2009…

BLAGGING IT
GALLOWS humour at News International, as former News of the World staff called in to discuss their three-month redundancy pay-off in TMS 2 – the HR office in Thomas More Square – are being greeted by a poster urging them to “Blag It”.

The slogan refers to a campaign where NI staff “blagged” luxury gifts for young people’s charity Fairbridge but, as one irate ex-NoTW hack said: “It is an extremely unfortunate title when the company’s blagging activities have become a legal concern.”

The Capitalist’s man in Wapping added: “The innocent News of the World staff are already resentful they have been tarred with the same brush as the phone hackers, and to be hit between the eyes with this blag campaign is the final straw.”

BASEL BRUSH
WATCH out Mervyn King – there’s a new comedian in town: a City A.M. reader who is keen to share his joke on the proposed Basel III banking rules.

“It is a little-known fact that Basel II is actually named after the British economist and children’s entertainer Basel Brush who developed the New Labour economic policy known as ‘Boom Boom’,” starts the joke. And the punchline? “Basel III is an updated version of his philosophy now referred to as ‘Boom Boom Bust’.”
“There are very few jokes about the subject of regulation,” wrote the comedian in his email to The Capitalist. Spot on – and there may be a good reason for that…

MANN POWER
HIS GREAT grandfather was one of the youngest-ever chairmen of Hambros and his father was a partner at the stockbroker Myers & Co.

So there was “deep shock and horror” when Mike d’Abo, the singer of Manfred Mann, turned his back on the City to go into the music business. Lucky for the City that he did, as d’Abo and his current line-up The Manfreds are hitting Boisdale in Canary Wharf tomorrow night to perform all 15 of their top ten hits from 1964 to 1969. “We actually perform better than we did in the 60s, as you learn your trade over the years,” the 67-year-old told The Capitalist. Tickets, at £22 to £55, can be booked by calling 0207 715 5818 or at www.boisdale-cw.co.uk.