Tuesday 28 January 2014


Small word - four consonants, one vowel and two syllables. Simple yet the implications and consequences of that word either used as a verb or a noun has destroyed many." Cyber bullying"- an insidious new phenomen where the perpetrators can spew their bile anonymously never having to face up to the fallout of their actions. I am no saint- the halo occasionally gets an outing but generally it's a bit tarnished and is flung in the back of a cupboard. It's human nature to evaluate others unless you are more highly evolved. I judge people positively and negatively and often wrongly but I try not to use it to hurt people. I have learnt over the years to keep my big trap shut more often than not and the hardest lesson of all that generally it's none of my flamin' business anyway. Sadly sometimes I still get it wrong.

When I first became self employed in my pre house sparkling fairy days I worked briefly for two bullies. One was easier to read being a text book bully, but one used psychological bullying as a form of control and that's a slippery beast to pin down.It took me a while to suss what that particular individual was up to and how it operated to gain control.  I'm a quiet old stick and I loathe confrontation but in the end I defended myself against both- I have a sharp tongue which generally I keep in check but at times like that it's invaluable being able to cut such people down to size and has proved, on occasion, to be a useful weapon in my armoury.

What has a gravestone got to do with bullying you might ask. This is in the front garden of a local inn called the George and Dragon and is in memory of the son of the former landlords. His name was Walter Budd who was an albino and an epileptic. His condition exposed him to cruel bullying and he was generally shunned. His situation proved too much for him to bear when he was falsely accused of a minor theft and he drowned himself aged 26 in 1893. He is buried in Shipley churchyard just up the road but the vicar took offence at the final sentence on his gravestone and demanded it be removed:
"May God forgive those who forgot their duty to him who was just and afflicted"
In defiance of the bigotry of others his parents placed the memorial where it remains to this day in full view of the road and the people passing by.

Bob Marley sums it all up for me:
"Who are you to judge the life I live?
I am not perfect and I don't have to be!
Before you start pointing fingers,
Make sure you hands are clean."



  1. Personally, I've never yet found a satisfactory answer as to how to deal with this. I've experimented with a variety of solutions over the years, including the "sharp tongue" and expose it back/complain about it/etc and the problem with that is that its often turned round into bullies wrongly complaining that THEY are the ones being bullied. I can recall one particular "right little madam" that was a work colleague of mine some years back who was rather that way and chose me as one of the ones to "have a go at" and I duly took the recommended action of keeping a diary of events and officially complaining - only to find that she was keeping a diary of events herself and trying to make out that SHE was the "victim". I don't know how she kept a straight face.....as it was pretty well known what she was like (ie it wasn't just me she was having a go at). I've tried the "turn the other cheek and be a bit charitable - they must have some problems in their own life that are causing them to be that way". I think it probably IS the case that they have problems causing them to be that way indeed - but most of us have problems of one description or another and don't turn round and take it out on other people. I don't know the answer honestly. I've struggled with this one for many years and, in the end, have found the best thing I can do is keep schtum and avoid them as far as possible. All I've discovered to date is that "possible problems of their own and they are kicking the cat" scenario on the one hand and its usually the case that bullies are jealous of the person they are bullying for some reason (more intelligent/more attractive/more money/more of something or other). Of course that doesn't explain the bullying of the albino epileptic man you mention - as I cant think what anyone could be jealous of him for.

  2. Thanks for your comments Ceridwen- you make some interesting points and I agree a one size fits all doesn't solve every bullying scenario. I would imagine that with Walter Budd his perceived differences provoked the reaction we see in other species when a weaker baby is born- they either ignore it or bully it to the point where it dies. Arilx


Not going to the art gallery.

 Mr GBT didn't really want to visit an art gallery whilst we were in the Midlands last month....he's a clever fellow though and dist...