Citizens can be bullied by government

Economic recessions encourage an abusive national outlook. Listening to commentators and callers on the national airwaves in Ireland during the savage downturn, which began in 2009, is disturbing. One participant had a very specific ‘cure’, when discussing productivity and efficiency in the public service on the television programme, ‘Questions and Answers’. He angrily proclaimed that any inefficient public service worker should be sacked. This person, ignoring the fact that inefficiency in the public service has more to do with the system than the individual, was advocating the abuse of power to deprive a family of the means to live, without exploring non-abusive and non-power based ways of increasing productivity. He was advocating financial abuse. Recently, I was disgusted at the statement of a spokesman for the rating agency, Fitch, that it was concerned at the low rate of house repossessions in Ireland. Abuse has no humanity, and this statement sidelined the human suffering involved in losing one’s house. It reminded me of the establishment during the Famine, who secretly rejoiced at the eviction rate and the prospect of larger farms, when the unfortunate tenants had left for America.
Recently, electronic or cyber bullying has become widespread. Abusers use mobile phones, email, websites Faceblog and so on. Cyber bullying exerts powerful control over others. Its anonymity gives the abuser carte blanche. Bullies stalk their colleagues in cyberspace where they can conceal their own identities and their own lack of self-esteem. Women seem to be the main targets of cyber bullying that include ridiculing comments, making threats, sexual remarks, disclosing their private information, or hacking into their computers. Websites can be specifically created to humiliate and demean people.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press

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