“We’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond.”
I’m afraid to say that there’s something about our Dear Leader that I’ve never liked. He always comes across with an insincere sickly demeanour when he’s being interviewed and knows he must be on his best behaviour, but I’ve seen him speak to rallies and trade unionists when a threatening stentorian menace comes into his voice and he sends a shiver down your spine. He wouldn’t break your fingers but one or two of the chaps around him might.
So it comes as no surprise to me that Christine Pratt, the chief executive of the National Bullying Helpline, claims four workers from the Prime Minister’s office have called for help as a response to their treatment by the Bone-cracker Brown. Ms Pratt doesn’t say whether the callers were secretaries, tea ladies or cabinet members but she is quite adamant that a culture of bullying existed in No 10.
The bullying claims have surfaced in a book written by political journalist Andrew Rawnsley who claims how volcanic and foul-mouthed eruptions of temper by the Prime Minister left Downing Street staff cowed and terrified. And just in case anyone is thinking that Rawnsley may be a stooge for David Cameron, the Tory Party leader, it’s important to point out that the journalist is very much ‘left of centre’ in his thinking. Sure he has a book to sell, but I doubt very much that he would make such claims unless his sources were 100% reliable. In fact, his political pedigree is what makes the story so believable and so disturbing.
Bullying is not a recent phenomenon but it does seem to have become more prevalent and more tolerated in recent years. When the leaders of one of the G8 nations is accused of workplace bullying then it’s probably time something was done to bring an end to such destructive and menacing work practices.