Limp wristed wimp review

Political correctness has bitten into the old school ranks of MPs under the guise of an anti-bullying enquiry.

The greens and social justice warriors are forced to share their politically correct territory with parliamentary old dog Trevor Mallard who is after a chunk to call his own.

Mallard told Duncan Garner on the AM show “I think every place that people work in should be a safe place, and I’ve come to the point where I’m not convinced that the required degree of safety is present at Parliament.”

Mallard is an old school politician who knows the ins and outs of using a bit of bullying biff to get things done.  He even says, “I’ve seen all this up close and I’ve been part of it.” Read into that what you will, but he did fess up about relationship breakdowns with his own staff and one that still concerns him which he admits he did not handle well. He might as well come out and say it – don’t do what I do, do as I say.

Mallard said “I don’t think there have been many people who have been in the building for any period of time who have been absolutely perfect in their relationships and one of the things I hope will come out of it is (sic) recommendations around education for members of parliament and for other staff members as how to be good managers because I think quite often we’re not.”

Mallard’s change of heart is motivated by the UK Cox report on bullying and the recent Russell McVeagh investigation.

Mallard says he wants to improve Parliament because “it’s not a place where I would recommend that my kids work at the moment.” He also admits that Parliament is no more toxic than it’s been in the past, and may even be better than it used to be, but is still a distance away from an “ideal and secure place.”

If that’s not namby-pamby political correctness I don’t know what is.  What exactly is an ideal and secure work environment?

Mallard refers to parliamentary history, some of which he says we are aware of and some only he is privy to.  At a very basic level this is simply political point scoring because the “recent events” Mallard refers to clearly relate to the Jami-Lee Ross saga, although Mallard does not actually come out and say it.

The Jami-Lee Ross saga is far from concluded and this could be an opportunity for the government to do a little legitimate dirt digging into National’s records.

Duncan Garner is fully on board with Mallard saying “Parliament is where good people go to die and the survivors must become feral to win.”

What review can possibly expect to change the law of the jungle where the strong rule by beating the weak into submission?  The only change will be miscreants getting smarter about how they do their business so they are not caught.

Old school political dog Winston Peters cut his teeth in the feisty Rob Muldoon days and his response to the enquiry was that he has “no idea” why a parliamentary enquiry on bullying is taking place. It’s a little difficult to imagine anyone bullying Peters.

Peters’s “What are you talking about?” response, along with Mallard’s declaration that parliament is no worse than it has been, indicates that this enquiry is a pathetic nod to political correctness, rather than an honest attempt to change abusive behaviour.

Here is the outline of the limp wristed review from the parliamentary website. Quote.

Bullying and harassment are not acceptable in any workplace. It’s important that people at Parliament feel respected, safe, and supported each day coming to work,” the Speaker said.

The review will begin in early December 2018 and is expected to take at least four months to complete. It will look to:

  • Establish whether bullying and harassment (including sexual harassment) has occurred and, if it has, the nature and extent of this towards staff employed or engaged since the 51st Parliament (since October 2014). This includes contract staff, who regularly work on precinct, and former staff who no longer work in the Parliamentary workplace.
  • Review how previous complaints have been handled; whether policies, procedures, and related controls are effective; how they compare to best practice and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015; and whether there are any barriers to reporting or making complaints
  • Assess the culture of Parliament as a place to work and allow for consideration of other matters brought up in the review.

A draft report, with findings and recommendations, will be presented to the Speaker and the Chief Executive or General Manager of participating Parliamentary agencies. Following the delivery of the report, the agencies will consider how to action the report’s recommendations.

At an appropriate time, the report will be made public.” End of quote.

The report aims to improve the feelings of people who work in Parliament.

Any report that uses feelings as a goal is doomed to fail.

We will pay a pile of money to find out what we already know – that bullying and harassment exist and there really isn’t a whole lot we can do about it, except to man up and stand up to bullies.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

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