Comment at end
21st February, 2010
The anti-bullying organisation, the “National Bullying Helpline” has said that three or four members of Downing Street staff have contacted them over being bullied at work, says Christine Pratt, the charity’s chief executive.
Her approach to the BBC with this information seems to have been more as a response to Lord Mandelson’s defence of Mr Brown than as a retort to Andrew Rawnsley’s book, where these accusations first surfaced, or rather re-surfaced today.
On Peter Mandelson’s defence of Brown –
“… Ms Pratt, chief executive of the National Bullying Helpline, said that was sending out “the wrong message” to other chief executives or bosses who are accused of bullying: “Outright denial is just non-credible in today’s age”.
She told the BBC: “Over recent months we have had several inquiries from staff within Gordon Brown’s office.
“Some have downloaded information; some have actually called our helpline directly and I have spoken to staff in his office.”
She said “over the last three or four years” the helpline had “probably received three or four calls”.
She added she would expect any employer in this situation not to “go into denial, but to look into it, to follow due process”.
Outright denial could “compound the stress of those who believe they are being bullied”, she said.
“We are not suggesting that Gordon Brown is a bully, what we are saying is staff in his office working directly with him have issues, and have concerns, and have contacted our helpline.”
Ms Pratt said the helpline was “a non-political organisation”.
- [Watch video of Ms Pratt here at BBC report]
- [Andrew Rawnsley interview – “the sources are 24 carat”]
BULLYING OF STAFF – WHO, WHEN AND WHY?
If this “bullying” has been ongoing for “three or four years” as well as in “recent months”, WHO was doing it three or four years ago? Mr Brown has only been PM since June 2007, that’s two years and eight months. Was he, or were his people bullying staff even before Mr Blair left office? Or was Mr Blair, or were his people too guilty of “bullying”? For the sake of clarity this information should be sought.
[See the Garden Girls interview here, with Tony Blair.]
Andrew Rawnsley’s book excerpts first raised this issue earlier today. Then Brown himself and later Peter Mandelson both denied it. I thought at first that we’d heard enough politicised ranting about who did/said what and who hit whom and when/why. Enough for one quiet Sunday. Even though I will always believe that it was the bullying of Brown and gang that pushed Mr Blair from Downing Street I was about to let this one slip under the radar.
But now that this anti-bullying charity chief has herself approached the BBC with this information, well, that’s a different ball-game. And talking about balls …
THEY’RE NOT ALL BULLIES IN DOWNING STREET – ARE THEY?
My mind goes back to this: my report on Anthony Seldon’s book where it is said that Mr Blair protested: “I’m like an abused and bullied wife,” after Mr Balls was “astonishingly rude” to him during talks between the camps last year over when he should leave No 10.
And it gives a revealing insight into the tensions in Mr Brown’s inner circle with a series of venomous disclosures about one of the Prime Minister’s closest allies, Schools Secretary Ed Balls.
The book claims that Mr Blair protested: “I feel like an abused and bullied wife,” after Mr Balls was “astonishingly rude” to him during talks between the camps last year over when he should leave No 10.
According to Dr Seldon, out-spoken Mr Balls also turned his fury on Mr Brown when he refused to step up the pressure on Mr Blair to resign.
The book claims that when Mr Brown returned to his office after failing to trigger a full-scale revolt against Mr Blair in a radio interview, Mr Balls reportedly told him: “You bottled it.”
Serialisation of the book, Blair Unbound, starts today in The Mail on Sunday and gives shocking accounts of rows between Mr Blair and Mr Brown and their allies – often involving the most abusive language.
[Source Simon Walters, Mail, October 2007]
Just a thought – if Mr Brown, Mr Balls and/or colleagues ARE proved to have bullied others, junior staff or even those senior to them including THE most senior, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, then Brown and any other proven bullies should be stripped of their positions in government and those bullied should be compensated personally and where appropriate reinstated…
BRING BACK THE REAL PRIME MINISTER. WE NEVER VOTED HIM OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
IS BROWN’S REPORTED “BULLYING” CRIMINAL?
‘The bully in the workplace is a criminal who should be held accountable. Organizations need to understand that by not getting rid of the bully they are empowering the bully. Dianne Abbott displays the same lack of empathy and compassion that psychopaths exhibit with her incredulous irresponsible statement. She should read the book which documents how much bullies cost our society economically and health related tolls: the book is on amazon: How organizations empower bully bosses: the criminal at work.’
Tags: andrew rawnsley, bring back tony blair, bullied staff, Christine Pratt, downing street, ed balls, Garden girls, Gordon Brown, junior staff bullied by PM, like an abused and bullied wife, Lord Peter Mandelson, National Bullying Helpline, Number 10 staff, The end of the Party