Kelvin MacKenzie

Dominic Raab is no bully – and I should know

(Credit: Getty images)

When I read the charges of bullying levelled against the justice secretary Dominic Raab it raised a wry smile. You call that bullying? Being icy with staff? Expecting high standards? Not recognising Nish Kumar? Instead of facing a KC-led disciplinary inquiry I would promote Raab with a handsome bonus.

If you want to meet real bullies, despots or taskmasters could I suggest you go into the news business. I was certainly one of them.

Being a decent brownnoser during my time editing the Sun, I found agreeing with a raging Rupert Murdoch that I was an incompetent idiot wasn’t always the answer he was looking for. In fact, it would sometimes make him even more angry.

On one occasion, Murdoch called from New York. He was incandescent

But I did have the pleasure of being able to pass on the rage to colleagues. After all, when things went wrong it was almost certainly their fault – and so I added ten per cent of vileness to the telling-off I received and then moved on. It was like that every day. I kid you not.

If I didn’t receive a decent, and rather clever kicking, about something I felt quite disappointed. On one occasion, Murdoch called from New York. He was incandescent about the paper. I took it for about three or four minutes and then decided it would be fun (and give me a break) if I put the phone in my desk drawer. I walked slowly round the desk, pulled out the phone and he was still shouting. Oddly, I admired him for that. He cared. There aren’t enough bosses who really do.

Patsy Clark, the editor of the News of the World, told me she had a novel way of dealing with the rage.

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