Unfair dismissal – we cannot ride roughshod over the rights of individuals

Mary-Ellen Field, whose story of her dismissal by Elle Macpherson began my previous posting on Unfair Dismissal, has added some important detail in a comment of her own. I will quote the last two paragraphs first, since they are the conclusions, but will then continue with the entire comment in full. I appreciate Ms Field’s providing this additional detail. Firstly, the final paras:

I appreciate that this blog is dealing with the difficult issues of employer/employee relationships but things are not always what they seem and in a democracy we cannot ride roughshod over the rights of individuals. We do indeed play into the hands of the unions if we allow these things to happen.

I have found it rather annoying that some media groups have chosen to portray we victims of phone hacking as left wing agitators. For the record I am Deputy Chairman (political) of my local Conservative branch and a member of the Carlton Club. Also somewhat embarrassingly I was Miss Young Liberal in Australia many years ago.

The following is the full comment provided which contains the final two paras quoted already but placed within the context of the entire text. An extraordinary story.

Yes, it is really me. My witness statement and testimony are posted on the Leveson Inquiry website. I testified on 22nd November 2011. I need to correct some inaccuracies. Elle Macpherson was not my only client and was not my employer. My client base consisted of large corporations and government bodies. Celebrities were a very small part of my job.

Most of my other clients supported me and continue to do so, the relevant clients are providing witness statements for my case against NGN and are prepared to appear in court to testify. I became ill after I was accused. I was extremely well beforehand. I am still unwell despite the pacemaker.

In the UK you have to lodge employment claims within three months. The phone hacking story did not emerge until nine months after I was accused so I was at somewhat of a disadvantage. As numerous commentators have pointed out since I gave my first interview about this in July 2009 the power of celebrity overrode rational behaviour on the part of several people. Why I caved in to the demands that I go to rehab is a very valid question which was covered by Leveson and has been the subject of numerous interviews and reports. My former employer was sold in 2008.

I have always said that because stories were appearing about my client I do not blame her in the first instance for suspecting me, despite the fact that it was me who had organised the checks of her home and cars for listening devices. However we now know from the evidence that she and others knew within a very short time that her phone had been hacked. For whatever reason I was not informed and did not know that mine had been hacked until the middle of last year. Hopefully I will find out why in the next few months.

My accusers have been given ample opportunity to explain why I was wrongly accused of alcoholism and why they chose not to tell me about the phone hacking in early 2006 when they were first informed by the police. Hopefully my civil case and Leveson will answer these questions. The former Deputy PM John Prescott told me in court recently that I shouldn’t feel bad because he was only the Deputy PM for ten years and no one told him that his phone had neen hacked even though the police and some of his cabinet colleagues knew.

I appreciate that this blog is dealing with the difficult issues of employer/employee relationships but things are not always what they seem and in a democracy we cannot ride roughshod over the rights of individuals. We do indeed play into the hands of the unions if we allow these things to happen.

I have found it rather annoying that some media groups have chosen to portray we victims of phone hacking as left wing agitators. For the record I am Deputy Chairman (political) of my local Conservative branch and a member of the Carlton Club. Also somewhat embarrassingly I was Miss Young Liberal in Australia many years ago.

Token Provides Some Important Links:

The witness statement Mary-Ellen Field refers to can be found at this link.
The web site for the hearings can be found at this link.

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15 Responses to Unfair dismissal – we cannot ride roughshod over the rights of individuals

  1. Token

    The witness statement Mary-Ellen fields refers to can be found at this link.

    The web site for the hearings can be found at this link.

  2. Peter Patton

    Wow, Mary-Ellen’s statement is dynamite!

  3. Token

    It is powerful.

    I can understand why the socialist Elle McPherson would suspect Mary-Ellen based upon the information avaiable.

    I am struck by the un-ethical and manipulative way Elle acted. Very much what we come to expect from a socialist.

  4. Peter Patton

    token, I can understand Elle’s thinking as well. But given she found out about the phone-hacking soon afterwards, she – and even worse the employer Chiltern – were so wrong in the way they treated Mary-Ellen.

  5. Token

    Peter, consider the evidence that has come to light since that time, what has McPherson and Chiltern done to rectify the damages done to Mary-Ellen?

    A personal apology from the principals involved should be barely the start.

    Unfortunately Mary-Ellen has not confirmed what steps those parties have actioned since the knowledge came to light. I do hope she pops by again to enlighten us.

  6. Peter Patton

    token, in the statement Mary-Ellen said they all blew her off.

  7. Mary-Ellen Field

    Chiltern was sold in 2008, no apologies or explanations have ever been received from anyone involved. Every media group in the world who have sought a comment have received a “no comment”

    I must point out that I only have a voice and legal representation now because of the support I’ve received from journalists throughout the world. It is very annoying to see the testimonies of we Core Participant Victims in the Leveson Inquiry misrepresented by some news groups who’ve claimed we want statutory regulation of the press.

    Nothing could be further from the truth, all of us including the Dowler and McCann families, JK Rowling, Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and me have all been adamant that we will not support statutory control or any attempt to muzzle the press. We were victims of crime, not freedom of the press or self regulation of the press. It is journalists who exposed the phone hacking scandal. I have spoken about this on numerous occasions in the last twelve months. I am speaking about this in a debate on Monday evening for the Press Gazette at City University with three journalists.

    I had probably met four journalists in my entire life prior to the accusations made against me in November 05 so I’ve had to learn very quickly. The BBC, the Guardian (which I’d never read prior to July 2009) the ABC, the Independent, the NY Times, the SMH, the Evening Standard and perhaps surprisingly Sky News have been great.

  8. It is very annoying to see the testimonies of we Core Participant Victims in the Leveson Inquiry misrepresented by some news groups who’ve claimed we want statutory regulation of the press.

    The Left in Australia is using what happened to you all in England as their basis to claim that Australia needs even more draconian restrictions on free speech and freedom of the press.

    That’s not your fault, but that’s how it is.

  9. Mary-Ellen Field

    That’s pretty funny. Over here it’s the Telegraph, the Mail and the Sun that claim that Leveson’s aim is to muzzle the press.

    This is about much more than hacking people’s voicemails. The whole thing is appalling. My computer and my younger son’s have been hacked in the last 12 months, my lawyer and his family, my Conservative MP, other victims lawyers and many other people have been followed. These are not allegations, those responsible have admitted what they did. I am not an alleged victim. NGN have admitted what they did to me

    I just want my life back

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  10. Token

    Mary-Ellen we can understand your anger because the actions of the journalist were criminal. They deserve the full force of the law.

    It is appalling the organizations that treated you poorly do not act to rectify the mistakes of the past.

    Has your health improved? We hope your son has not been adversely effected.

    You can talk with Philip Ruddock to find out what spot refers to. The actions of Senators Conroy and Brown are of important.

  11. Biota

    It is appalling the organizations that treated you poorly do not act to rectify the mistakes of the past.

    If they were of that mind, they wouldn’t have done it in the first place.

    Best wishes Mary-Ellen!

  12. I’m very sorry about what happened to you, Ms Field, but what happened to you was that some people in England broke the law – a law which is already in existence. And yes they should have the book thrown at them, and you and others like you deserve every measure of justice you can eke out of the system. Those guilty of the crimes against you and others like you should be punished harshly enough that it stands as a god-almighty deterrent to anyone even considering doing anything that grubby again.

    But the Left in Australia is trying to use the fact that some people in England broke an already-existing law to bring in new regulations to restrict freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Australia even more than they already are – targeting especially Australia’s News Ltd publications which they see as their ideological enemy.

    I would be angry if I were you, about obviously partisan political Labor & Green hacks in Australia piggybacking their freedom-threatening ideological wish-list onto my suffering. I wouldn’t want to be used like that.

    So if you sense any animosity, please know that it’s not at all towards you or towards any victims of crime, but towards those who are hijacking what happened – even halfway around the world from where any of those crimes actually occurred – and using it towards their own political ends.

    I wish you all the best in your quest for some measure of justice (realizing that nothing can ever give back what was taken from you) and will remember you and your son in my thoughts & prayers.

  13. Myrddin Seren

    Just been showing this post to Daughter No. 3, who is doing Legal Studies for HSC.

    Fully agree with Steve – much appreciate Ms Field’s comments and participation on The Cat.

    It is an awesome display of the positive power of technology and the ‘net that she can join in from so far away.

    Best wishes from our family to Ms Field and hers.

  14. Pingback: “We will not support statutory control or any attempt to muzzle the press” at Catallaxy Files

  15. Jazza

    God Bless you, Ms Field
    Let’s hope that for once, the powerful do not win out and profit from their wrongdoing.

    I don’t bother with celebrities, as most of them are shallow to do what they do, nor do i rush to buy their products, but I’ll never have a benign thought about “our Elle” again, in a waiting room quickie read, I’ll turn the page very hastily indeed.

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