Friday, 26 February 2010

Once they get their hooks in you...

Deliberately provoking the Righteous can be a risky game, especially if you've been working for them. They hold grudges forever and they will put considerable effort into destroying you if you look even remotely like a threat.

Christine Pratt, the anti-bullying woman who has been in the news for breaching confidences (which I think is possibly over-reaction, since the Rawnsley book had already done more than she did, although then again he didn't set up a confidential hotline so it's an arguable point) has seen the sponsors of her anti-bullying business melt away, the contact details summarily deleted from the Government website and has been publicly called names by Monsters of Parliament.

That's not enough. They haven't finished stamping on her yet.

She was involved in a case of workplace bullying, where a head teacher was accused of bullying her deputy.

Catherine Maltbaek was formally warned about her conduct after a tribunal heard that she had made the life of her deputy head at St Mary Roman Catholic School in Plymouth a "total misery".
Sue Preston, the claimant, received a £56,000 payment for constructive dismissal.

So the tribunal thought there was something in it. Apparently Mrs Pratt gave evidence and said something along the lines of 'it was the worst case of workplace bullying she had come across'. Well she would have been going on evidence provided by those who claimed to have been bullied, the same evidence as presented to the tribunal. She wasn't present at any actual incident. She could only work on the basis of what she was told. So can any court, tribunal, whatever. It is possible to get it wrong if the evidence is wrong.

But last night the General Teaching Council (GTC) ruled that the allegations against Mrs Maltbaek were unproven.

There were a lot of allegations from a lot of staff. A tribunal accepted them as true. Now, just after this woman annoyed the government, it seems none of those allegations had any basis in fact whatsoever. What a remarkable coincidence.

The verdict raises new questions about the professional record of Ms Pratt, whose National Bullying Helpline is now being investigated by the Charity Commission for allegedly going public with the concerns of callers.

Yes indeed, Mrs. Pratt. You dabbled in the world of the Righteous by hitching your wagon to the 'bullying' train and then you annoyed them. Expect a lot more of this sort of thing. They will not stop until you are out of business. Your husband, too.

Don't expect fair play. The best option now would be to resign and drop into obscurity. Your husband might want to move his business overseas too. There'll be a tax audit looming. A long and complex one.

One more thing -

Mrs Pratt has also faced questions about the relationship between her charity and the human resources company owned by her husband, after acknowledging that she referred callers to the firm.

If you must dabble with the Righteous you have to stay squeaky clean. They will store up information like this for the day they want to bring you down. I'm sure this little wheeze of yours was well known for some time, just like all those MP's expenses scams, but overlooked as long as you did what you were supposed to do.

They'll drag every skeleton from the closet and polish them up for public display. They will reverse everything you've done. They will humiliate you and they will shut you down.

Mrs. Pratt claimed expertise in bullying. She has come up against black-belt bullies now and she can't even phone her own hotline.

Give it up, Mrs. Pratt. You cannot win this one. Retire from the fray, consider what you've learned and come back to fight another day.

In the long run, it's the only sensible option.


Pierrepoint said...

When did we cross the line? When did it become dangerous to tell the truth?
It's all gone to ratshit if you can be torn apart for being honest!

Pavlov's Cat said...

One can only hope it's the start of some sort of Righteous Ouroboros where they begin eating themselves.

Thusly they leave the rest of us alone and they all disappear up their own arseholes.

Twisted Root said...

I know this is off the point of your excellent post but I have to ask; what sort of court is it that accepts heresay? Mrs Pratt appears and testifies that, 'X telephoned my helpline and told me she was being bullied'.

g1lgam3sh said...

Not everyone bows down to the Righteous and some pay a heavy price.

Leg-iron said...

Pierrepoint - it's becoming dangerous to say anything. Make a comment such as 'if your skin is dark you need vitamin D supplements this far north' and you can be deemed racist. Even though those people will get seriously ill if they don't make sure they get enough of that vitamin.

It went to ratshit when Blair took over. That song, 'things can only get better' - well they did get better. A lot better. For him, not for us.

Leg-iron said...

Pavlov's cat, the infighting has begun. It will escalate and there'll be collateral damage. Always happens.

Leg-iron said...

Twisted Root, even a tribunal needs more than that. It would need first hand accounts from the plaintiffs.

No court or tribunal could reach a decision based on Mrs Pratt's say-so alone.

She wasn't the only one giving evidence. She is the only one getting the blame.

Leg-iron said...

g1lgam3esh - that one is worth highlighting. Especially Righteous Debbie's response.

Snakey said...

Ah the Charity Commission. I once reported a company to them that had set itself up as a charity and was clearly a for-profit. They did absolutely nothing. I then had to contact Companies House and prove to them that the accounts of said company showed it to be a for profit company and not a charity. After much foot dragging, and insistence from me, the company was finally forced to close down and re-open with correct paperwork. It was akin to banging your head against a brick wall.

I feel sorry for Mrs Pratt having the CC against her, as having a big fat toothless dog slobbering all over you is unpleasant. However, I know the damage to her reputation is their main goal and in that they will succeed, whilst at the same time they will allow other so-called 'charities' such as ASH to continue to be perceived as a charity when in fact they are funded by the government and Big Pharma.

As for bullying - after having experienced it myself - I have to admit that the bullies do tend to win as they are out and out sociopaths and are usually underestimated by most people as to the lengths in which they will go to protect themselves. I think Mrs Pratt has underestimated the sociopaths too. All I can hope is that the actions taken against her will be seen for what they are - as you've pointed out - Deliberately provoking the Righteous can be a risky game

English Viking said...

I despise this Government and almost everybody connected with it. Second on my list of things most hated are toss-pot 'charities' and the tosspot people running them.

With a bit of luck, they will destroy each other.

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