Our politicians should set a decent example
WE have seen much governmental legislation and policy concerning standards in public life, equality and workplace behaviour.
Your article of November 13 by the Western Mail’s chief reporter suggests that these often institutionalised and cultural issues have been permitted to go unchallenged in the very heart of our Assembly.
My career in public service was much affected by a report frequently quoted within public-sector guidelines, Nolan’s Principles of Public Life. Unfortunately for me, its publication was not a positive experience, for clearly like many others in the wake of similar reviews and reports I became afflicted with a “terminal” naivety in which there was a belief government reports actually signified meaningful support to implement cultural change.
I, like many somewhat despairing “ordinary folk” now realise, via their own and the well-reported experiences of others, that there is a cavernous gap in what our mechanisms of justice expound and what is actually delivered to us when trying to challenge poor standards of behaviour.
In reality, raising concerns in the workplace more often than not results in traumatic marginalisation, conflict, poor mental health and severe professional damage. It is 20 years since Nolan, and even on the heels of two UK government-commissioned reviews, “The patronising disposition of unaccountable power” and “Thriving in the Workplace”, it seems the systematic tools of ignoring complaints, exclusion, oppression and harassment still available to those in positions of power within our public administrations receive considerable sympathy and succour within the very institution purporting to represent us.
We expect leadership from our politicians, who should set the mark for professional standards of behaviour. Frank Kitt Capel Isaac, Carmarthenshire