Posts in Merseyside
FORMER Thai president Thaksin Shinawatra said, following his deposition in 2006 while on a visit to the UK, that "I'm very disappointed by the mature-democracy countries. I was ousted by a coup d'etat."
In recent weeks, one of Merseyside's longest-serving political leaders, whom mature democracy placed at the helm of one of our councils several times over the course of four decades, was ousted, that being Cllr Marie Rimmer in St Helens.
However, without being too pedantic, Mr Brocklebank should point out that there were some subtle differences between how events unfolded in the Far East and how they unfolded just down the M62: for one, Mr Shinawatra left many thinking that perhaps he knew the coup was coming, given that he decided to take his family and most of his possessions with him on his trip to Britain (and his chequebook, too, for he went on to buy Manchester City while stuck for something to do).
MANY a Merseyside eyebrow was raised earlier this week by the revelation that the region's, ahem, sperm banks are running so low on resources that they've had to resort to drafting it in from... of all places, Manchester!
But the smirks that may be across the faces of many a Mancunian this week (and Mr Brocklebank can only imagine the chants of Manchester United fans from the Anfield terraces on their next visit) will not be limited to this particular story.
OUT: Peter Papworth and Marie Rimmer
Last night was a night of the long knives in Merseyside politics.
St Helens council leader Marie Rimmer was deposed in a coup by her deputy Barrie Grunewald.
A coup that was plotted whilst she was on holiday in Turkey, and culminating with a vote of 22 to 18 in favour of Cllr Grunewald.
UNLESS the dear reader has been in an induced coma or hiding in a nuclear bunker deep under ground over the last few days, he has probably heard of the death of former Prime Minister, and scourge of Merseyside, Margaret Thatcher.
Given how interminable the TV coverage was, with the same clips showing for the thousandth time, it was lucky for Mr Brocklebank that the television on which he was forced to endure the continuous coverage was in one of his regular taverns.
Her passing did of course mean a retinue of former Conservative colleagues being trotted out in front of the cameras to mourn the loss of the Iron Lady.
Lady Thatcher's passing is perhaps news that many had been expecting and some, it has to be said, were even looking forward to in recent years. With deteriorating health and a limited number of public appearances, Mrs Thatcher closed her office in the House of Lords and finally bowed out of British politics.
Thatcherism as her politics become known around the world, was predicated on the idea that unemployment was a price worth paying and that each individual, regardless of their socio-economic status or educational attainment, should simply look after number one - and the state had little or no role to play in mobilising the talents of society.
Much has been said about how former chief constable Sir Norman Bettison retired, in the wake of last year's Hillsborough revelations, to protect his pension.
And the fact that this left the Independent Police Complaints Commission powerless to take action against him after it found that he tried to interfere with West Yorkshire Police Authority referring him to the watchdog rubbed salt in the wounds for many.
But the belief that he retired to protect his pension is wrong.
Mr Bettison has a somewhat peculiar pension arrangement, which has been previously detailed in the pages of the ECHO, but worth repeating again.
A FORMER Liberal Democrat councillor has quit the party - and will instead donate £5 a month to the Guide Dogs.
Dave Smithson, a former Knowsley Mayor, revealed on Twitter that he had deliberately let his party membership lapse.
He tweeted: "I've just sponsored a guide dog puppy called Pluto - more rewarding use of £5pm than party membership!"
When the North West TUC met for its annual conference in this weekend, we welcomed Frances O'Grady, the TUC's first woman General Secretary to our region.
It was a tremendous pleasure for me to celebrate International Women's Day with Frances as part of a movement where women now play a leading role.
The cuts in public services and welfare are having a particularly savage impact on the lives of women in the North West. As partners and mothers, women feel the impact of falling living standards more than most.
IT'S an odd relationship between old Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.
One minute, after some off hand remark or other about begging bowls from Big Eric, Mr Brocklebank imagines the pair of them as nemeses, like Holmes and Moriarty grappling at the top of the Reichenbach Falls.
The next, when the Yarkshurmun does Liverpool a good turn, Mr B imagines the pair of them sitting up in bed in their pyjamas like Morecambe and Wise.