There are popular cuts in spending. The government has done some work to reduce the degree of regional government in England, but it should do more. Many of us would be cheering in the aisles if the government said it could no longer afford any regional government, and rolled it all up. It could leave local matters to Councils, and English national matters can be decided at Westminster.
Many of us have no regional loyalties. Indeed, we do not even know which region they want to cajole us into. Is my region Thames Valley? Or is it Rest of the South-east? Is it the South East? Is it Home Counties? Is it part of ancient Wessex? Why does my region usually exclude London, where we have strong links and contacts, but may include Thanet and East Kent, which is a long way away?
It is said the further away from London you go, the stronger the sense of regional identity. I do not myself find Exeter is keen to accept a lead from Bristol as part of the wider South-west, or Plymouth happy to genuflect to Exeter. Liverpool is not a natural subject of Manchester. The senses of City and local identity are usually much stronger than the EU’s regional identities they are seeking to impose.
On Monday night I was invited on to Scottish BBC (there is no equivalent English BBC of course) to talk about English nationalism. I tried to explain that English nationalism is fuelled most of all by the EU. It is our sense of injustice and anger over the way the EU wishes to balkanise England, and wipe it off the face of their maps, that does more than anything else to propel English feelings. The interviewer was not of course interested, as he was seeking to define English nationalism as a response to Scottish nationalism. He could not grasp that is not how most of us in England define it for ourselves, but as so often the BBC was uncomprehending and uncaring of the English viewpoint.