COME AND HAVE A GO IF YOU THINK YOU’RE HARD ENOUGH: To mark anti-bullying week, the government has announced a new world-beating-up anti-bullying champion. Who better than Priti Patel?
Well, almost anybody, really. But that never puts this government off its stride. Patel’s sheer unsuitability for the role makes her the ideal candidate.
Patel has been plagued by accusations of bullying for a long time. So, reasons officialdom, who better to counter bullying than a bully? It’s poacher turned gamekeeper. The Home Office wolf has donned sheep’s clothing, and concealed her iron fist inside a velvet glove.
Guidance has been issued on the Home Office website. There you will find a page headed “So, you think you are being bullied, do you?”
The guidance is uncompromising. It consists of a sequence of FAQs, which tend to be neither questions nor frequently asked. It starts, promisingly enough, with a section entitled “What is bullying, and how do I deal with it?”
The answer is stark. “Bullying is, traditionally, where a bigger boy beats you up and steals your sweets. In fact, this is a useful illustration of Capitalism in action. Grow a pair, and get used to it!”
Wise words, I think we can all agree.
But there is more to come. “My boss has criticised me loudly, publicly and unfairly. What can I do?”
The response is clear. “I’m sorry you feel that way. Strong leadership is to be admired. Up your game, snowflake.”
A section of helpful guidance is included. “I want to know what can be counted as bullying,” reads one non-question. The answer is nothing if not deeply unhelpful.
“The following actions are NOT considered to be bullying: Words, actions or physical contact designed to display strength or superiority. Being put in your place. Name-calling. Criticism of your work, opinions, or appearance. Asserting your position in the pecking order by belittling your inferiors. Bullying.”
Priti Patel will set a fine example to the nation.