Another aspect of the “Manchester story” – related to the idea of regionalising England in order to integrate Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland will remain a special case) – may be that Dominic Cummings wants to “sort out” local government. Bismarck would obviously not be his model here, but the French “departments” (each with their own two-digit number which, until 2009 appeared on car licence plates) might be. It was actually introduced in 1790 but he can think of it as Bonapartist if he wants. Practically nobody who hasn’t got their fingers in the till thinks that the current set-up in England, with metropolitan councils and both “unitary” and “non-unitary” non-metropolitan ones, is anything other than a mess. Cummings himself hails of course from the north and doesn’t particularly like southern softies who haven’t run nightclubs or done “business in Russia”, but that doesn’t mean he’ll appreciate local business interests and the authorities they control in places like Manchester standing up to him. It will be interesting to see what happens. This may turn out to be the first large-scale use of the British army for “keeping public order” in the coronafascist epoch.
Info and thoughts on what’s happening in other places, such as Wales, would be welcome.