Parliament is full of bullies

Trevor Mallard, who is infamous for assaulting another MP, has called for an enquiry into bullying in parliament. Is this a result of Meka Whaitiri physically manhandling her staff? Is this because Mallard threw a punch at Tau Henare some years ago? Probably not on both counts. It came after the Jami-Lee Ross saga produced some interesting revelations about the goings on in our halls of power. Now, there is another National MP in their sights.

Newshub   reports: quote.

Maggie Barry has been hit with fresh allegations of bullying, including that she referred to department officials as her “hired help”.

The North Shore MP spent the weekend denying she bullied two staff members, saying investigations found no evidence of bullying in her office.

Now another former staff member has spoken out with fresh allegations of a “toxic” workplace – although Ms Barry has again rejected those claims.

Speaking to Newshub anonymously, the source said Ms Barry would lash out at staff and that she was “totally intimidating”.

“She would attack and belittle your work in front of other people.”

They worked in her ministerial office, and said staff would break down in tears.

The staff member said Ms Barry would treat everyone below her station with “utter contempt” – including referring to officials in her ministerial departments as “hired help”.

Speaking to Newshub anonymously, the source said Ms Barry would lash out at staff and that she was “totally intimidating”.

“She would attack and belittle your work in front of other people.”

They worked in her ministerial office, and said staff would break down in tears.

The staff member said Ms Barry would treat everyone below her station with “utter contempt” – including referring to officials in her ministerial departments as “hired help”. end quote.

It is very easy to make anonymous claims against anyone, but fronting up is another story. I am no particular Maggie Barry fan – I think she has achieved extremely little in her seven or so years in parliament but I cannot help feeling as if this enquiry into bullying in parliament is a veiled attempt to discredit as many National MPs as possible.

Parliament is a high-pressure environment, and that will often mean that people are not always at their most congenial. Bullying, however, is another matter. At what point does an attempt to correct an employee who is doing a poor job become workplace bullying? It seems to me we have crossed the line here some time ago.

I’ve had bosses who have reduced me to tears too. In fact, I once worked in an accounting firm where pretty much every day, there was someone crying in the ladies toilets. Was it workplace bullying? In truth, it was more likely that I had been reprimanded for doing a poor job.

It is interesting that Jesse Mulligan, a left-wing sycophantic journalist, has got in on the anti-Maggie Barry act as well. Although he does not accuse her of bullying per se, he objects to her recording his conversations with her. A TV presenter objects to being recorded. That is a new one.

As I said, I am no Maggie Barry fan, but this whole charade looks like a bit of a hit job to me. Nor am I condoning workplace bullying in any form, if it is actual bullying. We already know that parliament is a rough place, full of bully boy tactics and some pretty disgraceful behaviour. Trevor Mallard taught us that. The biggest irony here is that it is him calling for the enquiry. What was that old saying about stones and glass houses again?

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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