GOOD NEWS for anyone looking forward to joining James Murdoch at the bar of the prestigious gentlemen’s club Brooks’s, as its secretary Graham Snell has confirmed all is not yet lost for the News Corp heir’s membership application.

As those of you who read The Capitalist’s original story on 9 August will recall, things were not looking good for Murdoch when the hacking scandal broke just when it was understood his application was due to be put to the members ballot.

Except, as Snell cleared up on his return from Brooks’s summer recess yesterday, Murdoch (below) was actually first nominated more recently than two years ago, meaning his application is still “on the first leg”.

“James is still a candidate,” confirmed Snell, explaining that candidates remain in membership limbo for a minimum of two years before their application is taken further. “He is in the waiting stage,” he added. “Hence the waiting list.”

Snell refused to elaborate on exactly how long that wait might last – “that is the private business of the club” – but offered this insight into whether Murdoch Jnr will succeed in his quest to be accepted by the establishment. “I think it would be a prerequisite that he can play bridge. If he doesn’t, he wouldn’t be very welcome in any case.”

So forget the pesky detail of testifying on press ethics to Lord Justice Leveson next month: Murdoch’s greatest challenge will be mastering the basics of finessing and cross-ruffing. Play his cards right, and he could yet come up trumps after all…


DON’T BE put off by the fact Fitzdares is offering 8/1 on the long-dead racehorse Shergar on its new website; the traditional bookmaker says it is looking to the future with the launch of its online and iPad gambling services.

“We will tweet with the best of them,” declared founder Balthazar Fabricius, who has mostly been updating clients about gold prices since the site went live yesterday.

Also coming soon from the gentlemen’s betting exchange: an online shop in the style of Monocle magazine. Expect a rush on backgammon boards, ties and playing cards when it opens for business “just in time for Christmas”.


WE’LL always have Paris, Credit Suisse employees are thinking fondly, after spending the bank holiday weekend in a bonding triathlon that finished at the Eiffel Tower.

Starting from their office in Cabot Square, the bankers completed a 90-mile running relay from London to Dover, followed by a 25-mile swimming relay across the Channel and an 180-mile cycling relay from Calais to the French capital.

The Credit Suisse team’s time of 17 hours and 53 seconds – excluding the cross-Channel swim, which had to be cancelled seven-and-a-half hours in for “safety reasons” – was enough to beat rival firms including BarCap, PwC, Accenture and UBS in the fundraising Enduro Challenge event, organised by healthcare charity Nuffield Health.


TIME TO start getting into the spirit of the Olympics, says Adecco, which yesterday launched its Workplace Games campaign to encourage the wage-slaves of Britain to take up office chair rowing and boardroom table tennis.

So that explains the picture of Colin Jackson in the “office hurdle” event (below), as the former Olympian motivates Britain’s workers to film themselves taking part in Olympic-style challenges in the office and post the results online.

Each video uploaded to the Workplace Games Facebook page will earn a £20 donation to Paralympic GB from Adecco, while the most imaginative entrants will win tickets to the Olympics.

The campaign is supported by Paralympians Clare Strange, a wheelchair basketball medal hope, and Danny Crates, who recently retired from international competition after setting 800m records. Crates, who now plans to become one of Britain’s top motivational speakers, has been impressed by the entries he has seen so far, some of which are “off the wall”.

“But I’m not going to say which the best ones are,” he said. “Because I don’t want to jeopardise their chances.”