Workplace bullying and other forms of cruelty


On 25 May 2017, I ran into an article in Metro UK about a young man who had killed himself because of extensive bullying at his place of work in Reading (west of London, south of Oxford). Bullying is a highly deliberate public form of inflicting cruelty. Bullying is tied to a location or environment. Workplace bullying is related to work, bullying at school is related to being a student or pupil, and internet or cyber bullying is related to the internet and to electronic means of communication.

Handsome George Cheese often came home with holes in his clothes and bruises on his body, cracks in his soul and tears in his sense of safety. The holes in his clothes were the result of his colleagues setting him on fire. He was mocked after he stood up for himself after he had been locked into a car boot (trunk). He was prescribed antidepressants. He was held down and punched. He was ridiculed.

Here, we see a glimpse of a problem that I initially had no answers for. Why does it sometimes have the opposite effect than what you’d expect when you stand up for yourself? Where does it come from that people then ridicule the victim even more? From the victim’s point of view, the behaviour of the others who are misbehaving towards you is shameful and seeing those who misbehave becoming glorified can be infuriating and baffling. Are victims of bullying supposed to crawl into a corner and quietly lick their wounds, pretend nothing is going on?

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/12/opinions/spare-prince-harry-review-masculinity-culture-wars-staples/index.html

I have had similar experiences in England and I couldn’t have been more baffled. I wasn’t able to explain what was going on to friends and colleagues abroad either and eventually, some of them started wondering if I might be suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. I can’t blame them. Because what I told them made absolutely no sense.

In a way, this actually pointed to the heart of the problem, but I didn’t realise it back then and I was not aware that I was trying very hard to distance myself from the bullying. I was not only baffled by it, I was probably also ashamed of it, without realising it. Other people get bullied. Weak people get bullied. Silly people get bullied. Children get bullied. But how does an adult self-employed professional woman become bullied out of the blue? That made absolutely no sense.

I now know that whether you are perceived as a suitable target for bullying has to do with whether you are seen as one of us – part of the in-group – or as a member of some other group. Not one of us. You don’t even actually have to be part of a different group. Merely being perceived as such is enough. Not one of us.

Back to the story now.

Utterly flummoxing was the statement that Simon Wright, the immediate superior of Mr Cheese, apparently gave to Metro UK.

I was in the workshop when a prank was played on George and he was set on fire. It did not go too far.”

We knew where to draw the line. It was not bullying.”

After some contemplation, I realised that these statements seemed mostly about the risk that he, his bosses and colleagues thought they ran. To understand what I mean by that, consider the following.

I was in the workshop when a prank was played on George and George was stabbed with a knife. It did not go too far.”

We knew where to draw the line. It was not bullying.”

A relatively small cut may not get the perpetrators in trouble. It will be the perpetrators’ word against the victim’s word and a small cut can be explained away by a thousand things. An incident that directly lands the employee in hospital and possibly in dire straits, however, is quite another matter.

It reminds me of how utilitarian reasoning can be applied to justify incidents like these. The damage and discomfort on the side of the victim are seen as negligible when placed next to the joy experienced by the perpetrators and any passive witnesses. “It was just a prank. We all laughed about it. At the expense of someone else.”

It’s like eating the weakest member of the crew in a lifeboat after a shipwreck in the middle of the ocean and hunger taking over when the food runs out. It was a necessity. We all filled our bellies. At the expense of someone else.

There is a clear difference between those two situations, however.

The coroner conducting the inquest ruled that the employer, an Audi car dealership, was not to blame. Audi UK posted a tweet with a link to a statement on its site. That statement has disappeared, but the critical responses on Twitter, one calling the statement “the weakest I have ever seen” and others using words like “poor”, “unacceptable” and “hypocritical” have not. Not one of them was in support of Audi’s statement. I asked Audi UK for a copy of that statement, both on Twitter and via e-mail, and to its credit, it did dig up the statement for me and sent it to me.

This is what this 26 May 2017 statement said.

At Audi UK, we remain deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of George Cheese in 2015 and wish to reiterate our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

The inquest heard very personal and painful accounts of events leading to George’s death encompassing all aspects of his life, including his time working for Sytner at its dealership in Reading. We are very sorry for the huge loss felt by all those so tragically affected.

The inquest concluded that a number of factors contributed to George’s death. However, we want to make it clear that both Audi UK and Sytner absolutely condemn any behaviour which is detrimental to the well-being of employees in any of our franchises.”

That sounds appropriate to me, certainly in view of what the coroner had ruled. (That the coroner may have erred is another matter.) Caring, carefully phrased, clear and at the same time diplomatic in the sense of not pointing fingers at specific individuals.

It is my understanding that some kind of training took place at the dealership in question and that likely was up to that dealership, not up to Audi UK. I decided to ask these good folks how they have been faring. At the time of writing, I have not heard back from the dealership yet, however.

George Cheese, to me you are still very much alive.

I too have had a colleague who committed suicide, not very long after I went to a garden centre with him to pick out a gift. If I remember correctly, his birthday was a few days before mine and he and his wife had just moved into a new home. That suicide had nothing to do with bullying. I had just left the company in question – this was shortly before I emigrated to the US – and the company informed me about the suicide, which I highly appreciated. We were all in shock.

So I imagine that (some of) the employees at the dealership where Mr Cheese worked may have needed counselling in view of what had happened. I sure hope that they’ve seen the error of their ways with regards to the pretty vicious bullying that went on there. Because folks, that is what it was.

It appears that the coroner put more emphasis on the declined mental health of Mr Cheese than on the crimes committed by the colleagues and employers of Mr Cheese. On page 51 of Kathleen Taylor’s book “Cruelty: Human evil and the human brain”, in the first and also second paragraph under the heading “Liking and bias”, you can read more about how that can play out in real life. The coroner also sent a report to Mr Cheese’s GP practice, among others mentioning the prescription that Mr Cheese had received after he started working at the car dealership, more or less suggesting that if Mr Cheese had not hanged himself, he might have swallowed all of his pills. Was the coroner suggesting that the medical practice was at least partly responsible for what went on at Mr Cheese’s place of work, then? Apparently, one of the people at his place of work had actually told him that he should hang himself. That’s what he did.

A year later, a similar story caught my eye. Someone set a colleague on fire at work in Bristol. The victim, Harry Hayward, was in hospital for a week because of injuries to neck, arms and legs (13.5% burns). In addition, Mr Hayward contracted PTSD. His colleague was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, as well as ordered to pay £7,500 compensation and carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. Apparently, the suspended sentence came very close to an immediate one. Prison time.

In this case, the intention supposedly had not been to set Mr Hayward on fire, but to alight fluid that had been poured into a toilet cubicle while Mr Hayward was using the toilet. That almost sounds too good to be true. We’ve all watched scenes in TV series and films in which this method is used to set fire to a house or factory. How on earth can you expect someone whose trousers are on his ankles not to be set on fire when he is surrounded by flames coming from the floor all around him?

Particularly the first case – the bullying of Mr Cheese – was about the enjoyment of cruelty, pure and simple, however. It was sadistic. The second case – the bullying of Mr Hayward – sounds more like sheer stupidity.

Mr Cheese was doused in brake fluid and then his clothes were set on fire. Mr Hayward’s burns were caused by brake and clutch fluid that had been set on fire. Mr Hayward got burned and contracted PTSD. Mr Cheese got burned and became depressed. The main difference may have been that Mr Cheese seems to have suffered more – or rather a different kind of – mental health damage and Mr Hayward suffered more physical damage.

Wait a minute. Mr Cheese is dead, while Mr Hayward is still alive.

In Mr Hayward’s case, the judicial process assigned blame to not the employer, but to the specific colleague who caused Mr Hayward’s injuries. His place of work, however, had a tradition that explained how the injuries came about, except they had run out of spray cans and unless you happen to be sitting on a toilet, the flame coming from a spray can – does that make it a flamethrower? – may be easier to dodge. You can jump out of the way. Mr Cheese’s place of work and colleagues went scot-free.

Yet in Mr Hayward’s case, there had been no intent to harm him while there was a clear intent to harm in Mr Cheese’s case! In fact, he had been pushed onto the floor and punched on at least one occasion, leaving him with bruises. People had locked him in the boot of a car and had deliberately set him – the clothes that he was wearing – on fire.

Do you see the difference? There is nothing to jump out of the way from when you are locked into the trunk of a car or when your clothes are on fire. That makes it the deliberate infliction of harm. Not “horseplay”. Horseplay requires all parties to be willing participants.

What appears to have happened was that even after his death, Mr Cheese continued to be seen as “not one of us” and that this was considered a good enough reason to do to him what was done to him. He was no longer there to defend himself.

Why didn’t Mr Cheese quit his job? I can’t help but wonder if the following played a role besides a possible scarcity of jobs. (He was reportedly over the moon when he got hired by this Audi dealership.) When we experience physiological stress, which Mr Cheese most certainly did, we tend to underestimate real danger. This is a mechanism of the endocrine system to protect our health as long-term serious physiological stress is usually very harmful to the body.

As a result, Mr Cheese may have been telling himself that things weren’t really that bad, that he could handle it and he may have blamed himself more than he blamed his work environment. “I am being bullied at work so something has to be wrong with me. Please, fix me so that they will stop bullying me.”

All it may take to remedy such a situation is one person who says “Quit the damn job! Quit! There is nothing wrong with you, it’s those jerks that have a problem.”

It appears that he had been trying to get into the army, though. I deduce that from the report the coroner sent to Mr Cheese’s GP practice.

A while after that, I came across a case of community bullying in which a family with several autistic family members was being targeted relentlessly. I think this was somewhere in Somerset. Bristol, perhaps. The local council then – supposedly accidentally – sent a confidential file on the targeted family to the bullying party. This could only have been an accident if the family that was being targeted received papers intended for the bullies. It is very hard to imagine how highly specific postal mail intended for me somehow accidentally ends up being addressed to people who live two doors or one street away from me unless both parties receive each other’s mail from the same sender, so that it clearly was accidentally put into the wrong envelope. I have been living in England long enough to know how these things are often played out in practice. It was the family that was being bullied that was forced to move. It’s never the bullies.

Next, I read about an older case, in Newcastle. A family was being bullied in a similar way as the family in which several people are autistic. Different about them is that they have red hair. That small difference alone seems to have been enough to trigger massive community bullying. They too were forced to move as the bullying included smashed windows and graffiti. You can live with graffiti, but you can’t live with smashed windows.



Could workplace bullying be linked to a country’s cultural style within Geert Hofstede’s classification, that is, the extent to which it is “masculine” or “feminine”?

As the traditional views of masculine and feminine are changing and “masculine” may become synonymous with aggressive, obstinate, expensive and obstreperous and “feminine” may become seen as effective, efficient, results-oriented and smooth, maybe Jacinda Ardern’s style (and the style of Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s deputy prime minister) will take the world by storm next and set a new standard for leaders. What a wonderful ripple effect that might have.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/15/yolanda-diaz-galvanising-the-left-in-spain

New Zealand’s culture, however, scores high on the masculinity dimension. So that’s not it. What it does score low on, however, is “power distance” (inequality?), which I probably often also call “the English class thing”.

That clicks, doesn’t it? Cruelty, after all, is about the victim’s perceived place in someone else’s hierarchy, we’ve just discovered. About being put in your place, being perceived as not knowing your place and being punished for being seen as not knowing your place. About being considered a potential danger or as not worthy of life. It often comes from the bully’s own feelings of inadequacy. The cruelty and bullying are desperate attempts to gain, maintain or regain a higher rung on the ladder.

Is there a lower incidence of bullying in New Zealand, then? Data from Statistics New Zealand state that 11% of New Zealand workers reported being bullied or harassed in 2019, but other studies found a higher percentage.

Of course, when talking about bullying and comparing numbers between countries, it is important to define it properly and calibrate the data. Some professions have a higher incidence of bullying than others and what is considered acceptable in one country may not be at all in another. As workplace bullying is a costly global problem, there is increasing awareness and a growing understanding, however, and it is likely to have a very similar meaning in western English-speaking countries.

Wikipedia defines it as “a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm”. That boils down to cruelty. As the setting is the workplace, workplace bullying could just as easily be called “workplace cruelty”.

In the UK, there does appear to be a much greater incidence of workplace bullying than in New Zealand, at a percentage of around 30 (2015, Trades Union Congress), with 71% of disabled women reporting some form of abuse and 91% of workers stating that bullying in the workplace wasn’t being dealt with appropriately.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (HR professionals) found a percentage of 15 for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 yet added that more than half did not report bullying. That could add up to 30%, then.

Most bullying at work in the UK appears to take place in London and the South East (where I am based). Most bullying is carried out by someone higher in the hierarchy. In a study by Kew Law (employment law), 71% of the employees at 131 companies in the UK stated that they had either been bullied or witnessed bullying.

If employees were to stand up for each other and call the bully out on the bullying, a lot of the bullying might stop because the bullying would then likely be perceived as causing a loss of face by the bully. This is where that imaginary metric “power distance” becomes important because it probably determines whether fear has the ability to hold colleagues back, in view of the fact that bullying is often done by higher-ups.

There is more than financial (socioeconomic) and political power alone, though. There is also power in numbers. There is power in the number of colleagues who stand up against workplace bullying. We also see this when photos and videos of bullying are shared online and go viral, when the consensus swings against the bullies. It can even motivate the police to take action and lead to the prosecution of bullies.

Prosecution then becomes the act of putting a bully in his or her place. I can’t help but wonder if that is likely to exacerbate the problem in some cases and make the bully spin out of control later, which appears to have happened with one of the attackers of Janice Morris. If you let a cruel bully run around unchecked, however, he or she may do more and more damage as it is seen as confirmation of the person’s power and invincibility. We have seen that with Harvey Weinstein. Too many people protected him. Jeffrey Epstein’s may have been a similar story.

Bullying is the crude infliction of cruelty. It is linked to hierarchies and power imbalances, whether real or merely perceived. Bullying usually takes place in public and is intended to degrade someone in the eyes of others, whereas sheer cruelty can also take place in private. No witnesses.

Bullies often team up, too. Cruelty, on the other hand, can also be a secret indulgence by one person that the person may even be deeply ashamed about.

It is important to pay attention to that distinction between these two main kinds of cruelty, the kind of cruelty that is carried out by people such as George Cheese’s former colleagues within the context of bullying – let’s face it; it was bullying – and the kind of cruelty inflicted by a lone wolf who may torture individual animals and humans without anyone else knowing about it. Are they related? Sure, they are, but they may come about differently and they certainly usually seem to present very differently to the outside world.

Some bullies merely are after a sense of belonging.

In his book “This is marketing”, Seth Godin talks about the strange phenomenon that some people stick to wildly contrasting beliefs, such as believing that Princess Diana is still alive yet also believing that she was murdered. They appear to do this because it affords them membership of a very select club of people. This way, they gain significance, but it not the main thing they are after. They also want to feel that they are unique. This is also why some people believe in conspiracy theories about Covid. (Godin referred to research done at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, if you want to know more about that. Look for work by Roland Imhoff.)

You can achieve that uniqueness in a way that actually damages your sense of self-worth. It must be devastating to be aware that you are a bully, after all.

There are healthier, more effective and much more joyful and enjoyable ways to achieve greater significance than to bully someone else. Many people who were considered utterly worthless as children have gone on to change the world in very positive ways. The creator of Cats, now a happy, fulfilled and wealthy woman, was suspected of being learning-disabled when she was a child. She was lucky, in the sense that the psychologist she was sent to realised what was really going on.

If you are a workplace bully – and you will very likely know whether you are or not – go find the essence of your significance and pursue that. It does not matter if you are the only person who sees your significance at this point. It is entirely up to you to be who you want to be and who you deserve to be. If you keep pursuing that goal of becoming the true you, your actions alone will eventually show people who you are.


(book cover)

Some words can make your spine tingle in a bad way and that association can be hard to lose. Cruelty is one of those words, yet long before I moved to the UK, the Dutch word for cruel (“wreed”) acquired the urban slang meaning of “cool, wicked, awesome”. The word “wicked” (“morally bad”), of course, seems to have undergone a similar evolution, as has the word “sick”.

Where do the words “cruel” and “cruelty” come from? Not surprisingly, as with so many words in English and other Germanic languages that have that origin, they were derived from old French and Latin. They are related to “crude”, which seems to suggest that cruelty goes hand in hand with a certain lack of sophistication.

Cruelty is a behaviour that causes physical or mental harm to another person.

What about humiliation? What is that?

I noticed with surprise that Lucy Miller, the prosecutor in the cowardly attack on Janice Morris, stated that the photo of Ms Morris – the one that I used for the cover of this book – caused a great deal of humiliation for her. Why?

I felt that this was merely Ms Miller’s own view. I suspect that for her too, as it was for me until it happened to me, getting attacked on a bench is something that happens to “other people”. People who are different. People who are “vulnerable” or “disabled” or “autistic”. I can’t help but wonder if it was humiliating in Ms Miller’s eyes because being targeted by that kind of thing “confirms” you as a lesser human being, the kind of person who gets targeted by that kind of attack.

According to the media, Ms Morris was concerned about attracting more unwanted attention. (So was I after I had been attacked in a similar manner! Being attacked is a really scary experience that thoroughly shakes your confidence.) Ms Morris was not wrong to be concerned. Having a photo of you go viral does not help if you want to draw less attention to yourself. That is a different matter, one of personal safety.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the Frenchwoman who stepped up in the context of the murder of Lee Rigby and subsequently was on TV a few times, had been bullied as well (eggs and stones were thrown at her house) and the bullying became worse after she had been on TV. Like Ms Morris and like me, she was in her forties and living on her own. Her children had left the nest.

The word “humiliation” is related to the word “humility” but they are strangely opposed. (Remember the word “humility” because I will come back to it at the end of the book.) Humiliation, the internet tells me is “to cause a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity”. Is a victim’s perceived humiliation supposed to make up for someone else’s pathological lack of a sense of self-worth?

How is one’s pride, self-respect or dignity supposed to be affected by what someone else does?

The principle of humanity is that every human being has a right to life in dignity, but as I discussed in “We need to talk about this” (about the new eugenics), dignity is highly personal and can only be defined for oneself and by oneself.

Dignity is often related to a loss of control, however, for example, when needing to be on a ventilator, needing to be fed or needing to be helped with the activities that you and I carry out in our bathrooms several times per day without giving it much thought.

So, humiliation seems to be about taking someone else’s control away?

Was I supposed to feel humiliated when those two dudes emptied that bucket of liquid over me here in Portsmouth? (I mentioned this in my book “Is cruelty cool?” and I also wrote about it elsewhere on this site.) I felt baffled. I felt I had been targeted by weird yokels with nothing better to do. One other time, in 2019, I came home after having gone for a walk, found the door to my flat not only unlocked but ajar and hairs glued onto the flattened end of the bar of soap in my bathroom. To me, it was an utterly crazy thing to do, but it has the feel of an English “prank”, that unfathomable brand of humour that only English people understand and that, yes, apparently is supposed to make someone feel humiliated or embarrassed. Why on earth is that? To me, it is just as nuts as picking someone’s locks, going into someone’s flat and writing “I am Napoleon” or “My name is Tony Macaroni” on the kitchen wall. It does not even have to be in bat blood or chicken blood for it to be nuts.

Yet protesting against this kind of thing got me stigmatised.

In my eyes, shooting yourself in the foot in a dare with friends is embarrassing and humiliating. Shooting a stranger in the foot in a dare with friends is equally embarrassing and humiliating. For the shooter! Not for the victim.

Lexico.com, an online dictionary powered by Oxford University Press, explains “humiliate” as “make (someone) feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly”. It also says that the original meaning was “bring low”. That seems to refer to the sense of hierarchy experienced on the side of the perpetrator.

It seems to indicate that you cannot make someone perceived as a lesser human make much lower than he or she already is and the cruelty to which people perceived as less are exposed is a confirmation of their lowly status, something done to “put them in their place”.

That certainly seems to have been the case when Janice Morris was attacked. She was being hassled and stood up for herself. The hasslers then went into a nearby Spar, bought eggs and flour and returned to attack her. The pattern was the same in my attack. I told them off and they went in search of pals and came back to attack me, equipped with sand, water and stones.

To put someone in their place is to remind someone of his or her position, to bring somebody down or to humble or rebuke. Was it an exercise of retaliation, then? Retaliation for not adhering to how one is perceived? To teach the person a lesson in humility? Perhaps.

In fact, it seems to be confirmed by the fact that others too tend to ridicule and rebuke you when you protest and seek justice and express that you want this kind of shit to stop, insist that you have the right to peace and safety in your home and to be free from harassment, abuse and violence from random others. That happened to Ingrid Loyau-Kennett and it happened to me, repeatedly, both in Southampton and in Portsmouth. It also happened to Bijan Ebrahimi in Bristol. The mental health cost of that dehumanisation is considerable.

How is this related to a certain lack of sophistication? How is this crude? It is very tempting to write point-blank that any person with a degree of sophistication not only knows that all people have the same rights but also would never do anything as stupid as to attack a woman who is sitting on a bench or a man who is watering plants in his garden or playing cricket with his son.

I dare say that someone like Boris Johnson sees himself as highly sophisticated, however.

I also dare say that many people confuse money with sophistication.

Boris Johnson has a history of verbal abuse towards people he perceives as lesser human beings, thereby signalling that when you’re a person in power, you can get away with any degree of name-calling that even might get someone else prosecuted. He is crude and “boorish”, the opposite of sophisticated, and has often made people in his company feel terribly embarrassed about his elephant-in-a-porcelain-shop style. (With my apologies to the gentle giants.)

People like Boris Johnson are negative role models for how to behave, but their position of power and their financial means make them immune to criticisms similar to how police officers used to get away with abusing and murdering people whose skin isn’t the colour of ivory until black lives finally began to matter. (The battle for the survival of black people is far from over yet, of course.)

The word “boorish” alone seems to confirm that. It appears to come from the 13th-century word for “herdsman” and herdsmen were seen as not having refined manners. The word “sophistication”, says the online Oxford dictionary, means “having, revealing, or involving a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture”. That is a very limited view of the word.

Sophistication also means something much more far-reaching.

A sophisticated person,” says another website, “is a person who is able to understand the nuances of a wide range of principles, concepts, situations, and vocabulary. Sophisticated people understand the bounds of their own knowledge, but are comfortable speaking with someone who is far more knowledgeable in a given subject than they are.”

Words can have a big impact and very deliberately chosen words are often used when politicians attempt to otherise groups of people. As Kathleen Taylor points out in her book “Cruelty. Human evil and the human brain”:

“even mild otherisation primes people for aggression”

and

“Talking about cruelty makes it easier to be cruel – unless one’s talk incurs swift punishment. Acting out the otherising ideas, especially in a group whose members compete for status and egg each other on, can push people into extreme otherisation with remarkable speed.”

One of her starting points for her book was this:

the difference between someone hurling verbal abuse at an immigrant and someone beating an immigrant to death is a difference of degree, not a difference in kind.”


Further reading, watching and listening

Alston, Philip (2018) “Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.” https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/EOM_GB_16Nov20 18.pdf
Alston, Philip (2019) “Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.” United Nations, General Assembly. A/HRC/41/39/Add.1 https://undocs.org/pdf?symbol=en/A/HRC/41/39/Add.1
BBC (2007) “Red-haired family forced to move” BBC News. https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/6714735.stm
BBC (2007) “Man ‘died at hands of young mob’” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6923987.stm
BBC (2007) “Boys sentenced for stoning death” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7052267.stm
BBC (2021) “Plymouth shooting: Jake Davison was licensed gun holder” BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-58197414
Beaney, Abigail (2022) “The life of Sylvia Lancaster after the murder of her daughter Sophie” Lancashire Telegraph. https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/20076099.life-sylvia-lancaster-murder-daughter-sophie/
Bregman, Rutger (2017) “Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash.” TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/rutger_bregman_poverty_isn_t_a_lack_of_ch aracter_it_s_a_lack_of_cash
CIPD (2022) Bullying and harassment at work. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. https://www.cipd.co.uk/
Evans, Jules (2013) “Being a Stoic saved me from the curse of the British stiff upper lip” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/30/stoic-stiff-upper-lip-feelings
Gamergate: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_(harassment_campaign)
Godin, Seth (2018) This is marketing. You can’t be seen until you learn to see. Penguin. ISBN: 9780241370148
Hill, Amelia (2019) “Older people widely demonised in UK, ageism report finds” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/19/older-people-widely-demonised-uk-ageism-report
Jamieson, Alastair (2020) “Police warn of homophobic 4chan cyber attack on LGBT+ Pride month celebrations” The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/pride-month-4chan-cyber-attack-homophobia-lgbt-a9547456.html
Jones, Owen (2022) “Why homophobia against straight men matters” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/17/homophobia-against-straight-men-lgbtq
Kent, Lauren & Ritchie, Hannah (2021) “Plymouth shooter made misogynist remarks echoing the ‘incel’ ideology.” CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/14/uk/plymouth-shooting-incel-jake-davison-profile-intl/index.html
Kew Law Kew Law (2020) See: https://www.kewlaw.co.uk/our-services/employment-law/ and https://www.fenews.co.uk/skills/over-a-third-of-employees-in-the-uk-have-been-bullied-at-work-in-the-last-3-years/
Leatherdale, Duncan (2022) “Jack Woodley: Why was the 18-year-old killed?” BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-60834187
Lloyd-Roberts, Sue (2017) “The war on women. And the brave ones who fight back.” Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9781471153921
Lumby, Tommy and McMenemy, Rachael (2018) “‘Vulnerable’ woman attacked with flour and eggs speaks out” Cambridge News. https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/local-news/vulnerable-woman-attacked-flour-eggs-14973146
Manjoo, Rashida (2015) “Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Addendum. Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” United Nations, General Assembly. A/HRC/29/27/Add.2. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session2 9/Documents/A_HRC_29_27_Add_2_en.doc
Mann, Tanveer (2018) “Boys who ‘attacked disabled woman with flour get police protection’” Metro News. https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/31/boys-attacked-disabled-woman-flour-get-police-protection-7779513/
Potter, Tom (2018) “‘Flour bombing’ teen sentenced for ‘nasty attack’ on woman” East Anglian Daily Times. https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/cohan-semple-court-flour-eggs-howard-estate-social-media-1-5806320
Press TV Documentaries (2015) “Murder in Bristol (The Tragic Case of Bijan Ebrahimi’s Murder)” Press TV. https://vimeo.com/149993525
Saxe, Rebecca (2019) “The neuroscience of hate” Talk given at Harvard Law School’s Petrie Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. https://vimeo.com/333105887
Serani, Deborah (2018) “Bullycide When a bullied child dies by suicide” Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/two-takes-depression/201806/bullycide
Statistics New Zealand (2019) “One in 10 workers feels discriminated against, harassed, or bullied at work” https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/one-in-10-workers-feels-discriminated-against-harassed-or-bullied-at-work
Taylor, Kathleen (2009) “Cruelty. Human evil and the human brain” Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199552627
TUC (2019) “Bullying at work” Trades Union Congress. https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/bullying-work
Wainwright, Martin (2008) “Woman died after drunken gang attacked couple dressed as goths”. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/mar/13/ukcrime
(See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sophie_Lancaster
Younge, Gary (2017) “’It was pure racism’: the family of Bijan Ebrahimi on their fight for answers” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/05/it-was-pure-racism-the-family-of-bijan-ebrahimi-on-their-fight-for-answers


(These passages come from my book “Is cruelty cool?”, about otherization and cruelty.)