Monday, February 22, 2010

Gordon Brown – a bully or just a strong but imperfect leader?

Cranmer knows a thing or two about bullying.

Believe it.

They manipulate, humiliate, denigrate, undermine, distort, fabricate, lie convincingly and then lie again to cover their lies. And then they project all of their inadequacies, shortcomings and inappropriate behaviours on to their innocent victims with ferocious psychological violence, just to avoid facing up to their own inadequacies and doing something about them.

Bullies are arrogant, audacious, and exert a superior sense of entitlement. They are practised in the art of deception, deflection and obfuscation: if ever they are called to account, they will flit from subject to subject without ever answering the question, and spontaneously fabricate further as the moment requires, knowing full well that further investigation of their additional lies is not likely. And so they continue their vile and vindictive campaign when any official internal process has been summarily dismissed. And they even lie on oath, perfectly convinced of the infallibility of their words and the untouchability of their person. They are impregnable, unaccountable and immovable; perfectly charming in public and before any inquisitor or judge but thoroughly evil in private.

They tend to be superficial and awkward in conversation, though possessed of exceptional verbal dexterity. Their laugh is forced, hollow and insincere. In any discussion in which they sense danger of exposure, a voice may be raised slightly to warn off, speaking may become ‘firmer’, or the conversation will be abruptly terminated. They will alienate the strong employees, often by overlooking them for promotion or recognition, and they will ‘look after’ the fawning and obsequious.

They tend to be emotionally retarded with a pathological inability to empathise; they may storm out of rooms or rant when they don’t get their way. They are prone to mimic, repeat and plagiarise in order to maintain their façade of working excellence and semblance of normality. They cannot be trusted with personal information or confidences, and are likely to use any employee’s weakness (like bereavement or illness) as a means of undermining and destabilising.

Bullies can exhibit an unhealthy obsession with sexual matters: they see everything in terms of sex discrimination, harassment or paedophilia. Any employee they wish to bully can expect to have their morality and integrity questioned and can be made to feel like a sexual pervert. They are profoundly prejudiced (gender, race, religion, sexuality) but present themselves as the epitome of rectitude and fairness.

They criticise without foundation and often behind one’s back. They divide and rule by sharing ‘confidences’ with other employees and then swearing them to secrecy. They poison the minds by manipulating perceptions. Their own sense of superiority persuades them of the orthodoxy of their leadership style and methodology.

Serial bullies despise anyone who enables others to see through their deception and their mask of sanity. And they are programmed to discredit, neutralise and destroy. No-one knows more about bullying than the bully, and so the victim is often accused of bullying the bully by trying to raise a legitimate grievance.

The bully is spiritually dead. They may loudly profess their faith and use all the right words, but their soul is devoid of life. Their invincibility has made them their own god, and God is recreated in their image.

That is the bully. They exist in all walks of life, in all companies, at all levels. They doubtless exist on the Government benches as they do on the Opposition benches. There may be one in Downing Street, and it may or may not be the Prime Minister. And the species might also infect Conservative Party Headquarters.

But exposing and attempting to bring them to account can be a suicidal pursuit.

Now let us examine what Gordon Brown is accused of.

We are told by Lord Mandelson that he can be impatient, gets angry and won't take no for an answer from his staff: "He doesn't bully people - I don't think he so much bullies people as is very demanding of people around him.... He will go on and on until he's got a policy or an idea that can go on.”

"There is a degree of impatience about the man but what do you want - a shrinking violet?"

Asked on the BBC whether he has been hit by the Prime Minister, Lord Mandelson suggested they had been in ‘metaphorical’ combat, saying: "I think it's true we've had our moments."

Andrew Rawnsley’s book alleges that the Cabinet Secretary became so alarmed by the Prime Minister's behaviour that he issued a verbal warning.

This has been denied this morning in a statement from the Cabinet Office.

The Prime Minister is also accused of throwing a secretary out of her seat when he judged she was not typing fast enough; of grabbing his deputy chief of staff by the lapels; of thumping the back of the passenger seat of his official car in rage; and of throwing mobile phones and printers across the room.

There is more here, here, here and here.

And we heard yesterday from ITN’s Lucy Manning yesterday that the Chief Executive of the National Bullying Helpline has told her that they have received ‘several calls from staff at Downing Street complaining about bullying culture’.

As much as Cranmer loathes this tawdry Labour Government and is appalled by what Gordon Brown has inflicted upon the nation and its people, the allegations made by inter alia Andrew Rawnsley, which, it must be observed, are all unsubstantiated, do not constitute the profile of the serial bully. Certainly, Mr Brown may have psychological flaws and character faults. He may be prone to impatience and severe bouts of depression. He may be very demanding of his staff and occasionally shout or express his anger and frustration. And he may not always express himself appropriately or at least in a manner by which an issue may be resolved or defused.

But when one reads the biographies of Benjamin Disraeli, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, it is apparent that they all could be similarly accused.

Let us not mistake the malicious, manipulative and malevolent bully for the imperfect leader whose motives are essentially good, noble and honourable.


Blogger Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Your Grace,

An elequant post once again agreeing with my suspicions that some of this is being sought for political gain, but I'm not sure I agree with your last line:

whose motives are essentially good, noble and honourable.

Brown was, is and always will be for Brown, Labour and abolition of the Tory party before country and honour.

22 February 2010 at 10:45  
Blogger Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Bullies are arrogant, audacious, and exert a superior sense of entitlement. They are practised in the art of deception, deflection and obfuscation: if ever they are called to account, they will flit from subject to subject without ever answering the question, and spontaneously fabricate further as the moment requires, knowing full well that further investigation of their additional lies is not likely. And so they continue their vile and vindictive campaign when any official internal process has been summarily dismissed. And they even lie on oath, perfectly convinced of the infallibility of their words and the untouchability of their person. They are impregnable, unaccountable and immovable; perfectly charming in public and before any inquisitor or judge but thoroughly evil in private."

Why am I thinking of David Cameron when I read this?

22 February 2010 at 10:48  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Obnoxio the Clown,

Perhaps you make His Grace's point.

22 February 2010 at 10:49  
Blogger Species 8472 said...

Maybe His Grace's point is to describe human behaviour in the pursuit of ambition then? I would not describe myself as a bully but I have the capacity to exhibit many of those listed characteristics should the need arise - but rarely have I ever. I am a idiot who is always drawn to the defence of the persecuted, so hence I have achieved little in life because I am an easy target for the snipe and rumour monger. Attempts at bullying were made in my early school days, but thank the Lord, I inherited my father's genetic tendency to smack in the teeth without any due thought, but only as a knee jerk reaction to physical bullying, and word of mouth soon reaches the bully who becomes weary of the volatile terrier in their midst. Otherwise I am an extremely reserved and shy person. I hate bullies.

But we all have the capacity at times, and I have witnessed bullying on occasions and said nothing, because of personal prejudices which I should be ashamed of. If there is one thing that I have observed about life, it is that many of the successful people in life will have quite a few of the characteristics on your list. The Naked Pastor had a cartoon on his blog the other day which was a picture of a man standing on top of a pile of people - representing the success of the individual.

22 February 2010 at 11:11  
Blogger Manfarang said...

I couldn't sum up my boss better!

22 February 2010 at 11:12  
Blogger English Viking said...


That's why he's your boss, and not the other way around.

22 February 2010 at 11:25  
Blogger Chris said...

At last, some sense on the whole issue! How very welcome :-)

22 February 2010 at 11:30  
Anonymous Septimus said...

English Viking you are an unprinciple pig.Stop masquerading as a Christian.Bullying is the most
serious issue afflicting our society and ruins the lives of so many people without the bully
suffering any consequences.Shame on you.

22 February 2010 at 11:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not just about the pressure build from job responsibility and/or the frustrations that can lead to intemperate behaviour, bullying if you like.

Nor is it about the principle of Power corrupts etc,etc.

Neither seperate or together, do they sum up an accurate description of Browns behaviour. There is a great deal in the press about his 'psychological flaws', what they are and how they affect his behaviour. And even if this is politically motivated as is being suggested, I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand. There is more to this than meets the eye.

We all have flaws in our psyche, but even under extreme pressure would we behave in this manner, year in and year and if we did, would we not ask ourselves, even if no-one else did, do I need 'help'? Am I in the right job?

People from his university days have said he was a thoroughly unpleasant character.

I find it bizarre that a student that writes pamphlets on how to screw the State whilst getting his education paid by the taxpayer ends up as PM!!, sorry but that deserves two exclamation marks.

But then these links like these are most informative and an invaluable insight into what it would appear to be a very accurate summary of Browns characteristics - narcissistic personality disorder.

Should a person with these issues and they have been known for years but hidden from the public ever been placed in such positions of responsibility? Of course he shouldn’t. It is a disgrace. Given the damage he has done over the years that he is still in this position is sickening.

There should at the very least be in independent investigation, possibly with external (no the EU) input. This is not about a ‘lessons learnt’ exercise. This should be naming, shaming and punishing those who have caused so much damage to the people of this country and in Iraq for so many years.

The people, the masses deserve no less.

22 February 2010 at 11:40  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace, I am of the opinon that Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher bullied (or handbagged) for Britain whereas Brown simply bullies because he's a bully; and a deluded one at that.

That's why Britain thrived under the first three and has been deep sixed by the fourth.

22 February 2010 at 11:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

The bully is insecure (he knows he is inferior). That is why he is envious, self-centred and spiteful.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt ('This Is My Story,' 1937 US diplomat & reformer (1884 1962) who once said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

The bully is inferior because he has given his consent to inferiority.

Recall what happened to Joseph: betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery.

Recall captain Potiphar’s wife’s false testimony and how she framed him and watched as he was sent to prison.

Recall how God raised him to become vice-regent.

But there is something else:

‘What, after all is the alternative? You see clearly enough that nothing, not even God with all His power, can make ‘X’ really happy as long as ‘X’ remains envious, self-centred, and spiteful. Be sure there is something inside you which, unless it is altered, will put it out of God’s power to prevent your being eternally miserable. While that something remains there can be no Heaven for you, just as there can be no sweet smells for a man with a cold in the nose, and no music for a man who is deaf. It’s not a question of God ‘sending’ us to Hell. In each of us there is something growing up which will of itself be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud. The matter is serious: let us put ourselves in His hands at once – this very day, this hour.’

C.S. Lewis

There is something else about the bully that is to be pitied; when all is said and done. Each time he commits an act of evil, another link in the heavy chain of evil he carries is forged. He has not yet, and may never will, discerned how it will poison every relationship: even the souls of those he loves (who in turn are at risk of poisoning others).

For I have witnessed such a process, from generation to generation.

22 February 2010 at 12:00  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Indeed, Mr D. Singh. That is why the bully mimics, repeats the words and phrases of others and generally plagiarises.

But insecurity is no excuse.

Unless it qualifies for sectioning under the Mental Health Act.

22 February 2010 at 12:07  
Blogger English Viking said...


You call me an unprincipled pig, quest my morality and dedication to my God, then call ME a bully.

I feel so intimidated, I'm afraid I can no longer continue with my duties. I shall need months of counseling, hand stroking and probably medication. Oh yes, and some compensation.

Alternatively, you could just stop being such a big girl's blouse.

PS Was Christ a bully when destroyed the businesses of the money changers in the Temple, trashing their stalls and using a whip he made himself?

22 February 2010 at 12:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

The deeper and stronger the insecurity: the greater, day by day, the risk of insanity.

22 February 2010 at 12:17  
Anonymous Tony B said...

The answer re: Thatcher et al is that yes, they were Mrs T's case, that's what did for her in the end.

22 February 2010 at 12:26  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

Your Grace, your conclusion is entirely worthy of you.

However, although Thatcher and Churchill may have had their tempers frayed at times, they did not create a culture of fear that would have been recognised as such - and Mrs Thatcher's office staff were in tears when she left.

The first paragraphs of your post are very interesting - they form an almost clinical definition of borderline personality disorder; Brown is being backed up by Mandelson, who would also fit your definition very well.

I hope that Brown's office staff take heart from Mrs Thatcher's mantra that we should "stand up to bullies".

22 February 2010 at 13:03  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...


"Indeed, Mr D. Singh. That is why the bully mimics, repeats the words and phrases of others and generally plagiarises."

Posted immediately following a post from D.Singh which features yet another one of his quotes from C.S. Lewis.


22 February 2010 at 13:13  
Blogger Sinful Soul said...

Your Grace,

Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

22 February 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps people should stop BULLYING Brown. He has a tough job, looking after this country.

22 February 2010 at 13:32  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace

Is this Article about Charles I

He certainly bullied his Opponents ... but when he thought it suited his selfish political purposes, he even sent his misGuided Friends to their Deaths, signing Death Warrants for the Brave but wRetched Strafford and that Altar-Mover Archbishop Laud

At least our Dear Leader, an honorable man, has not sunk to such depths

22 February 2010 at 14:03  
Blogger Gnostic said...

No he hasn't, Mr. Eagle. The honourable Gordon Brown merely locked away the results of David Kelly's post mortem for the next 70 years. ;0)

22 February 2010 at 14:26  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Your Grace

The line between the bully and the ambitious is surely a fine one. As politicians operate constantly in a covertly venal and horrible place, where decisions are the choice between atrocious and downright nasty it is a difficult equation to balance.

However, Thatcher never man-handled a secretary or threw stuff at her driver - she challenged her colleagues. I've got no problem with bullying the crap out of someone above me or on the same grade (or, to that extent someone who has blatantly screwed up) but that should be because the situation merited it. I could no more abuse the civic staff that I work with than I could fly to the moon.

To fight and fight damedly dirty is fine - to pick on someone because they just happen to be there is mental.

22 February 2010 at 14:47  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

The Prime Minister is not a bully.

And if anybody says he is, he'll kick their head in.

The search is now on for whoever in Number 10 called the bullying helpline. I wonder what fate awaits them when they are uncovered.

22 February 2010 at 14:50  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

'very demanding of people around him'

nice euphemism for bullying


22 February 2010 at 15:40  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Your Grace is being too kind.

It is a typical response of a bully to come out seeking to hurt other people rather than to reflect upon their own deficiencies.

First Brown's attack dog Mandelson attacks Andrew Rawnsley,( who only appears to have reported what No 10 insiders have said, knowing his journalistic status) then he attacks the Anti- Bullying Charity.

He sounds like a prim maiden aunt at the thought that there might be a political dimension to this. If you dish it out - you ought to be able to take it.

Remember how Mandelson politicised the youthful pranks of Cameron and Osborne in the Bullingham Club? Only this present story is more relevant is more relevant to fitness to govern and set an example in the workplace - an area in which Brown and Ms Harman have sought to to take the moral high ground.

The BBC has reported that Mrs Pratt approached a local Radio Station which then passed the story to a National level; the matter was not initially and obviously coming from an overtly political standpoint. The organisation has good links and relations with many major Trades Unions which have supported its work. As a Charity dedicated to stopping improper employment practice it was not unreasonable to take the view that a Government ought to abide by its own established principles of Good Practice when concerns are raised.

The response ought to be to take the allegations seriously and quietly refer them to an independent investigator and to present the views and evidence there in a serious manner.

The response taken is not what one would expect from an Organisation taking seriously the due process it inaugerated to deal with such grievances.

22 February 2010 at 16:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Glovner’s original post at 13.13

What strikingly acute powers of observation you possess. Your explanations of issues seem always complete. You seem locked into a completely rational system that always concludes with self-satisfaction. If you proclaim that Mr D. Singh has conspired against you - no one on this message board would be able to persuade you to conclude the alternative - that Mr D. Singh denies the charge. For you would merely dismiss his denial by saying, ‘Well that’s precisely the tactic he would use.’

That is what leads me to conclude, that you are bordering on the edge of insanity: for your ‘facts’ would cover much of the same ground as that of the psychiatrist, attempting to heal your troubled mind.

Indeed, I would speculate that by the end of the session that it would be the psychiatrist on the couch and you in the chair furiously scribbling notes and prescribing tranquilisers.

22 February 2010 at 16:15  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Septimus - was that a joke; or are you a bit of a namby-pamby type? Always remember, it behoves us all, to attempt some opposition to 'being bullied' or otherwise we become a 'professional victim'- a condition equally vile.

22 February 2010 at 16:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Evil demands confrontation.

22 February 2010 at 16:47  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Oh don't get angry Mr Singh, i'm scared you may resort to bullying.

Once again, the Archbishop's post, priceless.

22 February 2010 at 17:57  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Excellent post, Your Grace. I have met many bullies in my life and your analysis rings true.

Ultimately, I feel sorry for Mr Brown, though I loath and despise him in equal degree. He is King Saul, rejected by God and tormented as a result. The end that awaits him is too terrible to contemplate.

22 February 2010 at 18:55  
Blogger Fausty said...

Another excellent post, Your Grace.

There's nothing worse than the workplace bully. The victim's livelihood and possibly career depends on it. And don't the bullies know it!

Often, the victim has no choice but to resign - for the sake of sanity and career. And the bully gets away with it.

When the bully is the PM, it is utterly unacceptable. If he doesn't have the wisdom to deal with people in a proper manner, he has no business being PM.

Will this even register on the radar of his dependent devotees?

Sadly, no. They've been 'educated' to be sheeple. They are "repeaters". Their opinions are not their own.

Critical thinking is not taught in schools. Its demise roughly coincided with the demise of the teaching of maths, English and science - precisely the subjects which assist people to be alert to cads like Brown.

I can't say I wish him well. I wish him off - with a suitable prefix.

22 February 2010 at 19:22  
Blogger Fausty said...

PS: ... and the demise of history in schools.

22 February 2010 at 19:23  
Anonymous Septimus said...

Oswin, your comment manifests
characteristics of a bully.As you so elegantly suggested in another
post that you would rather seal your bum with molten lead,perhaps
you should try the same procedure with your mouth as well.

23 February 2010 at 00:31  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I cant help but feel when defining a bully we are looking at at the UK I once rembered that valued/upheld christian teachings and understandings as universal self neccessities for a good life.

Boasting, Bragging , deciet were all opposed by some degree as a person was to carry there own faith with reverance .

I regret to contemplate that our shared service under Christ has been so rubbished by so many , that being a reserved or contenplative person is not likely to get you a job , as a job no longer values being christian , not even in the CofE I sometimes ponder.

The story of Gordon Brown being a bully , for me is telling a another story of flawed ideaologies , indeed elders must be looking on and wondering how we have moved on , unfortunately the reat of us are having to live in it ,wondering if the road to the promised land turned out to be bad advice that led along a rough road to a desert.

Am I right to be despondent about the endings of the sophistry we have been subjected to since the 60s , if i cannot conclude it has worked ?.

I find it interesting that not many people have realised how prevelent bullying is under this government . All your data and life movements are bullied out of you quietly on a daily basis !

23 February 2010 at 00:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a bully, all I can say is, Brown is piss poor at it...he gets nothing done...a true Bully, like myself, gets things done, because if they're not done there will be Hell to pay!!!...Brown is what I call a pantywaist, a prima donna, a hack who can't hack it...I don't need to grab my staff by the lapels, or throw things to get my point across, they already know the reward for failure, so they avoid it. Brown's staff run for cover and call for staff gets results...Brown whines and moans...I sit back and enjoy the fruits of my staffs labour...then I stick my head out my office door and raise Holy Hell for them sitting around taking a break..." You think my Porsche comes with a lifetime supply of petrol???" I'm heard to yell across the boiler room floor, " Get your asses in gear and make me some cash People!!! Let's go, or heads will roll...since my Porsche may not be..."...and that Your Grace, is a true Bully...Brown is a your God Bless you...

23 February 2010 at 04:34  
Anonymous len said...

Hullo,I think I work for you

23 February 2010 at 07:32  
Anonymous no nonny said...

...And the teaching of RI in schools.

Brilliant post again, Your Grace. Thank you. I recognize all sorts of nasty people from your descriptions....

I think it all makes the good people we know look so much more wonderful than we ever imagined. So rare, and so very worth caring for.

23 February 2010 at 07:33  
Anonymous len said...

Brown is a 'driven man'driven by what we can only guess at.

23 February 2010 at 08:08  
Blogger ukipwebmaster said...

Fly on the wall:

23 February 2010 at 18:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of bullying:
In the New Testament, when a woman, an adult, was criticised for spending a lot on a gift for our Lord Jesus, He told the disciples, "Leave her alone". She was an adult. Our Lord never sinned - yet I suspect that any similar righteous behaviour sticking up for those overly criticised or bullied would get labelled by some in or outside the church as falling prey to a "victim mentality"!
Some people appear to have naturally thick skins and emotionally do not appear to be harmed when verbally assaulted or bullied (healthy angry reactions to a wrong-doing is not bullying in my opinion). Some of these with apparent thick skins hide their pain and may not even consciously feel it, yet if they end up with heart trouble, depressed immune systems and illnesses, including cancer, and if (God knows all - science is incomple or unclear in some areas) - and where any of their later physical illnesses were their body's indiviual response to the bullying, they get sympathy in their illness and they don't get told to soldier on and pull themselves up by their bootstraps in their time of sickness. We are generally stigmatised about emotional responses or mental suffering or illnesses vs pysical illnesses in a way which is unbiblical.
The point I am trying to make is that our Lord Jesus has said that we will be judged by every word which we utter and therefore, despite the lie that "sticks nd bones may break my bones but words will never hurt me", the Christian truth is that words can harm, and that bullying, whether using words, slander, physical actions or manipulative behaviours do harm people - whether adult or child - and that the appropriate Christian response is to protect the victim where appropriate and possible (1 Corinthians 13), not to take the societally popular approach that "adults defend themself" or to tell the victim to "get a thick skin". In addition, at the end of Proverbs, those in government are advised to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves and this does include those who are not mute but lack the power to stop harassment or bullying against themselves. However I do not agree with "equalities" or "protection of the vulnerable" being used by the government to increase their power or abuse their power in ways which threaten the rights of individuals generally, including those who are victims of crimes or wrongdoing. The ways to reduce or deal with bullying (it cannot be eradicated) is not to try to bring in laws or rules or systems including databases which belong in a dictatorship or spystate - those forms of government are bulying and not healthy.

24 February 2010 at 11:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re bullying - part 2
Having said that, I do not know if the Prime Minister is a bully in the matter which has been in the press recently. But I will add that any laws (passed through parliament or rules or laws imposed without parliamentary scrutiny) which are oppressive are approved by naive or bullying types or those who naively or nefariously think that ends justify means in society. I do not like many of the the laws or rules which have been enacted in the UK (or US), including those in the name of "security" - they have increased the power of the state vs the indiviual and are sometimes abused and do not belong in democracies. Somehow at the same time, ethics and stands in society have fallen - including in business and government - and crime (inside jobs or outside) is easier to do and harder to investigate. How odd! I do not think that all who are getting power or money from security are competant or incorrupt. I am amazed that harassment and crime incduing identitiy theft is easier now than in 2001 despite all the "experts" and am glad there are some "good apples" and comepentant professionals in some industries and professions , though their lives must be hard, and the bad apples and incompetants are giving certain industries and professions as well as government a bad name.

24 February 2010 at 11:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re bullying - part 3
I do not like abuse of power by anyone, individually, in business or in government - and these behaviours as well as crime seem to be increasing, and enabled (including the crime issue).
I hope that more Christians and non-Christians will not enable, approve or or take part in overtly bullying (or criminal - including in the name of "good" ends) behaviour,laws or rules in or outside the workplace or government, and that more Chrisians in particular will have the courage to risk their careers or good standing to do what is right when the right thing to do is to be an honest witness and say someone has done wrong against another person, incluidng by bullying, or to refuse to do something fishy or wrong in or outside work etc. This requires faith that our Lord will honour actions which are right which require courage - becuase when people stand up for others or refuse to do wrong there is sometimes a pyaback in work, in society - it is falsely labelled troublemaking. Our Lord has said that every genuine Christian will at some point in their lives have trouble due to their being Christian, and that includes sadly bullying-type "payback" sometimes when we do right, including when the right action is saying "leave her alone" or "leave him alone".
People who never protect or stand up for others or just "obey authority" even when authority (in work, home, or community )asks them to do wrong or does obvious wrong to others do not "rock the boat" and may have spendid careers and good standing even in the church and community, but they do not have healthy, robust consciences and they might remember that their enabling is contributing harm to genuine victims (in the biblical sense) and that we are called to behave in a way that our Lord Jesus Christ says is healthy and good, not what society or the cowardly part in all of us, says is convenient, healthy and good. There are occuasions where we should not get involved or should mind our own business, but there are many where God's soveriegnty has allowed us to be a witness to a wrong-oding and while we would rather not get involved becuas of the stress or potential payback, if our Lord is calling us to do the right thing, even at great personal cost, then we hopefully will do the right thing. The more people that act like our Lord and say "Leave her/him alone" the harder it will be for bullies to get away with their behaviour, and fewer vicitms will be harmed and punished by society for having been a victim. Wrong-doing is wrong-doing, ends do not justify means. Bullying harms people, whom God loves, and may bring about short-term goals for the bully, but in the long-run, no good comes from it, and it stains the soul of the bully. God cannot bless wrong-doing by man - He is not a liar. In Samual He says that to the devious He will be devious. Elsewhere He says that nothing is hidden from Him - any people who have others do their "dirty work" for them - incluing harassment or bullying - have already been caught by our Lord and have not got away with it, even if they are charming or kind in public. It would be wise for them to repent and seek God's forgiveness through our Lord Jesus' atonement - and I personally would like to see a lot of laws, rules and practices scrapped and replaced with democractic, unoppressive alternatives/solutions.

24 February 2010 at 11:25  
Anonymous Penny said...

What a shame I missed most of this debate; I've been dealing with a bully since January 6th and it's taking its toll. His Grace's description is accurate in all but one respect. This particular bully has been bullying people at my workplace for 30 years. All of the things HG was talking about apply to this cretinous man. The first thing he does when someone takes out a grievance against him is to file a counter-claim on exactly the same charge. This time, I was lucky; he finally did something stupid. He asked me to do something illegal, but he asked me, an ordinary worker, in his managerial capacity. I reported the incident. There were witnesses. The first thing he did was to go off sick with 'stress' (the irony! - he's made people resign out of mental distress) and so the process is dragging on while he can't be interviewed. Finally though, work have something he can be sacked for, because, for 30 years, everyone he's worked with has known damn well that he's a bully, but the things that we've been able to prove amount to very little. Each time he's found guilty of something, he's moved and given bigger airs and graces, because his managers are frightened that if they even privately tell him he's a sociopath and needs to change his behaviour, they'll be his next victims. Sometimes bullying is the small things that you can't quite place your finger on, but you know are wrong. Brown might be a bully because he creates and atmosphere in which people know something's wrong, but then when you try to commit that wrong to paper, it just looks so small and silly. If I told you that this man bullies me by saying 'hello' every time he walks past, I look daft, don't I? But the fact is that he singles me out for this 'special' treatment and it's the way it's done that makes it bullying, and if you've not seen it, you wouldn't understand. (Fortunately, I'm the wrong person to pick on; the worst has already happened and I know how to deal with it).

30 years of making people ill, making people resign, upset, hurt, ruined careers, mental distress, feelings of low self-esteem and sexual/mental inadequacy, and he's finally about to be sacked for breaking a rule. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

24 February 2010 at 15:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penny from one of the anonymice
I am sorry if you have been dealing with a bully. But be very careful if mentioning workplace (or other) situations which may (or not) lead to legal cases online in any detail - some companies or their legal or crisis management teams, as well as some bullies, employ nasty methods such as illegal investigation using hacking or illegal monitoring of internet of victims or witnesses (or anyone potentially involved in a lawsuit or dispute) as well as phones etc. and then use or abuse or twist info gleaned to reduce the credibility of witnesses or other interested parties - including by character assassination - or just to "punish" or harass them. Bullying tactics can mess up resolution of and healing from disputes and/or wrongdoing.

Blessings to you and I hope all affected by the situation(s) heal from any distress or other harm, whether it takes a short time or longer. God cares about every hurt.

24 February 2010 at 20:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most scathing comment I've heard was on tonight's news when it was reported that Downing Street insiders said that Brown isn't a bully because he hasn't enough empathy to be one...


24 February 2010 at 21:13  

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