Thursday, 16 August 2012

The New Face of Bullying

A thread started by Josephus on Facebook has brought out some interesting examples of the sinister turn that bullying has taken in recent years within organisations. Ironically, especially those that are supposed to have been 'reformed' in order to 'stamp out' corporate bullying. As Josephus has highlighted, the civil service, in all its manifestations, has become the worst offender, secure in the knowledge that it is never subjected to the sort of scrutiny any 'capitalist' organisation would get.

in Private Eye; "Despite losing an employment tribunal with a damning summing up, Northumbria, tyne and wear HNS trust is still playing dirty and refusing to reinstate the person they accused of bullying in order to get rid, allegedly due to trade union activity. "The saga of unlawfully sacked psychiatric nurse Yunus Bakhsh takes a turn for the sinister as yet another anonymous threatening letter emerges." Funny how in industry this sort of conduct, while rare, leads to things like the Leveson inquiry, in the public sector it is hidden well away in the small print."

If this were the only example of the Civil Service breaking the rules, it could be an abberration in one area, but its not. There are numerous examples of the use of threats of 'poor annual reviews' and draconian actions taken against individuals who dare to oppose "management" or who stand up for the rights of the colleagues subjected to bullying managers. I am aware of at least one case where managers have taken actions which could prejudice any legal process.

The problem is, as Josephus has pointed out elsewhere, that management is now down to "measurements, targets and control." The new weapons of the bullying "manager" against anyone who dares to stand up for decency and fair treatment, is to use innuendo, peer pressure and nit-picking criticism of a persons work. Or they place obstacles in the way of the target, the simplest is to withhold resources, preventing them from completing a task or from acttually doing it. That, of course, becomes something that can be used against them in an annual appraisal.

It is insidious, it is contrary to everything the civil service claims it is supposedly 'leading' in creating a 'fair' society. The tragedy is that though a lot of people know what is going on and can give examples aplenty, no one dare do so. The Civil Service can, when it goes as wrong as this, be worse than the infamous Mafia or the Chinese Tongs ...

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