IF THERE'S one thing that Militant Labour in the Liverpool of the 1980s are often derided for, it was its taste for spending money it didn't have.
All these years later, in the face of socialist arguments that the council should reject the cuts imposed by the government, Mayor Joe Anderson often told the masses how this was not an option, and would lead to the district auditor coming in and Liverpool effectively being taken over by the government.
So, clearly the prospect of spending money you don't have is unpalatable to Mayor Anderson. The council does, however, seem more relaxed about making commitments with other people’s money.
When the government scrapped the Educational Maintenance Allowance for college students, Mayor Anderson pledged – ahead of the Mayoral election in May – to introduce an equivalent scheme worth £20 a week, so that cash-strapped youngsters would have support towards the cost of travel, stationery and whatever else they could afford with what little would be left over once they've bought made two bus trips and bought one pad of paper.
All Mr Brocklebank can say is, thank God for Liverpool Community College, for it has fallen on it – rather than the council – to pick up the lion’s share of the tab for this Mayoral commitment.
The Mayor’s office has put in £120,000 of the £1m needed, meaning the college to find the remaining £880,000.
Apparently, Mr B hears, some in senior positions at the college were less than happy that the council’s largesse should be funded out of their scarce resources.
THE race to become Merseyside’s first Police and Crime Commissioner continues to underwhelm, albeit it with the odd minor bit of amusement from time to time.
Last week, the Merseyside PCC Twitter account – followed by only 103 people, surprisingly enough – tweeted that whoever wins the race will “swear an oath of impartiality to represent all sections of the public without fear or favour”.
Only one snag: criminals are (in some places more so than others) a section of the public.
Perhaps that’s why the job is called Police AND Crime Commissioner.
With the prospect of being able to commission crime, it’s a testament to how dull the race is that even that hasn’t inspired a few more colourful candidates.
MR B bumped into his old chum, UKIP Europarliamentarian Paul Nuttall, the other day – who is settling rather well into the continental way of life.
He tells Mr B that he has got himself into a routine of late of smoked cheese, cured meats and boiled eggs for breakfast – a very Teutonic diet indeed.
And furthermore, this is not simply when he is in Brussels (owing to his political disdain for the EU he attends as sparingly as possible), when it may be the only fare on offer – but when he’s at home in sunny South Liverpool.
Going native, indeed!