Fṛm Đ Gardịn │ Why sleaze investigations are becoming more menacing for Boris Johnson

‘The worse the misconduct he is trying to conceal, the rantier he tends to get. He was very ranty indeed at prime minister’s questions.’ Photograph: Jessica Taylor/Reuters
‘Ɖ wrs ɖ msconduct h z trayñ t cnsil, ɖ rantịr h tndz t gt. H wz vri ranti indd at prim̦inistr’z qsćnz.’ Foṭgraf: Jesica Teilr/Rôtrz

Ẃ slīz invstgeśnz r bcmñ mor meṇsñ fr Boris Jonsn

(Transcription of an Observer article of 2 May 2021)

Numbr 10 z bginñ t panic nǎ ɖt indipndnt inteṛgetrz r in psyt v ɖ truʈ

Andrew Rawnsley

Andru Rōnzli, 2 May 2021

I  wl bet y ɖ prîs v a rol v gold wōlpepr ɖt y wl b ebl t se hu peid ẃn y last hd ɖ dec̣retrz in. F ɖr wz eni rīzn y hd t pruv ɖt it wz y, y’d pṛdys a banc or credit card stetmnt. Ɖ homlîf v Boris Jonsn z mć mor compḷcetd. Ɖr r nǎ no fywr ɖn ʈri inqîriz intu hǎ ɖ rīfrbiśmnt v ɖ Dǎnñ Strīt flat wz fundd. “Caś fr cŭśnz” n “wōlpepr get” r aḿzñ leblz fr ɖs scandl, bt I hv an iśu wɖ ɖm. Ɖe sort v srv Mr Jonsn bî ptñ a trivịlîzñ rápr on ɖ pṛfǎndli sirịs qsćnz rezd.

Wn v ɖz inqîriz z bî ɖ cabiṇtsecṛtri, Sîmn Ces, so grīn fr ɖ rǒl ɖt h hz’nt got ɖ custmri naithd yt. Anɖr z bî ɖ nyli apôntd “indipndnt” advîzr on miṇstirịl standdz, Lord Gît. Ɖ prim̦inistr cn fîr Mr Ces jst lîc h sact ɖ last cabiṇtsecṛtri. Ɖ prim̦inistr cn ignor Lord Gît. H dd ɖt t ɖ prīvịs eʈics inviɉletr, Sr Alix Aḷn, hu rzînd ẃn Mr Jonsn rfyzd t axpt hiz fîndñz abt bŭliyñ bî Priti Ptel. I am nt seyñ ɖ tū men w’nt trî t d a propr job, bt eni arenjmnt ɖt involvz an ofiśl inqîrñ intu hiz ǒn bos dz nt inspîr 100% confidns.

Ɖ invstgeśn ɖt Mr Jonsn hz mor t wuri abt z ɖt bî ɖ Ilectṛl Cmiśn. Ɖt bodi hz indipndnt, statytri pǎrz t inṭvy witṇsz undr cōśn n gaɖr evidns. F it cncludz ɖr wz roñduwñ, it wl impoz a fîn. F it dsîdz ɖt ɖr r rīzṇbl grǎndz t sspct ɖt a criminl ofns hz bn cmitd, ɖ cmiśn cn rfŕ ɖ ces t ɖ p’līs. Ɖs z ɖ prob cōzñ ɖ strongist riplz v firfl panic ʈru Numbr 10 n Tori parti HQ.

It z olso meṇsñ fr Mr Jonsn ɖt ɖr z a gd prospect v a forʈ invstgeśn, ɖs wn bî ɖ cmiśnr fr parḷmntri standdz, hu hz rbyct him in ɖ past fr rūlbrecñ. Ɖ prim̦inistr clemz t hv “cuvrd ɖ costs” v ɖ rīfrbiśmnt, bt h hz rpitidli feld t dnî ɖt a larj bil wz orijiṇli peid fr bî smwn els, îɖr ʈru a loun or a dneśn, nɖr v ẃć wz dclerd. H dsmisz ol ɖ qsćnz abt hiz bhevyr az a “hol f’rāgo v nonsns”. Ɖs z ẃt pǒcrpleyrz wd cōl a tel. Ɖoz fmiłr wɖ hiz pʈoḷji wl nǒ ɖt h ofn dîlz p ɖ blustr ẃn h hz smʈñ t hîd. Ɖ wrs ɖ msconduct h z trayñ t cnsil, ɖ rantịr h tndz t gt. H wz vri ranti indd at ɖ most rīsnt prim̦inistr’z qsćnz.

F ɖs z jenyinli a “f’rāgo v nonsns”, h cd clir it p tde n sev evrwn a lot v tîm bî śowñ ẃn h peid ɖ bil. Ɖr mst b a rīzn h w’nt d ɖs n ɖ rīzn mst b an xtrimli cmpelñ wn gvn ɖt h’d apaṛntli prifŕ t indyr dez v rotn hedlînz in ɖ run-up t ɖs Ʈrzde’z big set v ilex́nz rɖr ɖn gv s fl dscloźr. W nǒ ɖt h z a twîs-dvorst man wɖ abt six ćildṛn (estiṃts vẹri) hu constntli monz t frendz ɖt h z strapt fr caś. Hiz fiãsé z rportd t hv xpnsiv tests in homdécor, n frendz hu snir t Tatlr abt ɖ “nîtmer” frnićr aveḷbl fṛm Jon Luis, a stor most votrz ʈnc v az upmarcit. Ɖ nećr v hiz iveźnz fylz ɖ vri stroñ sspiśn ɖt h dd nt pe ɖ orijinl bil, bt onli b’letidli n rluctntli coft p t trî t cuvr hiz tracs. Ɖt sspiśn hz bn gretli hardnd bî līct īmeilz n Doṃnic Cumñz’z akześn ɖt Mr Jonsn haćt “an uneʈicl, fūliś n poṣbli ilīgl” scīm ɖt “olmst srtnli brouc ɖ rūlz” in hvñ donrz sīcṛtli fînans ɖ reṇveśn.

Ɖr z a śoldr-śrugñ vy ɖt nn v ɖs mć matrz. Wn sīńr Cnsrṿtiv MP tld m ɖt h wz sanḡn abt ɖ slīzstoriz swrlñ arnd Numbr 10 bcz “I hv oṇstli nt hd a sngl īmeil abt ɖ wōlpepr”. Uɖr Tori MPz cntnd: “Votrz w’nt cer hu peid t d p ɖ flat f it dd’nt cost ɖm eni muni.” Ɖ mantra paṛtd bî ɖ cabiṇt z ɖt ɖ public z’nt boɖrd bî a stori v inṭrest onli in ɖ “Wsminstr bubl”. Ɖs z ɖ sem lîn ɖe tec abt ɖ multipl-sorst aḷgeśnz ɖt Mr Jonsn dspleid gastli caḷsnis twdz ɖ victimz v Covid bî dclerñ ɖt h wd “let bodiz pîl hî in ɖer ʈǎzndz” rɖr ɖn hv anɖr locdǎn. Ɖ sinicl dsmisivnis v mni Tōriz z itslf a simtm v ɖ probḷm w hv wɖ integṛti in public lîf.

Ɖ riax́n v votrz hz olwz bn a factr in ɖ impact v slīzscandlz, bt t rgard opińnpoulz az ɖ onli metric ɖt matrz z t ʈro awe eni clem t a moṛl cumṗs. Trnspaṛnsi abt hu z s’playñ caś or uɖr beṇfits t ilectd repriznttivz z an abṣlutli funḍmntl prínsipl. It z ẃ ɖr z a rejistr v membrz’ inṭrests, a rejistr fṛm ẃć Mr Jonsn z nt xmt, olɖo h hz a hisṭri v bhevñ az f ɖ rūlz d’nt aplî t him, mcñ lêt reɉstreśnz v hiz fnanśl inṭrests on at līst nîn oceźnz. Fr rīznz ɖt śd b tù obvịs t spel ǎt, w nīd t nǒ hu ǎr lw mcrz n dsiźn mcrz r bholdn t n ẃ, ispeṣ́li ɖ prim̦inistr. W olso nīd t nǒ ẃɖr h hz sòt t cnsil hiz indétidnis t prîṿt inṭrests fṛm ɖ public. F a man c’nt b stret abt hǎ h peid fr hiz sofa, ẃt els mt h lî abt?

Ɖ Noḷn prínsiplz, ɖ eʈicl gîdlînz fr public-ofis holdrz drwn p aftr ɖ scandlz v ɖ 1990z, spīc v sevn vrćuz: slflisnis, integṛti, objctivti, acǎntbiḷti, opņis, oṇsti n līdrśp. Ɖt z a ytopịn maṇfsto fr pfx́n rɖr ɖn a rịlistic picćr v eni poḷtiśn y r lîcli t mīt. Ɖ îdiyl p’liticl animl dscrîbd bî Noḷn berz a vaṇśñli slît rzmbḷns t ɖ cuṛnt tennt v Numbr 10.

So ɖ sistm hz cm t dpnd on rūlz. Most v ɖz wr forḿletd in a haphaẓd faśn in riax́n t past ǎtrejz, sć az ɖt ovr parḷmntri xpnsz, ẃć rvild ɖt poḷtiśnz canot b trustd t inviɉlet ɖer ǒn conduct. Ɖt hz left s wɖ a paćwrc v rejistrz n reğleśnz, sm v ẃć r ridld wɖ lūphoulz. Wr it nt fr rzorsfl jrṇlizm, w wd nvr hv faund ǎt abt Devid Camṛn’z bhnd-ɖ-sīnz activtiz on bhaf v Grīnsil bcz hiz inflụnspéḍlñ wz xmt fṛm ɖ dscloźŗūlz on lobiyñ ɖt h inactd ẃn h wz at Numbr 10.

Ɖ p’līsñ v ɖ bhevyr v ministrz z ptiklrli wìc n crīcñ undr ɖ intns stres tst v trayñ t cīp a Jonsn guvnmnt onist n eʈicl. Adhiṛns t ɖ miṇstirịl cod stl gretli dpndz on ɖ dscredtd ʈiyri ɖt poḷtiśnz r “onṛbl feloz” hu cn b xpctd t bhev proprli. Ẃn ɖe d’nt, w r s’pozd t hv ɖ adiśnl ri’śuṛns ɖt sivl srvnts wl act az moṛl getcīprz bî “spīcñ truʈ t pǎr” n inṭvinñ t stop ministrz bhevñ badli.

I am śr ɖr r ofiślz hu stl trî t pform ɖt vîtl sefgardñrǒl, bt ɖer inʈyziazm fr dwñ so hz bn dlibṛtli cūld bî ɖ reźīm at Numbr 10. A lot v sīńr manḍrinz hv bn prjd fṛm Ẃîthōl sins Mr Jonsn bcem prim̦inistr. Ofiślz wd nt b hymn f ɖe dd nt hv ɖt at ɖ bac v ɖer mîndz ẃn dbetñ ẃɖr ɖe fīl brev inuf t cnfrunt msconduct bî a ministr, ispeṣ́li f it z ɖ wn hu livz at Numbr 10. Ɖ prîm minstr z ɖ sol arbtr v ẃɖr alejd ofnsz agnst ɖ cod r wrɖi v invstgeśn n ɖ ultiṃt dsîdr ẃɖr ɖr śd b eni puniśmnt fr trnzgreśn.

Ɖs z a r’dikḷs nst v conflicts v inṭrest. It bcmz an abṣlutli lūdicṛs wn ẃn ɖ prim̦inistr himslf z ɖ subjict v invstgeśn. Īvn f Lord Gît or Mr Ces cnclud ɖt ɖer bos hz brocn ɖ rūlz n īvn f ɖe r wilñ t se so, ɖr z nʈñ bt śem t privnt him fṛm tosñ asd ɖer vrdicts n dclerñ himslf nt gilti. N w nǒ śem z a snseśn ɖt ɖs prim̦inistr z imprvịs t.

Ɖs z ẃ it z so isnśl ɖt proprli indipndnt invstgetrz r on ɖ ces. Ɖt’s a cort in ẃć Boris Jonsn c’nt b hiz ǒn juj n jri.

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Andru Rōnzli z Ćīf P’liticl Comntetr v ɖ Obzrvr

MOR ARTICLZ Fṛm Đ Gardịn

Instroduction to Ñspel

05/05/2021

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