The week that was...
Lord Howell brought a smile to our face as we headed into the traditionally news quiet August.
The Tory peer, George Osborne's father-in-law, said the North East was desolate, so obviously better suited for fracking than, oh, say, the South?
Turns out he meant Lancashire, but by then the damage was done.
Tyne and Wear fire chiefs have come up with a novel way of preparing for strike action at a time of public sector spending cuts; they are to re-recruite retired firemen. Could be worse, in Teesside they're just asking the public to get involved.
...Was former Port of Tyne chairman Sir Ian Wrigglesworth. The Lib Dem's move to the House of Lords has been Tyneside's unspoken secret for most of the year. But with parliament in recess he'll have to wait a little longer before taking his seat.
Still no peerage for Stephen Byers though.
Who's up, who wishes they were up
Good Week - Vera Baird
A good few weeks for the Police Commissioner as she sees her efforts to tackle predatory males prowling the city centre is taken up nationally as the best way to train doorstaff.
Not so good week - Sir Brian Souter
the Stagecoach bus boss has to figure out a way of preventing Tyne and Wear councils going ahead with the now announced bus takeover plan. Or find a way of selling it to his many share holders.
MPs are away from London, and the holiday should be a time of quiet for the party leaders, Howell-esq mistakes excluded.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband has already been criticised by one Yorkshire MP, and there are rumblings of disquiet in the North East.
Expect to see a lot more of Judith Kirton-Darling. That double-barrel name wasn't enough to stop her being selected as Labour's candidate for the vacant MEP seat this week, ahead of the 2014 elections.