Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Are the Tories set to make Britain a one-party state?

‘The life of a single party – its ideological trajectory, factional struggles and leadership contests – becomes almost the whole of politics.’ Photograph: Reuters
‘Ɖ lîf v a sngl parti – its îdịlojicl tṛjectri, fax̣́nl struglz n līdrśp-contests – bcmz olmst ɖ hol v poḷtics.’ Foṭgraf: Rôtrz
R ɖ Tōriz set t mc Britn a wn-parti stet?

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 18 April 2020)

Īvn bfr c’roṇvîṛs, tde’z Cnsrvtivz hd a far wrs record ɖn ɖ infṃs guvnmnts v ɖ 1970z. N yt ɖ’r stl lîcli t win anɖr ilex́n

Andi Becit, Saṭde 18 Epril 2020

Nxt munʈ ɖ Cnsrvtivz wl hv bn in pǎr fr 10 yirz. Britiś partiz hu manij ɖt aṇvrsri r yẓ́li unpopylr bî ɖ tîm it cmz.

In 1989, Marġrit Ʈaćr’z guvnmnt lost its pouļīd fr gd. Bî 2007 Toni Bler wz no longr a dominnt premịr. Akḿletñ mstecs, prsnl brn-ǎt, ɖ dificlti v fîndñ freś golz n votrz’ bordm wɖ ɖ steṭs qo; ol yẓ́li enśur ɖt īvn partiz wɖ ebl līdrz wìcn n fōl fṛm pǎr aftr ʈri or for trmz. T a larj xtnt, ɖ YC’z tṛdiśnl sns v itslf az a dvrs, hlʈi dmocṛsi dpndz on it.

Yt rīsntli ǎr rvird p’liticl pendyḷm sīmz t hv stopt swññ. Last yir, ɖ Tōriz wún ɖer forʈ cnsektiv jenṛl ilex́n, bî a far larjr marjin ɖn ɖ uɖrz. Sins ɖen, ɖer pouļīd hz sweld frɖr. Ɖe r wîdli xpctd t win a fifʈ ilex́n, ẃnvr it cmz. No Britiś parti hz dn ɖt sins ɖ rli 1800z.

Ɖs Tori asndnsi hz bn mntend dspt a record in ofis sins 2010 ɖt z arğbli wrs ɖn ɖoz v ɖ YC’z most infṃs modn guvnmnts, ɖ oṿẃlmd Cnsrvtiv n Lebr admiṇstreśnz v ɖ 1970z. Ɖ Tōriz hv cōld n lost ɖ EU ref̣rendm, pśt Scotḷnd n Norɖn Îrḷnd twdz līvñ ɖ YC, psyd osteṛtipoḷsiz ɖt hyjli damijd public srṿsz n ssayti – wɖt rdysñ guvnmntdét az promist – n prizîdd ovr ɖ wrst wejgroʈ fr tū snć̣riz. Nǎ ɖe apir t b mshanḍlñ c’roṇvîṛs caṭstroficli. Lebr hz nvr bn alaud t fget its smōlr fełr t hōlt ɖ wintr v discntnt, mor ɖn 40 yirz ago, ẃn strîcs ntorịsli dleid ɖ berịl v sm ppl hu hd daid v naćṛl cōzz. Aftr c’roṇvîṛs, Britn me asośiet ɖ Cnsrvtivz wɖ far wrs horrz.

Bt ɖt z nt haṗnñ yt. Srvez śo sm mîld public dis’pruvl v ɖer pformns jrñ ɖ crîsis. Yt ɖr rmenz a jenṛl axptns ɖt, fr ɖ fōrsiybl fyćr, fr gd or il, ɖ Tōriz wl b ǎr mastrz. Sć fīlñz cn b slf-flfilñ. In 1954, ɖ Frenć sośioḷjist Morīs Dūverźer rout: “A dominnt parti z ɖt ẃć public opińn b’livz t b dominnt.”

N Boris Jonsn’z admiṇstreśn sīmz t b sīcñ a mor cmplit dominns ɖn prīvịs Britiś guvnmnts. It dmandz cmplayns rɖr ɖn francnis fṛm Ẃîthōl. It xcludz criticl jrṇlists fṛm ofiśl brīfñz. It avôdz scrūṭni bî parḷmnt: ɖ Comnz hz sat fr wn fl munʈ in Jonsn’z frst 10 az premịr. Mnẃl, ɖ Tōriz hv rpitidli clemd t repriznt “ɖ ppl”, az f no uɖr parti cn.

In ol ɖz wez, ɖ YC me b muvñ closr t bcmñ a wn-parti stet. Nt a ttaḷterịn wn, bt a deṃcratic wn, lîc postwar Iṭli or Jpan, ẃr wn parti z in pǎr fr decedz, on its ǒn or in cọliśnz, abzorbñ îdīaz n poḷsiz fṛm rîvl partiz, śemlisli muvñ rîtẉdz or leftẉdz acordñ t srcmstansz, n winñ ɖ pragmatic s’port v evr mor inṭrestgrūps. Ɖ lîf v a sngl parti – its îdịlojicl tṛjectri, fax̣́nl struglz n līdrśp-contests – bcmz olmst ɖ hol v poḷtics.

Fr sm votrz, wn-parti dmocṛsi z a rlif. It sevz ɖm hvñ t ʈnc mć abt poḷtics, fṛm hvñ t ivalyet uɖr partiz. Last yir’z Tori vicṭri oud a lot t ɖs impuls: votñ in a ʈrd jenṛl ilex́n in for yirz, sm ppl wr tîrd v hvñ t cnsidr Lebr’z oltrṇtivz, n setld fr ẃt ɖe ń.

In ɖ YC, wn-parti dmocṛsi dz xist in non-Tori formz – ʈancs t dīṿluśnpoḷsiz inactd bî Lebr. Wêlz hz bn cntinẏsli guvnd bî Lebr (smtmz in cọliśnz) sins 1999, Scotḷnd bî ɖ SNP sins 2007. N cnsrnz abt ɖ YC’z tndnsi t pṛdys deṃcratic monoculćrz prīdet ɖ preznt Tori ira. Twenti yirz ago, undr Bler, ɖ p’liticl sayntist Colin Crǎć cônd ɖ frêz “post-dmocṛsi” t dscrîb ɖ cntrax́n v ilectṛl poḷtics t “a smōl renj v iśuz”, s’lectd “bî rîvl tīmz v pṛfeśnlz”, ẃl mor funḍmntl qsćnz wr setld in prîṿt bî big biznis n def̣renśl poḷtiśnz.

In wn sns, ǎr dmocṛsi z hlʈịr nǎ. Lebr n ɖ Tōriz dis’gri mć mor pṛfǎndli ɖn ɖe dd jrñ ɖ Bler yirz – votrz hv a propr ćôs. Bt in uɖr wez, ẃt w hv nǎ z wrs: a p’liticl sistm doṃnetd nt bî “pṛfeśnlz” – Ny Lebr’z bland bt ofn compitnt n hard-wrcñ ministrz – bt bî aṃćriś Tori figrz.

Wl ɖs wn-parti dmocṛsi last? Parḷmnt fîṇli rtrnz nxt wīc. Ɖ guvnmnt’s clir fełrz ovr c’roṇvîṛs cntiny. Lebr hz a proṣktr fr a ny līdr. N ɖ Tōriz, fr ol ɖer ilectṛl s’preṃsi, stl lc il-iqipt t dīl wɖ ɖ crîsīz ɖt wl rtrn t prominns aftr c’roṇvîṛs: ovr ɖ clîṃt, ɖ vạbiḷti v modn capiṭlizm, n hǎ t criet a ssayti ɖt wrcs fr ol ejgrūps, rɖr ɖn mnli ɖ old n midl-ejd. Ɖz qsćnz r lîcli t b tù dvîsiv t b setld insd wn parti.

Ẃn ɖ Cnsrvtiv ira ivnć̣li endz, it me d so spectaklrli. Az mni dictetrz n loñ-srvñ premịrz hv dscuvrd, ɖr’z wn big probḷm fr practiśnrz v wn-parti rūl. Ẃn ɖ public fîṇli dsîd ɖt y’v feld t dlivr, ɖr’z nwn els t blem.

Andi Becit z a Gardịn coḷmnist

Instroduction to Ñspel

 

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