I wrote earlier this week about how my life had been pretty much shattered by bullies as a teenager. It was a hard post to write, even thirty years on.
When I was going through it, it didn't seem like anybody understood, and certainly the long term effects of bullying weren't recognised. It was unlikely that you'd be able to find any politicians talking about it.
Now, though, I'm so proud that we have a Deputy Prime Minister who's prepared to make an official Government video to support Anti Bullying Week. And what he says shows that he understands, properly, the issues involved. He talks about how the effects of bullying can last your whole life, he talks about homophobic bullying and how we should simply not put up with the word gay being used as an insult and about the practical ways the Government can help. He also specifically mentions bullying that happens beyond the school gate, which has been a real get out clause employed by schools to wash their hands of having to deal with it.
One of the things that I first saw in Nick that first day he stepped before the interviewing panel as a prospective Euro candidate in the East Midlands 12 years ago was his understanding of how it really was for people. He has such an ability to empathise, understand and try to find a solution to problems people bring to him. He cares deeply about barriers which hold people back from fulfilling their potential. I'm really grateful to him for making the fight against bullying a high priority for the Government.
Have a look at what he says here.
Oh, and by the way, the reason for the funny hashtag thingy in the title is that the anti bullying charity Bullying UK is wanting to get #antibullyingweek trending on Twitter, so please include it in any tweets you are making today to help them achieve their goal.