Column Eight: Genuine forgery for sale

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The Independent Online
Gruner & Jahr and Rupert Murdoch may have forked out a fortune for the Hitler Diaries, but someone with shallower pockets will have a chance to buy the original fakes, which come up for auction in Frankfurt on Saturday next.

Konrad Kujau completed the set of ingenious forgeries when he was sent to prison for the con - they have since been in private hands.

The diaries are being auctioned under the auspices of the curiously named 'Friends of Historic Securities', and the reserve price is a mere DM49,000 ( pounds 17,000).

Cheap for such an interesting slice of non-history.

The Docklands Development Corporation spent bucketloads of money yesterday to tell us what the denizens of its brave new world are like. A double-page advertisement in the posh papers compared the attitudes of 'knockers' and 'dockers'.

Knockers are dullards who, among other things, 'always collect the railway stations in Monopoly and press their jeans'.

In contrast, dockers are thrill-seekers who 'happily got wet to see Pavarotti, went to gyms when Jane Fonda was still making movies, and know beyond doubt that London Docklands will be a success'.

Not with dire marketing like that, it won't.

What do policemen do when they are not chasing criminals? According to Gert van Laar, chief executive of Intrum Justitia, some of them spend their time off chasing debts. Policemen apparently figure prominently in Intrum's 1,600-strong force of part-time debt collectors.

This is news to the police. Regulations require police officers to abstain from any activity that is likely to interfere with them carrying out their duties impartially.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, which requires its officers to disclose their outside business interests, said it was 'extremely unlikely' that collecting debts would be considered compatible with police duties.

He added he was not aware of any Metropolitan bobbies who have owned up to being debt collectors.

Terry Smith, the controversial author of Accounting for Growth, was reported last night to have finally been sacked by UBS Phillips & Drew, where he was head of UK research until he was suspended a month ago over the book on 'creative accounting'. UBS said he breached internal procedures when he refused to halt publication.