Thursday, December 03, 2015
I hesitate to say that the suggestion that pro-bombing Labour Parliamentarians have been "bullied" by those lobbying them against Cameron's War is the most laughable thing that I have heard in the recent past.
But that's only because I am subject to so much "management speak" in my day job.
It is not "bullying" to put pressure on an elected representative - it's lobbying. Members of Parliament may be confused if they have got used to the idea that lobbying should generally involve an agreeable lunch with a former political associate now paid to market pharmaceuticals (or perhaps weaponry).
Nor is it "bullying" to say of those who vote to spend our taxes raining death upon citizens elsewhere in the world that they have "blood on their hands". They do. All wars would be shortened if those who decided to go to war had themselves to do the fighting.
It is certainly not bullying if Labour Party members refer to their constitutional right to de-select Members of Parliament. It is silly though (as, unless the Tories fail to push gerrymandering boundary changes through Parliament there won't be any sitting Members of Parliament to be "de"selected).
In general, bullying is about the abuse of power and therefore is relatively more commonly practiced by the relatively powerful against the relatively weak.
In the workplace most (not all) bullying is by managers of subordinates.
In the trade union it is far far easier for senior officials to bully more junior officials (or lay activists) than it is for - say - a random blogger to "bully" a General Secretary by making public criticism.
Bullying is a real problem, which the pro-war Parliamentarians belittle through their self-serving misuse of the term.
Those who have experienced real bullying need to know when it is the right time to come forward and oppose such abuse of power.
In one trade union close to my heart that time has certainly arrived.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.