I’m still locked down, and so, I assume, are you, so this week’s show is a game of two-halves.
In the present, I speak to my lockdown companion, my partner Agnes Frimston – who, as it happens, co-hosts the newly weekly Chatham House podcast Undercurrents – about how much fun she’s having being shut in a one-bedroom flat with me with no end in sight. We also talk about the various coping strategies the world at large is developing to help it get through lockdown; how public services are faring; and how the crisis might change the world and its politics.
We also put on mousturising face masks. While recording. It was that kind of day.
After that, an interview, from the before times. Back in March, I spoke with Donna Hall, the former chief executive of Wigan council and chair of the New Local Government Network. We talked about the interlocking crises – budgets, social care, and so forth – that were afflicting England’s councils even before the pandemic arrived. Once we’re out of this mess, such issues are, I fear, only going to get worse.