I was bullied at work, more than once, mercilessly, relentlessly. One of the "caring" professions. People often describe that sick feeling when you wake up and have to turn out for work, knowing that there is going to be another day of agony. Some of us are unable to prevent it. There are many reasons. With me, it is an inability to see the signs before it is too late, for the clever bully, covers his or her tracks and can always use the little bit of power they have over you to mask the deed. Bullying is like a slow freezing wind; pernicious, inveigling and ultimately incapacitating. It can take so many forms and is such a long game that it is inherently undectectable until it is too late.
As for the revelations about Downing Street, the quote that registered with me was a Number Ten insider, discussing Gordon Brown, who told the Guardian:
"His intense bouts of anger are unremarkable to anyone who has worked closely with him. You just have to put up with this stuff. It is part of the daily experience, almost part of the furniture. He would behave in that way constantly. He suffers from a massive paranoia and an inability to accept blame, yet he runs a blame culture that allows him to blame others. He does not seek to win an argument, he just seeks to bully. If you have not worked closely with him before, it is truly shocking"
These atmospheres normalize very quickly, and anyone coming into such a poisonous situation is bound to be unable to express shock, since not only are they the newbie, they are unlikely to be fearful at that stage since bullying does not reveal itself with a fanfare. No, it is the slow release of vitriol and despair.
The anecdote I find most revealing is that apparently, Brown does not know, and is not minded to know, the names of his bodyguards. So when the time comes to take a bullet for the PM, you ask yourself, "do I really want to die, do I really want it to end this way, for a cunt who never even asked my name?"
For a visual anecdote, and one that backs up truth about the way Gordon Brown treats little people, and the way the head of the most powerful nation on earth treats little people, just watch this clip again: