-- Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Before the House of Commons, in the days before the Battle of Britain, June 1940)
In what is unlikely to supplant that historic moment as Britain's "finest hour," an ongoing political brouhaha between PM Gordon Brown and a fools gallery of staff and sympathizers (who could not possibly share a single chromosome of DNA with the Britons of WWII) must have Sir Winston spinning in his grave.
It appears that the British, get this, "National Bullying Hotline" received three or four calls from, get THIS, members of the PM's STAFF! That would be ADULT members of the PM's Staff.
So now, in addition to having to step up to the plate to be the single voice of sanity in defending democratic principles around the globe while the guy who was supposed to do that is practicing bowing in 30 languages, AND while trying to keep his nation's economy from collapsing, the incumbent in the job Winston Churchill has now got the founder of this ridiculous hotline on his ass and she's stirring up a whole nest of like-minded numb-minded non-minds who think that the PM should practice hugging, instead of yelling. ("C'mon now Mr. Prime Minister...it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown")
All this appears to have come to a head when Mr. Brown attempted to replace one appropriately-named Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, with a much better-named, Ed Balls, someone apparently more loyal to the PM. Now there is a tell all book, the opposition (unfortunately, the Conservatives) are rallying that there is a government cover-up conspiracy and this nutcase who runs the hotline is claiming that the PM may be in violation of labor laws:
[The Hotline Director] told The Daily Telegraph that by dismissing the reports of bullying, No 10 could be breaching employment law. "If an employer receives any allegation that there is a culture of bullying or stress, they have a legal obligation to investigate, a duty of care to employees. It appears that due process is not being followed here," she explained.
Look, I'm not a particularly big fan of Brown. I didn't like the way he left Tony Blair hanging out in the breeze. I also don't think people need to scream at people to get jobs done nor do I think it particularly good form for a Prime Minister of a country that prides itself on sophisticated decorum to lose his temper so significantly that this even rises to the level of distraction that it has. But even more, I worry that this is just a portent of things to come in our society as we march down this path of turning a job into a right and as we legislate more and more job killing requirements in the name of coddling workers.
And please, Alistair, buddy, I know your name is "Darling" but really, was the first time you became aware of balls when Brown tried to replace you with Ed? If so, call Maggie Thatcher. She just might loan you hers.