Uncivil to the servants

Edward Case
Latest posts by Edward Case (see all)

Now I’m the last person who would want to find myself coming to former deputy PM Dominic Raab’s defence, but if using words like “useless” and “woeful” is considered bullying, aggressive and intimidating behaviour I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in a profession where I have just clocked up my 39th year.

When I was a reporter being swore at and shouted at wasn’t seen as bullying, it was called Wednesday. By the time I became an editor myself it was a case of, on occasion, simply not being prepared to waste precious time on a series of full sentences when one or at most two words could convey the same message without encouraging a full on conversation which wasn’t going to change my mind anyway.

This would inevitably hurt the feelings of salespeople (journos are made of far stronger stuff and we have a communication shorthand) although I was never completely sure if the problem was with my manner (they considered it rude, I called it curt) or just the word “no” which inevitably sent them into a kiddie sulk as if I had told them they couldn’t stay up late or have ice cream for supper.

Then there’s the question of whether being rude actually constitutes bullying. I’ve seen people put through some quite appalling psychological torture by senior managers using mind games designed specifically to upset, unsettle and instil fear. That’s bullying, not calling out someone’s bulls**t to their face.

Raab has not gone quietly of course, in fact the petulance level was dialled right up to 11, but rather than moan about it, these “activist civil servants with a passive aggressive manner” he speaks of should maybe just let his parting comments go and take the win.

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Speaking of useless and woeful, Home Secretary Cruella Braverman came up with another couple of words this week – “compassionate” and “humanitarian” – as she defended her heinous Illegal Migration Bill after The Equality and Human Rights Commission said it puts people at risk and may be in breach of international law.

Not even the late Enoch Powell MP would have tried to sell this vile legislation in such a way, although those words weren’t really in his vocabulary.

Cruella’s idea of being compassionate and humanitarian appears to be that at least these poor sods will get a free ride in a nice aeroplane when she could just have them put back in a leaky dinghy and pointed in the general direction of Africa.

I don’t know what planet this woman is on, but it’s the same one that’s inhabited by Trump. They are both keen on another word too – “invasion”.

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As I have said many times, TV advertisements can just completely wash over me. I can be bombarded with them for weeks without ever registering what they are actually selling, especially the one with that annoying woman singing “oh step into my heart, leave your cares behind”. Still no idea what that’s about.

But the purple Tango ad is a stroke of comic genius.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week:

Celebrity Mastermind

Some woman from A Place In The Sun who I’ve never heard of:

  • Q: Which former prime minister was made Earl of Beaconsfield by Queen Victoria?
  • A: Tony Blair

Tipping Point:

  • Q: Which African river translates from the local dialect into “Great River”?
  • A: The Amazon?

Family Fortunes:

  • Q: Name a British group with both male and female members
  • A: The Spice Girls
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Edward Case

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