AFTER a long dormancy, which has seen former Prime Minister Gordon Brown make only rare appearances as an MP in the House of Commons, the troubled ex-chancellor is readying himself for a low-key book launch at the London School of Economics.

The Capitalist has learned that the PM has set a date of 7 December for the launch, but if you were hastily pencilling the momentous day into your diary, think again. In the classic crowd-shunning mood of the former PM’s post-election activities, the event will only be open to students and professors of the university.

With 2010 having already seen a rash of books by Labour party grandees – from Peter Watt’s Inside Out to Lord Mandelson’s The Third Man and Tony Blair’s epically named A Journey – Brown has gone for an altogether more academic name for his serious tome: Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation. Well, he never claimed to be a branding genius…

He is rumoured to have worked up quite a lather over the behaviour of RBS, which could make for an interesting read given his friendship with Sir Fred Goodwin and the cosy chats that Goodwin’s successor, Stephen Hester, has been having with Mandelson (as revealed by The Capitalist on Friday).

But is Brown going to cash in on the launch? In his first tentative step onto the lecture circuit in New Delhi over the weekend, he reportedly bagged a cool £60,000 for his future promotional efforts.

No word yet on whether his gig at the LSE will earn the ex-PM anything further, but with his speaking fee worth considerably less than Tony’s, he might be a little less tempted to follow Blair’s lead in donating all his book’s proceeds to charity.

A bevvy of high-profile City names showed up at the newly opened Hakkasan Mayfair hotel last week, for a dinner hosted by David Bailey, Heather Kerzner, Emily Oppenheimer and Keith Tyson in order to promote the charity Malaria No More UK.

The guests, who included Arcadia Group owner and government efficiency tsar Sir Philip Green, fashion and property tycoon Richard Caring and Freud Communications’ Matthew Freud, were treated to a three-course meal and a deluge of cocktails before being urged to go out and promote the charity’s work in their various fields of experience. After all, charity often begins at the dining table...