The National Bullying Helpline story is looking flakier and flakier

I listened to the Today programme’s coverage of the National Bullying Helpline allegations that they had received calls from people claiming to work at 10 Downing Street with mounting incredulity this morning.

First, the Chief Executive of the Helpline denied that Gordon Brown had been mentioned in any of the alleged calls, despite the impression she had deliberately created in earlier interviews.

Then, she admitted that she couldn’t say how many calls had purportedly been received and that she hadn’t spoken to any of her staff who had received the supposed calls.

Finally, she conceded that those calling the helpline were encouraged to use a commercial service run by her husband and herself, if they wanted to take their concerns about bullying any further.

It had always seemed bizarre that a serious charity should breach its own client confidentiality in this way – even Iain Dale had noticed this point.  And not surprisingly the patron of the charity has now resigned over this issue.

I have now read Adam Bienkov who raises a series of concerns about the National Bullying Helpline.  In particular, he highlights their links to the Conservative Party.  He also questions whether they are a functioning charity given that they are 206 days late in filing their latest accounts with the Charity Commission, that according to the last accounts they had filed they only had £852 of income, and that the people behind the charity run a “bullying business” that sells bullying investigations, that registered the charity’s website and that receives referrals from the charity.

The whole episode gets flakier and flakier.

It certainly reflects poorly on the BBC’s editorial judgement in not questioning the original story before running it so prominently.

But am I alone in suspecting that this smacks of a Conservative Party “black” operation.   I hope I am wrong.  Otherwise, we are in for a really nasty election campaign that will do nothing for the democratic process.

7 thoughts on “The National Bullying Helpline story is looking flakier and flakier”

  1. All quite true.
    However the ToryBBC didn’t run this until it looked like Rawnsley’s typically unsubstantiated tosh was running out of legs on its news bulletins.

    It truly looks like an attempt to co-ordinate anti Labour pro-Tory propaganda.

    The Breakfast presenter Charlie State was particularly anti Labour on that show and I tweeted to that effect at the time, I wonder what he had heard in the canteen or corridors that morning?

    This was doubly well timed because of the poll which showed a further narrowing of the Tory – labour gap to 6% and Gordon’s launch of the new slogan – A fair future for all, and because the Rawnsley story in the Tory Guardian Observer re-launch was dying.

    I gather most people don’t care much anyway, as bullying is so often divers and it seems most likely that this tory media bullying of Gordon Brown will likely further improve his long term personal standing, in which he may overtake Chameleon by May.

    Plus ca #ToryFail c’est la meme #ToryFail as we tweet.

  2. Re- Tory connections, nobody is mentioning that the “NBH” operates from an address in Swindon which seems to be next door to the local Conservative Association, 15 and 17, Dorcan Business Village respectively.

  3. Notable this lunchtime’s BBC News included an attack on Lord Mandelson – whose statement today is not identical to his statement yesterday before the ToryBBC Pratt allegations – by a journalist who was asked a question by the presenter to which that was no answer at all.

    He said the story was phoned to a local part of the BBC and then to the national office. He did not admit that they failed to check adequately, nor that they broadcast the lie that Mrs Pratt was saying Gordon Brown had been bullying.

    Truly is the ToryBBC a propaganda organisation since Gilligan. Time to cleanse the Augean stables in may. Let’s hope Brown knows a Hercules.

  4. If this is a political setip by the Conservatives then this becomes something that is unimaginable:-

    A main political party uses the issue of workplace abuse (bullying), to smear the PM deliberatly: Whilst having no regard for consequences of their actions towards vulnerable victims of abuse in the workplace.

    Consider that victims often have severe pscological damage and need a helpline. Victims of real bullying suffer from such conditions as Post Traumatic Stress, Anxiety Disorders, and can even lead to suicides.

    A party indulging in that for political smearing deserves not only rejecting at the ballot box but dissolution and a full inquiry.

    It is just too much to actually accept as possible. But is it?

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