25/3/03 Workplace Bullying

John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Valerie Davey) on securing the debate. She and other hon. Members have been trying for some time to secure a debate on the subject. Her speech illustrated the enormous amount of work that she has put into the issue, and I am delighted to support her.

My hon. Friend said that bullying behaviour in the workplace manifests itself in many ways. All forms of bullying are unacceptable. Not only does it make the employee’s job considerably more difficult, if not impossible, but it can affect other aspects of people’s lives. Stress and ill health may become part of their daily life. Well-known symptoms include anxiety, headaches, sleeplessness, skin rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, tearfulness, loss of self-confidence and, in extreme cases, thoughts of suicide. Hon. Members have mentioned those points, but I reiterate them so that we remember what we are dealing with when we talk about bullying.

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4/3/03 Communications Bill

Communications Bill

John Robertson: I am delighted to participate once again in the debate on the Bill, and I draw my entry in the Register of Members’ Interests to the attention of the House.

Before entering Parliament, I worked for BT for 31 years and, unlike Opposition Front Benchers, I will not try to vilify or undermine BT or the work force, as I have much to thank them for. I shall not interrupt those Members as they do so, as only they can say why they want to mount an onslaught on a company such as BT, and the BBC for that matter. I am also chair of the all-party telecommunications group, so it might be said that I have a passionate interest in the subject.

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