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Fṛm Đ Obzrvr │ Dominic Cummings, the last thing the troubled civil service needs is your advice

Dominic Cummings had said on entering Downing Street that he wanted a new breed of civil servant to shake up the way Britain is run. Photograph: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Doṃnic Cumñz, ɖ last ʈñ ɖ trubld sivl srvis nīdz z yr advîs

(Transcription of an Observer article of 18 April 2021)

Ɖ Grīnsil scandl śoz ɖt public srvnts hv bn feṭli compṛmîzd

Nick Cohen

Nic Cown, 18 Epril 2021

Ɖ  rît z mcñ Britn a norml cuntri. I d’nt mīn ɖt az a complimnt, jst az a stetmnt v ɖ dizṃl fact ɖt in most cuntriz it’s norml fr ɖ rūlñ clīc t sīc t limit ɖ indipndns v ɖ jūdiśri, cntrol stețeḷviźn n fil ɖ taxpeyr-fundd sivl srvis wɖ cranci îdịlogz, hu wl scrīć ǎt its mesij, n dronz hu obe its ordrz.

Lîc oʈoṛterịn guvnmnts evrẃr, ɖ Jonsn admiṇstreśn wonts t rig ɖ sistm. F y ʈnc “ɖt cnd v ʈñ dz’nt hapn hir”, y r suḟrñ fṛm a snṭmntl vrśn v Britiś xpśṇlizm. F y se: “Cm on, it’s histericl t cmper Jonsn t oʈoṛterịn līdrz”, I’m afreid y hv’nt bn peyñ atnśn.

Bcz it involvz ɖ degṛdeśn v ɖ sivl srvis, ɖ Grīnsil scandl z az mć an oṗtyṇti fr Jonsn az a crîsis. Ɖ rît cn yz ɖ fełr v ɖ wrst elimnts in ɖ sivl srvis t īvn acnolij ɖ xistns v besic eʈicl standdz t jusṭfî stufñ public lîf wɖ Tori crancs n dronz.

At līst sm on ɖ rît nǒ it. Lebr cntrasts ɖ īgrnis v ministrz t invstget ɖ sivl srvis wɖ ɖer rluctns t let ɖ rest v ssayti invstget ɖm. Ɖ guvnmnt hz nt publiśt a rejistr v miṇstirịl inṭrests sins last Jlî, phps bcz ɖ fet v ɖ Covid contracts wd mc sć inṭrestñ rīdñ. Ɖ admiṇstreśn cn muv qcli ẃn it wonts t, hvr. Ɖ cabiṇtsecṛtri gev sivl srvnts jst for dez last wīc t rport eni ǎtsd inṭrests ɖt “mt conflict” wɖ sivl-srvis rūlz.

A wel-cnctd Cnsrṿtiv jrṇlist rports in Ɖ Tîmz ɖt “frendz v Doṃnic Cumñz”, hu apir t b so clos t Doṃnic Cumñz y cd olmst mstec ɖm fr Doṃnic Cumñz, wont Jonsn t foc̣s on rformñ ɖ sivl srvis. I bet “hiz frendz” d. Ɖ justiḟceśn fr seṗretñ ɖ byrocṛsi fṛm ɖ guṿnñ parti z ɖt it’s ɖ bst we fr a stet t avôd croniizm n c’rupśn. Ʈnc v ɖ patṛnij poḷtiśnz cd laviś on ɖ feʈfl f ɖs wīc’s reṿleśnz abt ɖ conflicts v inṭrest v s’pozidli ńtṛl ofiślz alǎ ɖm t gt ɖer handz on īvn a part v ɖ sivl-srvis bujit.

“Rform” śd mīn clīnñ p a sistm ẃr sivl srvnts cn b on a bancr’z pêrol n nwn in a pziśn v oʈoṛti ovr ɖm mcs a sqīc v protest. Ɖer ǒn cod, nt ɖt ɖe apir t hv réd it, stets ɖt a sivl srvnt mst “pt ɖ obḷgeśnz v public srvis abv yr ǒn prsnl inṭrests”, an îdiyl ɖt cn b trest bac t 1853 ẃn Wiłm Gladstn ordrd a rvy v ɖ c’rupśn wɖn poḷtics.

Ɖ vīnaḷti ɖt wns wurid Victorịn libṛlz z ecoud in 2021. Ɖ s’qrmnt v plesz in ɖ byrocṛsi fr ɖ p’liticli wel cnctd boɖrd ɖm az mć az stretfwd brîḅri. “Ɖ old istabliśt p’liticl faṃliz hbić̣li batn on ɖ public patṛnij,” wn v Gladstn’z advîzrz cmplend. “Ɖer sunz, l’jitiṃt n iḷjitiṃt, ɖer reḷtivz n dpndnts v evri dgri, r pṛvîdd fr bî ɖ scor.” A pṛfeśnl, imparśl sivl srvis ẃr jobz dpndd on s’xes in opn xaṃneśnz rɖr ɖn neṗtizm n p’liticl prifŕmnt wz Gladstn’z s’lūśn.

Rformrz arnd ɖ wrld rīć ɖ sem cncluźn tde. Suɖn Yṛpiynz yz ɖ absns v a prṃnnt sivl srvis t xplen ẃ c’rupśn z so prevḷnt in Spen n Iṭli. Ɖr z an old, ẃît, Anglo-Saxn protistnt preɉdis ɖt siestaz or Cʈoḷsizm md ɖoz cuntriz slīzi, an attyd y cd olso fînd in Jrṃni n ɖ Neɖrḷndz jrñ ɖ fnanśl crîsis. Suɖn Yṛpiyn p’liticl sayntists unḍstanḍbli prifŕ facts abt hǎ ɖer cuntriz wrc t Wosp condisnśn. Az wn xplend, ẃn a parti winz cntrol v a tipicl Spaniś siti, it handz ǎt jobz t hundṛdz v s’portrz. Mni v ɖm wl fīl ɖ nīd t gt rić qc bî evri aveḷbl mīnz, in ces ɖer parti luzz ɖ nxt ilex́n. Ɖer mastrz, mnẃl, r fri t inrić ɖmslvz wɖt ɖ fir ɖt indipndnt sivl srvnts wl dnǎns ɖm.

Jonsn z rvîvñ ɖ old c’rupśn v ɖ 19ʈ snć̣ri n iṃtetñ ɖ c’rupśn ɖt aflicts mć v ɖ wrld tde. Ẃn h hd pǎr, Cumñz pritndd h wontd t hîr gīci jīńsz t śec p ɖ cuntri. On closr inspx́n, hiz gīcs dd nt trn ǎt t b ɖ starz v Silicn Vali or Jef Goldblūm caṛctrz hu cd sev ɖ wrld fṛm ełn atacs. Ɖe wr crīpi, rîtwñ crancs y wd muv dǎn a tren carij t avôd. Wn obskr figr cōld Andru Sbisci hd t rzîn aftr h wz faund cmndñ yjenics. Jonsn pśt fwd ɖ betr noun bt no les pkłr Ćarlz Mōr n Pōl Decr t tec ovr ɖ reğleśn v public-srvis brōdcastñ bcz h ń h cd rlî on ɖm t flfil ɖ rît’s drīm v mcñ Britn a land ɖt cd host its ǒn vrśn v Fox Nyz.

In Ćîna, Ruśa, n evri wn-parti stet, n in Hunġri, Trci, Bṛzil, ɖ Fiḷpīnz, Poḷnd n ɖ Ynîtd Stets, an īqli importnt fuñśn v stet patṛnij z t mc it clir ɖt loylti t ɖ parti z ɖ bst we t s’kr advansmnt. Y d’nt hv t pṛclem yr s’port fr it, y jst hv t mc śr y ste on its rît sîd.

Lebr publiśt a studi yesṭde ɖt śoud Jonsn hd gvn jobz, advîzñ ɖ guvnmnt or runñ guvnmntprogramz, t 25 v ɖ 94 Cnsrṿtivz MPz hu lost ɖer sīt or std dǎn in ɖ past tū jenṛl ilex́nz. Y wd nǒ sm v ɖer nemz bt most r dronz hu wr rwordd fr gwñ alñ wɖ ɖ līdrśp.

Lebr’z Rećl Rīvz tld m an aṇcdot ẃć I faund mor rvilñ. Tù mni v hr particolīgz r rportñ ɖt biznislīdrz, acdemics n sayntists, hu r trayñ t inflụns guvnmntpoḷsi, hv wōct awe fṛm ɖm, seyñ ɖt ɖ guvnmnt wl śut ɖm ǎt v its dbets f it sspcts ɖm v tōcñ t ɖ opziśn. I’m nt seyñ Tori Ñgḷnd z a wn-parti stet. It’s a softr n mor cloyñ vrśn v oʈoṛterịnizm ɖt aflicts s: a stet ẃr ɖr z no limit on hǎ far yr stypidti cn tec y, az loñ az it sūts ɖ inṭrest v ɖ rūlñ parti, n ẃr y śd cīp on ɖ rît sîd v pǎr or lrn t liv wɖ ɖ consiqnsz.

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Nic Cown z an Obzrvr coḷmnist

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