Gordon Brown The Bully And The Andy Coulson Matter
THE Gordon Brown bullying row limps on. But what of Andy Coulson? Bullying expert Christine Pratt promotes her cause; the Sun guns for Brown; Andrew Rawnsley’s book gets loadsa publicity; and Sarah Brown takes time out from her misison to be photographed with every celebrity in the land to say:
“People have heard me talk about him and they probably know everything that I would have to say about him. I know him as a strong, hardworking decent man and he isn’t anything else.”
And what else? Well, Madame Arcati reports on something you’re not reading about:
TORY leader David Cameron calls for an inquiry into Gordon Brown’s “bullying” conduct towards his staff with the suggestion he’s unfit for high office. Quite right. But what a pity Cameron didn’t call for an inquiry into - and has not publicly addressed once – the bullying conduct of someone very close to himself, the Tory media boss Andy Coulson. Last year, the former editor’s bullying of a sports reporter cost the News of the World £800,000 before costs – a record award for workplace bullying.
Sadly The Times, which laudably publishes a leader today on the bullying claims against the PM - labelling bullies “weak” – was not moved to comment on Coulson’s offence at the time.
Come to think of it, why hasn’t the National Bullying Helpline – which has confirmed Number 10 staff concerns about the PM - made an issue of Coulson? Questions, questions. Rhetorical.
The Coulson Case – The Guardian reports:
Matt Driscoll, a sports reporter sacked in April 2007 while on long-term sick leave for stress-related depression, was awarded £792,736 by the east London employment tribunal. It is believed to be the highest payout of its kind in the media, and legal costs could take News International’s total bill well over the £1m mark…
Driscoll, who has not been in a full-time job since his dismissal, said the award reflected the severity of the case.
“Andy Coulson was at the heart of all of this,” he said. “He should look at himself and decide if his actions in the course of the way I was treated were correct. If I were him, I would find it very hard to look in the mirror. I was subjected to unprecedented bullying and he did nothing to stop it, if anything he accelerated it. I didn’t do anything wrong”…
The tribunal found in December 2008 that Driscoll had fallen victim to “a consistent pattern of bullying behaviour”. “The original source of the hostility towards the claimant [Driscoll] was Mr Coulson, the editor; although other senior managers either took their lead from Mr Coulson and continued with his motivation after Mr Coulson’s departure; or shared his views themselves. Mr Coulson did not attend the tribunal to explain why he wanted the claimant dismissed.”
The News of the World, which defended the case, said the main reason for Driscoll’s dismissal was his capability or qualifications for performing his work.
Such are the facts…