Thursday, August 03, 2006

Platell - a victim of bullying

In the Mail today Amanda Platell turns her attention glitter ball to Helen Green, the company secretary awarded £800,000 by the High Court as compensation for a four-year campaign of bullying by four female colleagues at Deutsche Bank. Amanda is appalled that such a victim should have recourse to law - "Hers [Green's] is a hideously distorted world where self-styled victims reign supreme..." blah blah bah.
Apparently, Amanda can't see what the fuss is about: she is unable to find one incident of bullying in this case that most of us would not have "shrugged off as petty offfice politics". So what if colleagues blow mocking raspberries at you or tell you to your face that you smell - welcome to the world of work, children!
Actually, this pile of nonsense - supported by an approving adjacent editorial - is only explicable in context. For Amanda herself is a victim of bullying. Victims sometimes fall for their persecutors, we know the phenomenon: Amanda's is a classic case.
We have to return to the mid-'90s for the full story. She was made editor of the Sunday Mirror but under the terrible and dysfunctional aegis of the sad and mad managing director Bridget Rowe - a woman Amanda would come to describe as a member of the tribe of she-men.
The two women were at odds from the start. Bridget subjected Amanda to a grotesque reign of terror - on one occasion a row on the car phone with her boss grew so violent that Amanda had to tell her driver to stop so she could spew in the gutter. Fortunately for her, the Asbo had yet to be unleashed on anti-social behaviour.
Sometime after she left Canary Wharf, Amanda was traumatised or angry enough to write a readable pulp fiction about some bitch newspaper editor which hopefully was cathartic. Whether it earned her £800,000 is not known.
Yet what psychic injury may this experience have done to Amanda? Nurtured by the arch-bully of them all David Montgomery, then herself a victim while her erstwhile mentor stood by doing nothing to help her, she doubtless came to the painful realisation that behaving like a total shit is the only way to get by in the antediluvian world of national popular journalism.
What a sad but well remunerated world Amanda inhabits.

1 comment:

Liz Carnell/Bullying Online said...

Far from self-styled bullying victims reigning supreme as Mizz Platell pontificates, for the most part they're psychological wrecks, out on their ear and down on their luck. For every mega bucks case like Helen Green's there are thousands more, heard in tribunals up and down the land, where bullied ex-workers are lucky to get a few thousand quid to compensate them for the misery of being the butt of colleagues' sarcasm, malevolence and petty jealousy.

Don't even get me started on school bullying where pupils are beaten, abused, subjected to homophobic name calling, have their property stolen and damaged or have money extorted from them. Far from finding megabucks waiting to be wheelbarrowed to the bank, these young people have to fight every step of the way for legal funding and psychiatric help to repair their damaged minds. Around 16-20 of these bullied youngsters kill themselves every year.

I wonder if their tormentors go on to wreak the same sort of havoc in offices? Answers by email to help@bullying.co.uk .