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The truth about the bullying ‘scandal’ / Homeopathy challenged

February 22nd, 2010 tj No comments

As I was getting ready for work this morning GMTV was on in the background.  On it was a report about the alleged culture of bullying in Number 10 Downing Street.  The initial storm centred around a book that contained allegations that Gordon Brown had a bad temper and possibly bullied staff.

GMTV then wheeled out Christine Pratt, head of the National Bullying Helpline who went on to say that her ‘charity’ had received calls from a number of staff inside Number 10.  I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.  A director of a charity which deals with sensitive issues coming out in the press and breaching confidentiality in such a way.

It gets better though.  I saw the following link on Twitter:

http://torytroll.blogspot.com/2010/02/who-are-national-bullying-helpline.html

So this bullying charity is actually run by a woman who also runs a company advising other companies on how to defend bullying claims.  And it also seems that the charity are recommending that complainants appoint the business-side of the operation to investigate the claims!  There is even a case of someone calling the helpline and then inadvertently giving the business’ details to their employer and the business then helping the employer to defend the claim and turn it back around onto the complainant!  Very ethically dubious at best.

And it gets better.  Just a quick glance at the charity website shows the charity has several links to the Conservative Party.  Now they couldn’t possibly have anything to gain from all of this could they?…

Christine Pratt has now apparently gone on record to clarify that none of the complaints she received were about Gordon Brown, but why not say that from the start?  The damage has already been done.

Now I’m not belittling bullying, I have no doubt that it is a very serious concern in the workplace and should be treated as such.  But this whole sorry scenario seems to be nothing more than a smear campaign and does little to help eradicate bullying in the workplace.

One good thing has come from all this though… I can’t see many people going to the National Bullying Helpline in future if they have no qualms about sharing details of your complaints with the media!

In better news, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has said that NHS money should not be used to provide homeopathic ‘treatment’.  Apparently, £4m a year is spent on providing water and sugar to patients.  I can’t help but think that there are a great number of better things to spend that money on.

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