Bullying accusation made against Lib Dem senior managers

Iain Dale’s diary has an anonymous letter from a clearly disappointed Lib Dem.

Whatever you make of the claim (personally I’d say that in my days on the party staff I encountered some very strong personalities, and determined people, but not bullying) I do think this is time for people who are indulging in the explosion of anonymous briefing against the party (or specific members of the party) online to consider their actions carefully.

Cast your mind back to the last days of Charles Kennedy’s leadership – were you one of the many members who said in despair that you wished our MPs would stop trading anonymous barbs through the press? If so, then you really have to ask yourself how it’s any worse than talking anonymously to a Tory blog.

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  • are all they on the second floor?! Is third floor nicer?

  • jonathandavies 10th Jan '07 - 11:53pm

    I hope these comments were posted in jest – but would you want to work for an organisation where members accused staff in a public web site of bullying. Don’t we owe our staff more respect than that?

  • Duncan Borrowman 10th Jan '07 - 11:54pm

    Only one person has ever accused me of bullying…

    On the third floor

  • Duncan Borrowman 11th Jan '07 - 12:53am

    I should point out that my post was a quip. Probably in retrospect inappropriate in itself in this discussion.

  • Dave McCullough 11th Jan '07 - 2:44pm

    When i worked with the campigns staff during the General Election, they bought me sweets and other goodies. Bloody bullies.

  • We are a party that believes in free speech, in open government, a free and vigorous media (where ownership should not be dominated by one or two people), and also that those in power at any level of government are regularly held to full scrutiny. These these are fundamental values of the Liberal Democrats. However, if there is one thing that disgusts me is people in our party (from a few MPs to individual members) who have a personal complaint but are not willing to declare their name. To resort to sending your anonymous complaint to a Tory blog just reflects on the individual being rather sad.

    If you have something to say about our own party put it on record and don’t hide behind anonymous titles.

    A few of our MPs (probably not realising the full consequences of what they were doing) have resorted in the past to using anonymous quotes and hiding behind such titles as “leading Liberal Democrat MP”, “Lib Dem Spokesman”, “Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member” etc.

    Such procedures have been extensively used by Conservative MPs in the past (and did immense damage in mid 1990s) and over the years by Labour MPs as well. It is a problem facing all parties.

    As a party we need to really challenge such behaviour. We should have extensive debate in public and everyone should show know that individual complaints are taken seriously, but it helps no one if people resort to anonymous complaints and comments on blogs.

    The people who do it are lacking the confidence to go public (some would go further and say they are simply cowards).

    If you have something to say about our party – say it publicly and put your name on record.

    Cllr Mark Morris
    Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
    London Borough of Lewisham

  • hywelmorgan 11th Jan '07 - 7:54pm

    “A few of our MPs (probably not realising the full consequences of what they were doing) have resorted in the past to using anonymous quotes and hiding behind such titles as “leading Liberal Democrat MP”, “Lib Dem Spokesman”, “Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member” etc.”

    I don’t see why our Chief Whip/leader doesn’t say that Lib Dem MPs aren’t to undertake such practices, to do so will be a PP disciplinary matter and journalists are encouraged to name Lib Dem MPs who give them off-the-record briefings.

    Complaints by staff about being bullied at work should go to someone in management. IIRC there are now statutory provisions requiring consideration of grievance complaints even if there isn’t anything contractual (which I suspect there is).

  • I think any Liberal Democrat who poured his heart out in such a way to Iain Dale of all people, for him to publish to the whole wide world must be totally insane.

    So one arrives at two possible conclusions:

    1. This person is not a Liberal Democrat.

    2. This person is utterly crazy and needs the help of a psychologist.

    Two questions then arise:

    1. What has Iain Dale done to establish his supposition that this person is indeed a Liberal Democrat?

    2. What steps has he taken to convince him that he ought to seek professional help?

    If Iain has done either (or both), it would be helpful if he could inform the wider public. If not, he is totally irresponsible and clearly ought to be disregarded.

    Doe anybody think that the above might get published on Iain Dale´s website?

  • …he will go far in the New Tories!
    Wasn’t North Norfolk far enough 🙂

  • simon wilson 13th Jan '07 - 11:56am

    duncan borrowman’s unfortunate “quip” shows that there may be problems after all-if any of this is true-it is not something to joke about.
    but if true there must be better ways of dealing with it than contacting Iain Dale about it….

  • simon wilson 15th Jan '07 - 4:09am

    Fair enough Duncan-sorry to be unfair to you on this!

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