Monday, February 22, 2010

Downing Street Bullying Culture Unravels

From The Guardian...

The claim of routine bullying was today backed up a senior former adviser to Brown in No 10, who told the Guardian: "His intense bouts of anger are unremarkable to anyone who has worked closely with him. You just have to put up with this stuff. It is part of the daily experience, almost part of the furniture. He would behave in that way constantly. He suffers from a massive paranoia and an inability to accept blame, yet he runs a blame culture that allows him to blame others. He does not seek to win an argument, he just seeks to bully. If you have not worked closely with him before, it is truly shocking"

Which reminds me. What is Spencer Livermore up to these days? He was Brown's political secretary, who Brown reduced to tears after the election that never was. Shortly afterwards, Livermore quit for a quieter life. And who could blame him.


miko said...

And every day,week after week,month after month, Gordon Brown drags this country further in to the gutter.

Every day is a bad news day for our country - the man is a permanent jinx.

In the name of us all - GO.

Manfarang said...

What is all the fuss about?
Britain is a country made up of ill-tempered people.
In most eastern countries, countries such as Japan it is very important to keep your cool. I would understand such complaints if you were talking about an East Asian but as for the British,losing your temper is the norm.
In fact there is much more anger and blue murder to come!

Plenty said...

IF these stories are true, or have a degree of truth, what signal is this sending out to school kids and workers that it is ok to bully?

This is a great example of how government does affect people's lives and can influence people's morals and ways of living....

Billy Blofeld said...

Gordon's henchmen are now attempting to smear an anti bullying charity.

Surely politics can't sink any lower?

Unknown said...

The interesting feature in Saturday's Guardian on Cameron's time at Carlton implies he was victim of a bullying culture and stood up to it pretty well. Bullying is, in my experience, endemic at the top of large organisations - that's how the top people get to the top. The silky ways of Whitehall mandarins normally conceal it rather better in government...

Paul Halsall said...

This is a smear and will backfire on the Tories.

The National Bullying Helpline does not even hide it's affiliation.

Right there on the front page it has two prominent quotes from Ann Widdecombe and David Cameron.

DAVID CAMERON MP: "Stamping out bullying in the workplace and elsewhere is a vital objective. Not only can bullying make people's lives a misery, but it harms business and wider society too. So I congratulate the National Bullying Helpline for its efforts to give practical support to those being bullied, and to make bullying a thing of the past".

The Rt Hon ANN WIDDECOMBE MP: "I very much hope your project is successful because I think that where genuine bullying is taking place the mental stress can be very serious, and a poisoned atmosphere in a working or learning enviornment can take all the joy out of each and every day". November 2009.

golden_balls said...

interesting how now pratt isn't even saying the bullying claims were about Brown. Out of the 3/4 calls made 2 she said were from the Deputy PM office. No calls made mentioned Brown.

Labour is of course calling her a Tory stooge she did provide that helpful comment yesterday and entered the political debate herself. Her association with The Tories before and after this has left her open to this accusation.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Brown is not threatening to take legal action against Rawnsley and the Observer is all the proof we need that the claims made by Rawnsley about Brown are true.

Brown has been now been conclusively exposed as an extremely disturbed individual whose psychological flaws make him unfit to be a leader and manager of the UK.

Salmondnet said...

Shortly after the anti-bullying charity goes public on calls from Downing Street staff, we have Anne Snelgrove MP publicising allegations about the commercial probity of Christine Pratt, the charity director, and her husband. Anne Snelgrove, of course, works for Gordon Brown.

I have no idea whether the (two year old) claims of Snelgrove's informants are true, but what is clear is that the have absolutely no bearing on the question of whether or not there is, or was, bullying in Downing Street. The timing is such that they are a transparent attempt to obscure that issue. That alone is enough to discredit Brown's methods.

Bye the bye, is there anyone out there who doesn't think Alastair Campbell is a bully?

DespairingLiberal said...

Paul, the "National Bullying Helpline" is a commercial front for H & R Diversity Management" also based in Swindon and run by Christine Platt's husband. There have been numerous complaints about the conduct of the helpline and it's relationship with H & R D.

The offices of NBH are next door to the Conservative Association Offices in Swindon.

NBH are 206 days overdue in registering their accounts with the Charity Commission.

Unsworth said...

@ Paul Halsall


Define 'Affiliation' in this context.

Anonymous said...

"Paul Halsall said...
This is a smear and will backfire on the Tories."

No smear, just facts.
Hansard shows that complaints of bullying in No 10 were upheld.

Paul Halsall said...

It seems to be getting worse for the NBH.

See this blog -

Ian M said...

I would expect that in the next week, a referral will be made to the Charities Commission (Chairman Labour supporting Dame Suzi Leather)to investigate the National Bullying Helpline- no doubt Dami Suzi will deliver what her masters want. We saw some of it this morning. Remember the first thing this Government did after the Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster was to bad mouth those survivors who spoke out.
As for Christine Pratt, I don't think she do any un-escorted walks on the Oxford countryside until after the election.
As for Gordon Brown, he should be just be sectioned under the Mental Health Act

Houdini said...

So, it is all a conspiracy., just like those terrible US banks dragging our economic utopia down eh?

All those people and journalists looking to smear Brown. All those rumours for years are wrong and a conspiracy.

Listen sonny, it is LABOUR who have been caught out lying and dissembling, or hush, maybe that was a conspiracy too?

Sad trolls like Paul Halsall should try playing to the country and not for partisan votes.

Mind you, the more we see the likes Mandelson crying about how lovely Brown is the better.

Word verification is apt for Brown!

Caro said...

The patron of the National Bullying Helpline who has resigned, Professor Cary Cooper, is Head of the Sunningdale Institute, which is part of the National School of Government, i.e. he is on the Government's payroll. Nuff said.

Span Ows said...

New Labour spin-smear cycle in FULL flow all over the place today...that would suggest that the bullying is true and has wounded them...cornered the rat, such a desperate onslaught.

Paul Halsall said...

@Houdini. I post in my own name, so who is the troll?

As it is, this entire smear is not working out well for the Tories.

In fact it all looks like some Tory-fed smear - with Tory press officers directing journalists to call Mrs. Pratt yesterday.

CC Baxter said...

Another week, another, "it's nothing really" from the rapid rebuttal force, who have been working overtime in the last 24 hours.

Second option is to attack outside forces, and not even acknowledge the accusations against our glorious leader.

BBC in full Pravda mode and strangely enough using the same tactics as the rapid rebuttal force.

Pogo said...

So, either the charity and others are telling the truth, or they're "tory stooges" trying to smear Brown, or the government has unleashed its "spin machine" and "payrolled stooges" to smear essentially truthful people... DOESN'T ANYONE HAVE F*****G PRINCIPLES ANY MORE?

Unsworth said...

@ Paul Halsall

" with Tory press officers directing journalists to call Mrs. Pratt yesterday."

Evidence? Context?

Jimmy said...

Pratt now admits contact with (unidentified) Tory MPs over the w/e.

Imagine my surprise.

Oh and apparently none of these complaints were about the PM anyway.

Meanwhile CCHQs other big initiative this w/e was to get members to go to Warwick to disrupt the PM's speech.

You must be so proud.

DespairingLiberal said...

Hillingdon Conservative Councillor Mary O'Connor, who along with Ann Widdecombe was a Patron of the "National" Bullying Helpline (actually a bucket shop operation fronting a small litigation business based next door to Swindon Conservative Association) has resigned, according to the FT.

" “I can’t condone what has been said,” she said. “It takes people a long time to get the courage to come forward about this sort of thing, and then you get something like this which could throw them off course again. How many people this evening will say, ‘if I complain (to a helpline) someone will tell somebody?’ It will make people cautious.”"

Apparently Ms Widdecombe is also considering her position.

Craig Ranapia said...

Paul Halsall:

The delicious irony of reading your contributions to this thread is you've given a textbook example of how bullying culture works.

After all, where there's a bully there's an enabler close behind, always ready to assassinate the character and impugn the motives of anyone who calls them out.

Paul Halsall said...

Actually, I was kicked to shit in high school.

For being gay (even though I did not know it, the other kids did)

Then the Tories joined in with Section 28.

Meanwhile, I never mistook verbal jousting for bullying.

So screw you.

Craig Ranapia said...


Another Bully Culture tactic; Play the victim with a completely gratuitous and irrelevant drive-by smear when you're called out.

FWIW, I'm gay too (and so is Iain), but what does Section 28 or your sexuality have to do with anything? Believe it or not, gays and lesbians can be bullies and enablers too.

And thanks for the invitation, but my partner is the jealous type and we don't have an open relationship.