The Cabinet Office has just published a draft Cabinet Manual, essentially an attempt to draw together the basic features of our constitutional arrangements. Much of it is pretty basic – a Janet and John introduction to British Government – and it cannot make up its mind as to whether it is issued for information or guidance.
An opening paragraph is quite remarkable:
‘… there has never been a single source of information on how the Government works and interacts with the Sovereign, Parliament, the judiciary, international organisations, the Devolved Administrations and local government.’
I know Whitehall mandarins are supposed to be a little detached, but has no senior civil servant ever set eyes on an introductory text on British politics?