bulllying is a leadership quality
The UK’s National Bullying Helpline (Charity) cited number 10 Downing Street as being a place where the bullying of 4 staff members happened. Who did it? The main assumption appears to have been that the Prime Minister is a bully.
The reaction of members of the labour party to the accusation of bullying at 10 downing street probably demonstrates something of British attitudes toward bullying. I’m not impressed. These are the responses I’ve heard so far.
- Not me. Gordon Brown is my friend, he’s never bullied me. The most common response from Labour party members.
- Not Witnessed. I’ve never seen or even thought of Gordon bullying anyone. For example, the BBC reports Alan Johnson as saying “ in 17 years he had “never” heard Mr Brown raise his voice”. The Telegraph cites Ed Balls as saying “I’ve known Gordon Brown for 20 years and at no point has it ever occurred to me that Gordon Brown is or would ever be a bully”
- Honest behaviour. I’d rather be lead by a real person who has weaknesses and shows them than by someone calmly insincere. For example, part of this argument is illustrated by the Telegraph citing Gordon’s wife Sarah as saying “‘What you see is what you get” While this is not the dominant discourse it has been expressed by several individuals and news papers.
- Expected behaviour. Gordon’s got a tough job, tensions run high, he cares about what he does, people should expect that he’s going to loose his temper and shout sometimes.
- Desired behaviour. Bully’s have the qualities to be exceptional leaders you don’t want a wuss leading the country. For example, the Telegraph cites Ed Balls as saying “constituent… …would say he gets things done, he is tough, he is a leader, and that’s what we need.’“
- Desired behaviour. Supporters actually demonstrating that bullying behaviour is acceptable. For example, in the Telegraph: ”I think this attack on him by this prat of a woman down in – where’s she from, Swindon? – I think that’s backfiring on her”
The BBC is one of the few sources that mentions Downing Street’s processes for dealing with bullying, calling it “rigorous” but providing no evidence of the process or rigor.
I’ve set up an anti-bullying hotline for the fluffballs but they still persist, Sampo ambushes Matrix on her way to the food bowl and Matrix pushes Sampo out of all the best sleepy spots. My rigorous processes have failed to ameliorate the problem.