Traumatised

first_img Previous Article Next Article TraumatisedOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Public figures have recently appeared more visibly crestfallen than everbefore, as this selection of before and after photos demonstrates.  Could they be stressed?The Hamiltons Before – Former MP and his wife who became accomplished publicityseekers after losing the Tatton seat to Martin Bell. After – Seeing Christine Hamilton overwrought with emotion is nothingnew for most of us (libel action against Mohammed Al Fayed, and the Who Wantsto be a Millionaire appearance), but allegations of sexual assault made againstthem by Nadine Milroy-Sloane sent their anxiety levels soaring. The couple werelater cleared, but Christine Hamilton claimed she was “terrified” andbecame so overwrought she had to see a police doctor. The incident didn’t,however, curtail her descriptive powers: the accusations, she said, were:”nonsense on stilts”, and if charges were brought “then I’m abanana”. Shohei Nozawa Before – Venerable president of Yamaichi Securities Co – one of Japan’stop-tier companies. After – In a country that has a vaunted work ethic, corporate failureis the ultimate badge of shame and the collapse of leading brokerage Yamaichiin 1997 was to have a harrowing effect on Nozawa. Asked at a news conferencehow he would explain the failure to his employees, he broke down and sobbed.Although it was a spectacle to be repeated several more times as Asia endured acrippling economic slump, Nozawa’s tearful apology remains an enduring image ofthose difficult times. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (AKA Comical Ali) Before – Iraq’s Information Minister and robust defender of SaddamHussein’s Baath Party. After – Displayed classic trauma-related symptoms of denial in fullglare of the world’s media as each wartime briefing became more implausiblethan the last.Al-Sahaf even went so far as “triple guaranteeing” hispeople there were no US soldiers in Bagdad on the day US tanks rolled into thecity. His refusal to accept reality made George Bush roar with laughter. Whenhe finally conceded and gave himself up, his self-image couldn’t have beenlower – except that is, when US troops released him soon afterwards. Cherie Blair Before – Barrister, charity worker, Prime Minister’s wife, mother offour and accomplished juggler. After – In an ironic twist, Peter Foster, the fraudster boyfriend ofCherie Blair’s lifestyle guru and (principle stress reliever) Carole Caplin,plunged her into a hail of controversy after revealing how he helped her buytwo flats in Bristol. Initially, she attempted to conceal her involvement withthe fraudster but later accepted blame and used an awards ceremony to tearfullydefend her actions. She said she had tried to adapt to the pressures of herpublic role and juggle a lot of balls but “sometimes some of the balls getdropped”. Tony Blair Before – Principle transformer of the Labour party and New LabourPrime Minster who swept to power with landslide victory in 1997, then wonhistoric second term. After – When the news broke of the death of weapons expert Dr Kelly,Blair’s ashen pallor and gaunt features told its own story. His apparentphysical distress was further compounded when a Daily Mail journalist asked ifhe had blood on his hands. Although his future lay in doubt, the remarkablyresilient PM has since acquitted himself well at the Hutton inquiry, but hisstock has fallen considerably since he swept to power and could still pay theultimate political price for going to war with Iraq. Glenn Roeder Before – Agreed a three-year contract to manage West Ham last yearand steers the club to a respectable seventh place in the Premiership. After – Football is notorious for its swift termination of poorperforming managers and his team’s relegation battle in the Premiership lastseason (2002-03) made Roeder an ideal candidate for a stress-related illness.So when he collapsed after a game in April, there was no doubt in anyone’s mindthat that it was due to a minor stroke caused by stress. It was actually abrain tumour and fully recovered and back on the touchline, Roeder was keen topoint out that he hadn’t been stressed. His protestations were academic – threematches into the new season, he was sacked. Andy Gilchrist Before – Andy Gilchrist became general secretary of the Fire BrigadesUnion in June 2000 and experienced 15 months of fame last year when he demandedfirefighters receive a 40 per cent wage increase. After – Gilchrist refused to budge at a time when most settlementsran at 3 per cent, and war threatened over Iraq. He faced an increasingly vitriolicpublic as aged Green Goddesses were hauled from retirement to replace strikingfiremen and their idle vehicles. As he ratcheted up the arguments withGovernment, he turned public opinion against one of Britain’s most admiredworkforces. His demeanour turned sour, and he exuded classic stress symptoms –including visible signs of ageing. Finally accepted deal far short of originaldemands. Estelle Morris Before – Three rewarding years as minister for school standardsbefore promotion to secretary of state for education After – By her admission, education secretary was a job too far, butit was her integrity and personal standards of achievement that weighed heavilyand drove Morris to resign. Politicians of lesser ability have ridden biggerstorms, fuelled by ego, ambition, arrogance and a willingness to pass the buck,but for Morris, the feeling she had failed and let people down offered no roadback. Her impressively frank interview with the BBC, where she disclosed shehadn’t enjoyed the job as much as minister for school standards, no doubt mademany stress-worn chief executives wonder why they go on. Rod Eddington Before – The Australian businessman joined British Airways as chiefexecutive in May 2000. He already had a reputation as a tough operator and acame with a brief to continue the cost cutting of his predecessor Bob Ayling. After – A catalogue of disasters since September 11, with uncertaintyover the Iraq war, the SARS epidemic and then wildcat strikes over swipe cardsall had a catastrophic effect, costing the airline millions. The media and thepublic had Eddington on the ropes and questioned his capability. The chaos atHeathrow exposed poor staff morale and the fragility of BA’s businessprocesses. The airline and Eddington are still licking their wounds. Matthew KellyBefore – Presenter of entertainment show, Stars in Their Eyes,well-known for his bonhomie. After – Arrested and questioned about alleged child sex abuse, themarried father-of-two found himself centre stage of a media feeding frenzy. Helost his job, his weight plum-meted and said his life had changed irrevocably.He dealt with the stress by throwing him-self into work. He was cleared and hassince won back his job. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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