The following is my trusty online Webster’s dictionary definition of a bully/bullying:
To frighten, hurt, or threaten a smaller or weaker person. To act like a bully toward someone. To cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force.
I give you this definition because today in the comment section of my previous post, one of my regular commenters Paul insinuated that I am a bully. Because I have a few pet names like Angry Man – Kevin Lloyd, Fast Eddie – Ed Houghton and the mayor “Clueless” in her handling of the Collus file.
I’ve been thinking about this all day and in fact I called a very good friend of mine, who is more on the politically correct side of most issues, to see what he thought. His immediate response was that by calling me a bully it actually marginalizes people like Trevor who actually have been bullied. By taking this very important issue and throwing accusations about bullying at people like myself it detracts from the real problem and the argument.
If we were to take Paul’s criticism of me to its fullest conclusion and did not have any name calling in public discourse, it would very likely be the end of that public discourse. It would definitely be the end of this blog. I’m not sure if Paul has been paying attention but my detractors have been giving me as good as they get. I have been called stupid, an idiot, was told to go f–k myself and was even voted “Asshole of the Year” last year. Guess what Paul? I never felt bullied once.
I know a little about bullying. Let me take you back 40 odd years to 1960/70’s England. I went to an all-boys, what they used to call “secondary modern” school called Hawes Down in West Wickham, Kent a pretty rough school. If any of you have read the book “Tom Browns School Days” by Thomas Hughes. My school life was a lot closer to that than what our children experience today. They still caned us back then, not across the hand, but bent over a desk on your arse and usually in front of most of your pals or even the school. In those days yours truly was not the handsome, debonair figure that you see today. I was a skinny, gangly, bespectacled fellow and if not for a couple of older brothers and some unofficial boxing matches in our back garden, I could possibly have been bullied. In fact I had zero tolerance for being called “four eyes” or “specs” or “specky four eyes” and it would usually end up with my Harry Potter like glasses flying off one way and my fists going the other. I didn’t always win the fights but the toughest, biggest kids knew that calling me names and picking on me came with a price.
The bullying when I was a kid seemed different then, it was more like name calling or stealing a kids cap and throwing it around not letting a kid get it. Or letting the air out of the tires of someone’s bike, never much actual physical violence. Our school was set up in a way that was almost like the prison system, the strongest survived, the weakest were preyed upon. In those days bullying just wasn’t something that principals and teachers took seriously or were interested in. If I am honest I was bullied by stronger kids and in turn probably bullied weaker kids myself. It was the law of the jungle and I am not proud of my part in it.
I was shocked to read this posted by Steve Berman. It seems Canada’s version of bullying was a lot worse than anything we got up to as kids:
All I can think is Wow!!!
I know what bullies are and I hate them with a passion. I hate the ISIS bullies, the masked Russian bullies in the eastern Ukraine, the Boko Haram bullies in Nigeria, or the Taliban bullies that throw acid in the faces of teenaged girls in Afghanistan, and on it goes, all the way down to Trevor.
That’s the reason why I take to heart Paul using the comment section of this blog to suggest that my commentary about certain political figures around town can be compared to what poor Trevor’s tormenters probably put him through. It cheapens his cause and his message. I hope that Trevor now has peace in his life moving forward. I have made a note in my diary to visit town hall on the 25th February, sign his petition and wish him the best of luck with everything, I hope that you find time to do the same thing.