12 January 2011

Not-Quite-Closing-Down Sale

While the public waits for the Charity Commission to publish its investigation into the Bullying Helpline (National), the latter seems to be proposing to maintain its website, and is selling off copies of Bully In Sight.

Unlike a conventional closing down sale, however, the price appears to have gone up. The book's RRP is £16.95, and you can get it on Amazon for that price including P&P.  The National Bullying Helpline's website says the book is available from them for £30.00 including P&P, with cheques to be made payable to "The National Bullying Helpline".  

Why would anyone want to pay so much more to buy it from the NBH? Perhaps its because the NBH's co-founder and former CEO is mentioned on the acknowledgement page? Yes, that's right. In case no-one ever notices, the Pratt's website goes to the trouble of letting us know that her name is on the page, even pointing out which page:
"Christine Pratt, founder of The National Bullying Helpline, assisted Tim with content for his book and often assisted Tim with Employment Law content for his website also. See Acknowledgements, page xi of Bully In Sight. Send your cheque made out to 'The National Bullying Helpline'  etc etc.
This struck me as a bit odd, considering that the book was published in 1996, and Christine Pratt only started the job she got bullied out of - General Affairs and Personnel Administrator for Sanden - in 1998. She started HR& Diversity Management in 2002, and the National Bullying Helpline Ltd in 2006.

I have a copy of Bully In SIght, purchased in 2002 and signed by the late Tim Field, so I looked at the acknowledgements page to see for myself. As I would have expected, there is no mention of Christine Pratt on the acknowledgements page - (scan 1). Google Books has a copy from a more recent print run, believed to be 2005/6. Sure enough, her name does appear in the copy on Google Books.

2002 copy:

2005/6 Copy

Now I am not suggesting for a moment that Christine Pratt has somehow edited the book and added her own name. Any comments expressing or implying as much will not be published. Some of the other acknowledgements changed too and there's every possibility that Tim Field added names of people who had helped him since the book was first published.

I'm left wondering how much of the content she assisted him with.

6 January 2011

The devil is in the detail

Quote from the trustees of the national bullying helpline upon its closure on 6 January 2011:

“May we thank our founders, our Ambassador, our dedicated team of Trustees, Volunteers, our Sponsors and all Associates for their invaluable input over recent years, to this worthy cause.”

Extract from Christine Pratt's definition of bullying:

"The Bully is often charming and persuasive and may even be the ambassador for the employer in some way."

 Who is this ambassador the trustees are talking about?

National Bullying Helpline Closes

The following statement appeared on the national bullying helpline website today:


Trustees of The National Bullying Helpline Charity decided with regret at a meeting held on January 4, 2011, to discontinue the helpline service with immediate effect and take steps to close the Charity down.

The full statement reports on the sad loss to society ... (read here)