Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Bully Beef: why these attacks were misjudged

On a purely clinical level bullying was as strong issue for Labour's opponents to try to tap into. Workplace bullying is a real social problem and one that many people will have witnessed if not experienced direct.

Not only is it clearly a 'bad' thing, it also feeds off the CCTV, ASBO, war of terror character of Labour's long years in power. Brown has pushed the people around, bullied Iraq with bombs and had a tendency to use legislation and force rather than diplomacy and persuasion.

However, on a purely anecdotal level the whole episode has failed to land a glove on the government for a whole raft of reasons. Firstly it's a personal attack on Brown. People don't like that, true, but more importantly when I talk to people who are going to vote Labour they never mention Brown. It isn't about re-electing *him* it's about using Labour as a shield against the Tories.

Second, quite a few people feel that Brown is a victim of bullying, so a load of headlines going for him can have a kind of Jade Goody effect of pushing people to defend him. I don't actually subscribe to that view, but I've met a couple of people who clearly feel that.

Third, and most damagingly, the way in which it was handled was so inept that it was difficult *not* to see it as a dirty tricks campaign as part of the election - which disarms the issue entirely.

When someone discredits their organisation breaking confidences like that it's a terrible thing to do, especially in order to make a cheap political shot. What Christine Pratt (pictured), National Bullying Helpline chief, has done is to destroy the reputation of her organisation and herself as well as undermining the confidence of anyone who wants to use *any* confidential service.

She's also clearly a dishonest idiot. Hopefully a soon to be unemployed one.

By using this kind of information in a clearly party partisan fashion she undermined any damage that had been done to Brown. She also turned the story from one about bullying, an issue that she is presumably passionate about, into one about confidentiality, an issue she clearly has less strong feelings on.


ModernityBlog said...

Shrewd judgement, I almost felt sorry for Gordon Brown, for about two nano-seconds, but then I remembered what a new Labour scumbag he was...

PS: Jim, did the Greens conference address the issue of embryos etc?

Jim Jepps said...

Yup - our stem cell policy is completely rewritten and we no longer share our policy with George W Bush.

Big relief - and not very controversial on conference floor either - just a tiny number of hands against changing policy.

ModernityBlog said...


Did any Greens see the story about radioactive seagulls?

Jim Jepps said...

lol - what?

I demand a link!