Sailing on the high seas with pirates, yachts and brokers galore

WHAT do you do when you’ve done the rounds at a clutch of investment banks and stockbroking firms? Well, write a novel about the thrilling world of super-yachts, pirates and international finance, of course.

And that’s exactly how Adam Wilson, non-exec chairman of Atlantic Coal, former managing director of Hichens Harrison and founder of Teather and Greenwood, has been keeping busy recently.

The fruits of his labour, a self-published novel called Short Sail, is now listed on The book follows the misadventures of Ronnie Vale, who is just an ordinary woman living it up in the British Virgin Islands, when she decides to take a job on a super-yacht known at “Tough Guy”.

But wait – it all goes awry when Vale “finds herself thrown into the dangerous world of Ponzi schemes, hired assassins, and international finance”. Imagine Madoff meets Somalia.

Unfortunately, the 168-page book, which promises a “thrill-a-minute”, is currently listed as “limited in availability” on Amazon. Surely John Grisham never has to put up with this kind of thing.

Somebody please, throw Ed Miliband a bone. Preferably in the form of Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan for shadow chancellor.

Current shadow chancellor Alan Johnson was on Murnaghan’s programme yesterday, talking all things deficit. Unfortunately, the MP managed to get himself all a-fluster when it came to national insurance tax rises. Murnaghan was clearly gunning for a hit: “I am interested Mr Johnson, you were when you took the job as you said a bit of an economic novice,” he said casually. “I just wondered if the shadow chancellor knows what the current rate of employers’ national insurance is.”

Johnson was quick to declare that the employers’ rate is going up from 20 per cent to 21 per cent.

Uh, we’re afraid not, Mr Johnson. Murnaghan had to give him the correct rate – 12.8 per cent – before the shadow Chancellor hastily corrected himself.

Still, maybe we should give Johnson a break. After all, he’s not really in charge of much except HM Opposition’s credibility at the moment. He’s not doing it many favours.

A merry conclusion to dispatches of the adventurer Lord Forsyth, as he writes to say that he’s been gorging on fillet steak, mashed potatoes and Chilean wine after his heroic sponsored excursion to the top of Antarctica’s highest mountain, Mount Vinson.

Forsyth will be better-known to most City folk as former deputy chairman of JP Morgan and previously a Cabinet member, as well as a director of various firms.

But in his latest exploits he’s been hacking his way through walls of ice, pursued by frostbite, in order to raise £366,514 for Marie Curie and street child charity CINI.

And the great and good were lining up to give to the cause: “The chancellor has sent me a note enclosing a donation, with comment that he was not sure he should be supporting me in my insane enterprise,” Forsyth noted.

“I have replied indicating that I was supporting him with his, and that reward does not come without risk.” Here’s hoping Osborne has similar success.