Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Neal Accepts Counselling

Embattled Federal MP Belinda Neal has accepted Kevin Rudd's "advice" that she attend counselling for anger management. But even as she held a press conference at her Central Coast office, she was agruing that she had done nothing wrong; insistent, almost, the SHE was right. It is a minor demonstration of a personality that might, pehaps charitably, be called "agrumentative".
(Photo: Ms Neal's Website)

What she, and her husband NSW Minister for Education and Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, have shown is not uncommon aomong political players. Consider the following list: Mark Latham and Wilson "iron bar" Tuckey (explosive temper tantrums at will), Bill Heffernan (who did the bullying for John Howard); John Howard (who used Heffernan and others to do his bullying); many of the politicians inhabiting the NSW bearpit ... opps, Parliament.

In 2001, a VicHealth survey found that 40% of respondents named a politician as a bully, and almost 50% believed they behaved as bullies in Question Time!

We can identify other areas where bullying occurs: some employers (esp. those using the old WorkChoices laws to lower wages); some union officials (elements in the building unions and CFMEU spring to mind); political parties (especially around preselection time).

Governments have had much political "good news" publicity about anti-bullying programmes in schools. Perhaps we, as a society, need such lessons. For many of us. Politicians, especially those who have condemned Ms Neal's behavioour, could start with their own parties, and their own Parliaments.