22 February 2010

Good on you Cary

'Cary who?' you might say. Well I'm talking about a distinguished Professor from Lancaster University, Cary Cooper, who has quit as patron of the anti-bullying helpline at the centre of the Downing Street bullying kerfuffle.

It's good to see someone upholding the principal of confidentiality in this age of FOI requests and disclosure policies. Cooper's argument is that confidentiality is a key aspect of any such helpline, and by going public about something like this, they have betrayed this fundamental principal. Well done to him for standing by his moral convictions.

Clayboy has posted about a political angle on this story; namely that the charity in question is endorsed by David Cameron and Ann Widdecome. Looks like this is all a cynical bit of party political nonsense!

I'm not saying that bullying is right; I've had a couple of bosses who have been (and probably still are) bullies. The problem is, if you have a confidential helpline, it needs to be confidential. End of story. I don't know of a simple way to deal with bullies in high places, but I know that the worst way to do it is to 'out' the people who have sought help about the matter. The only reason for anyone to publicise these confidential views has to be political; it certainly won't help with any HR situations there may be in number 10.