Privacy in public life... a very grey area
"PRIVATE faces in public places, are wiser and nicer than public faces in private places".
Or so wrote W H Auden, anyway. But, as politicians will know, the constant advent of new forms of the modern media increasingly means it's hard to keep a buffer between the public and the private life.
It's one thing when a politician does something stupid in their personal life which is mercilessly made public intellectual property by those scurrilous blighters journalists, but it's another when it's through no fault of their own.
So, in the spirit of public service, Mr Brocklebank feels it his duty to alert the region's politicos to a dangerous development that could spell the ruination of their careers through no fault of their own.
And, yes, dear reader, you guessed it: Twitter is at the root of this evil.
For Mr B was keeping his beady eye on the comings and goings of the Twittersphere when he noticed several tweets in quick succession from one of the Town Hall faithful, explaining in a very formal way what books they had bought on Amazon.
Very good of you to keep us abreast of your literary habits, thought Mr B, and what worthy reading the elected member had chosen, all of them heavy-sounding political tomes.
Within seconds, said councillor tweeted to ask "Why in God's name did Amazon just tweet everything I bought??"
It would appear that the online bookstore is in the habit - should you have furnished it with your twitter address on signing up - of telling the world (in your name, Mr B might add) what you have purchased. There really is nothing sacred any more.
Needless to say, the relieved councillor added that they were "glad it was nothing kinky".
When Mr B asked how this could have happened, the response came: "I don't know, but I'm glad it wasn't Fifty Shades of Grey" (which, Mr B is told, is the current book of choice for middle-class housewives in search of suburban smut).
The squire chuckled to himself for some time at the thought of all those public figures frantically scrolling back down their Twitter feeds to check that their own peculiar reading habits had been involuntarily revealed to the world.
MODERN technology has done little favour for another of the city's leaders this week Council transport boss Malcolm Kennedy tells Mr B that he had recently decided to make a foray into the world of internet shopping to relieve the strain created by public life.
Unfortunately for him, the experience has certainly been less than gratifying.
First of all, the electrical item he purchased failed to turn up on the day, and several days afterwards.
(Mr B should probably add here that he was shopping online with a reputable supermarket chain, lest anyone get the wrong idea).
Eventually, Cllr Kennedy was told that it had been brought up from the Saarf East, but White Van Man couldn't find the Liverpool depot and so took it back down the M1.
And what should Cllr Kennedy have been trying to acquire? Of all things .. a satnav!