Little Englander

Seriously?? – colleagues at BPSWatch tell how that stalwart of fairness and decency, the British Psychological Society, has blocked BPSWatch on twitter.

Tempted though it must be to do likewise, the British Psychological Society hasn’t yet blocked me. It’s only a matter of time because the BPS is sensitive to criticism. Calls for transparency are labelled as ‘bullying’ or ‘abuse’. Telling the truth as we see it is not something the Society appreciates in its members. Fair comment is not appreciated.

What a shambles!

The Society membership is being intimidated by threats, coerced into silence. ‘Pay your fees and shut up’ is the order of the day. Doing or saying anything towards improving the chaotic situation that currently reigns is made almost impossible. Look what happened to the BPS President-Elect, Professor Nigel MacLennan. A man with a mission to make changes, Nigel MacLennan was accused of bullying and summarily dismissed from the Society. A new election is being held, and only a few ‘tame’ members are permitted to stand as candidates. The whole situation is a joke. The BPS is a laughing stock, lacking any credibility as a profession, all bases destroyed.

Dr. Jon Sutton tweets in support of the English football team

The Little Englander mentality of The Psychologist has never been more apparent. Other excellent BRITISH teams of Scotland and Wales at EURO 2020 are not seen as worthy of the BRITISH Psychological Society’s support as England. How more cringeworthy could it get?

The Psychologist tweet is a deafening clanger.

Yet the editor maintains his position. No apology or deletion is offered, Editor Sutton soldiers on, Little Englander to the core. Any non-English BPS member could be appalled and people have already said that they are.

Looking at the bigger picture, one more appalling aspect is the Psychologist’s failure – Jon Sutton’s failure – to ever mention, between the magazine covers, the gross mismanagement, mis-governance and misfeasance within the organisation the Psychologist magazine purports to represent.

The analogy I draw is Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

Nero Fiddling

My response to Dr. Sutton is here together with the BPS response. I speak of ‘popularism’ and ‘a ragbag of a magazine’, both fair comment in my estimation. The BPS calls my tweet ‘personal abuse’ and states: “We’ve received complaints from BPS members that they have found your tweet offensive”. Not Jon Sutton’s tweet, that’s OK, but my tweet which calls out the BPS.

And who exactly is the “We” in “We’ve received complaints from BPS members”? It remains uncertain.

If I make one correction, it would be that it is inappropriate to refer to Dr. Sutton as ‘Nero’. Sutton is not Nero, he’s Nero’s fiddler. Dr Sutton doesn’t call the tune, he plays the tune called by his managers. He is Nero’s fiddler. I can feel empathy for him but his role is largely his own making. If you don’t wish to play the fiddle, don’t pick it up, because if you can’t play well, you won’t please the audience. It might be cringeworthy – and it is. I wrote Dr. Sutton a sympathetic email. In his replies, he played victim and so I won’t give further details to save his blushes.

Sympathetic Email and Retort

The inevitable message came back unsigned. I am seeking the identity of the person(s) claiming to represent the BPS. Who is the ‘we’ behind the implied accusation that I am not operating lawfully. Which law do they think that I have broken? Who is the mystery writer signing off with ” Regards etc”?

Hello Whoever You Are


Twenty-four hours later, no response had been forthcoming. Then the inevitable: my twitter account was blocked by The Psychologist @psychmag.


Only say ‘nice’ things to The Psychologist Editor. Fair comment and honest criticism are called ‘shrill’, ‘condescending’, ‘abusive’, or ‘offensive’.

But always remember, Dr Sutton is only the fiddler, he’s not Nero.

So who is Nero? Nobody knows and nobody’s saying. Presumably Nero is living well on your subs and mine. The time is long overdue for Nero to reveal themselves.

Published by dfmarks


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