Now then, PP has been hogging the news alongside a certain virus. Takes some doing to rival thousands of deaths in the headlines but PP has managed it BIG style. Nobody can be unaware of the turmoil surrounding her. At PMQs this week our part time PM almost leapt across the floor to forcibly state his unswerving support for the brilliant job she does. Lets have a look at the reasons why he would act in such a predictable way.
PP was born in 1972 and progressed through Grammar School and Uni and ended up being elected as the Tory MP for Witham in 2010. Usual background for a Tory MP.
She worked at several departments and has been employed at The Home Office, Dept of International Development and the good old DWP. All of that would actually be a record to be proud of. As we now know there is a slight complication.
Every where she has worked allegations of bullying have dogged her. Not flash in the pan stuff, more a permanent trend. It beats me why she has managed to keep on repeating this. Alongside this she once resigned (sacked ?) for basically lying about her whereabouts while supposedly on holiday. She was actually holding secret meetings with Israeli officials. Here things become a bit foggy. She once ordered ( 2016 ) the freezing of aid money to Palestine. Have all the opinions you want about that.
Fact is these meetings were in secret. Is this how a UK Minister should behave ?
Fort me this whole episode illuminates that in 2016 PP had no regard for protocols or indeed any grasp of the concept of how things should be done. She saw herself as way above the rest of us and did what she wanted to do. No fear of any consequences.
It cost her the post she occupied.
So, 2016 and a serious blot is on her record for ever. Why did this not mark her as high risk to anyone thinking of giving her any sort of meaningful post from then on ? Ministers are supposed to at least be honest with their own superiors. She was not.
Here's another thing, in 2015 when PP was Employment Minister, an allegation of bullying against her was hushed up via a 25K payout. Nothing went to court, no tribunal was called upon. Hence nothing appeared on the work history of PP. The employee involved in this awful event took an overdose at the time. PP moved on.
Now, let me take you to my time as a Union Rep in a Runcorn warehouse.
A time I am very proud of. I ended being the one colleagues would ask for when serious disciplinary matters needed attention. Might not sound like much by comparison to PP and her current situation. However, many times I was the last line of defence for anyone facing having to go home and inform the family that the job had gone. A huge responsibility, to me anyway.
A long learning curve ensued. Over the years I learned that it wasn't about "winning" it was about getting at the truth. BIG stuff that. It got to the stage where if I genuinely thought the colleague warranted dismissal I would tell them just that. Also I would inform the Hearing Officer that I would represent the member through the hearing. This was my signal that I would not defend. This built up a whole lot of mutual respect. Much time was saved along with money and Tribunal time. I call it being "grown up".
One pet hate of mine always was, and still is, bullying. I will not tolerate it. We had people of all races, sexuality, religions, abilities, all human life was there. All human life was provided with a proper environment in which to work. All human life took money home. They were good years largely.
Back to PP. It does not show any signs of ending with her. Accusations appeared again from her time at the DWP and Home office. One recorded incident should be enough.
Given that no incident has been PROVED yet, PP should at the very least be suspended from her current role whilst a proper independent investigation is thoroughly concluded. Key word there being Independent.
What really worries me here is a couple of things. Firstly a Permanent Sec (Philip Rutnam) at The Home Office resigned last week in disgust at the antics of PP. Not only that he is launching a Constructive Dismissal Claim. This is shocking stuff. Surely in that closed bubble that is Westminster this must have sent a huge shock wave through just about everything. It really should have been obvious to anyone with half a brain that removing PP from any hands on role was urgently required, if only to give everyone time to take a breath and consider things.
Secondly, the reaction of Johnson at PMQs speaks volumes. All he showed was a shallow and tribalistic knee jerk reaction. Not only that he positively praised her to the rooftops.
This really does paint a very dark picture of what does or does not matter in the higher reaches of the Tory Party. Seems to me that if you are servile enough you can get away with anything. Damian Green springs instantly to mind.
So, what happens now ? PP really should be big enough to resign. I don't suppose she needs the money, unlike those people who left that Runcorn Warehouse. At least in that workplace we had honour and there was no shame.
Johnson suggests to me that the Tories have no honour but plenty to be ashamed about. No honest rep should be prepared to try and defend her. They will.
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