Oscar Wilde said that consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative, and governments often rely upon this aphorism to justify the contradictions that siloed Whitehall policy formulation inevitably creates.
Exhibit 1: referenda.
In May, Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner triggered a council tax referendum, which was defeated. He complained about the process, to which the Department for Communities and Local Government responded: ‘Residents have had their say and their views will now be respected.’
How to square this with elected mayors for combined authorities?