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The Post Office Scandal

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Sluffy
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241The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Fri Jun 07 2024, 09:12

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Good old Boncey. Let me introduce you to Seema Misry.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/23/so-much-has-been-taken-from-us-former-post-office-operators-speak-out

 

Can you guess who was Secretary of State for Justice whilst Seema and hundreds of others were  being stitched up by dodgy lawyers in the Post Office and the 'Justice system'.

From 2003 to 2007 it was Tony Blair's old flat mate Charlie Falconer and then from 2007 to 2010 none other than the Rt Hon Jack Straw.

Are you beginning to get some idea of what Alan Bates was up against?



Last edited by Ten Bobsworth on Fri Jun 07 2024, 14:57; edited 1 time in total

242The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Fri Jun 07 2024, 13:26

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

'Whilst Perkins was respectful to Jason Beer KC (process) and helpful to Sir Wyn Williams (authority), when it came to the representatives of Subpostmasters and, by extension, the Subpostmasters themselves (little people), she could barely hide her disdain', wrote Nick Wallis today.

Here's a photo that says it all.
The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 2c19821424baa53b30377665689e02bcf9a29988

243The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Fri Jun 07 2024, 15:28

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

The thing is Bob NOBODY UNDERSTOOD there was REMOTE access to Horizon until Gareth Jenkins told Second Sight and even then the penny didn't drop until Simon Clerk at one of the solicitors used to prosecute people (Cartwright King) realised that Jenkins statement that was being used in the prosecutions but did not DISCLOSE this FACT.

He wrote to inform the PO that their EXPERT WITNESS (Gareth Jenkins) was unsafe and that was in July 2013.

How then can you have a cover-up when no one knew there was something to cover-up???

Charlie Falconer and Jack Straw were indeed Secretary of State for Justice between 2003 to 2010 BUT the COVER-UP could only have started in 2013 when the potential (and almost certain) miscarriage of justice was uncovered.


Second Sight's Interim Report was released on the 8th July 2013
https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/the-second-sight-interim-report/

The Clarke advise was written immediately it was read by Simon Clarke on the 15th July 2013
https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/the-first-clarke-advice/

The Clarke advise is here and it is reasonably easy to read and understand
https://www.postofficescandal.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Clarke-advice-re-Jenkins.pdf



It follows therefore that any 'cover-up' can only commence from Post Office Ltd from 15th July 2013 - and therefore can NOT be a government cover up starting in 1998/9 by Tony Blair and every succeeding government thereafter.

Yes the cover-up may then encompass historical court cases such as Mistra (2010) but by definition it COULD NOT have been a cover-up at the time (2010) because no one knew Gareth Jenkins did not make full disclosure.

(Well maybe someone did and that would be the PO legal person who guided Jenkins through being an expert witness and that at the moment seems to be the hapless Jarnail Singh)




The cover-up STARTS following the Clarke advice and develops like this...

During the call, Jenkins candidly admitted he was the information source for Second Sight’s bug notice. That led to the first Clarke Advice in which Simon Clarke told the Post Office that Jenkins was a tainted witness who could not be used in future court cases. Clarke also recommended that all Post Office prosecutions should be reviewed.

So far so good. Simon Clarke had (correctly) thrown an enormous spanner in the works of the Post Office’s bent prosecution machine. What has mystified legal folk since is why Seema Misra was not told her conviction may be unsafe.

We know that Gareth Jenkins was not properly instructed as an expert witness, but no one to date disagrees with Clarke’s analysis. Jenkins knew about the extent of bugs in Horizon, but did not reveal them to Seema’s defence team or the court. As Martin Smith today agreed, Jenkins had potentially perjured himself, perverted the course of justice or both. This should have been disclosed to Mrs Misra, but was not.

The review of Post Office prosecutions became a Cartwright King review of prosecutions post-2010 on fairly arbitrary grounds. Furthermore, the question for the review was not whether to tell Postmaster defence teams that Gareth Jenkins was a tainted witness. It was whether or not to give them two documents (the Second Sight Interim Report and the Helen Rose Report) which revealed bugs in Horizon.

Brian Altman QC [Altman is a really, really big gun to wheel out - in football terms he's probably at Machester City level - Sluffy] was brought in to review the Cartwright King review. On 9 September 2013, eight lawyers gathered at the feet of Altman. They were Susan Crichton, Rodric Williams, Jarnail Singh (all Post Office), Simon Clarke, Harry Bowyer, Martin Smith (Cartwright King), Andy Parsons and Gavin Matthews (both Bond Dickinson).

The issue of Gareth Jenkins is front and centre to the discussion. Altman brings up Seema Misra and voices his concern that Jenkins (uniquely) gave oral evidence at her trial. The case was brought before 2010, and therefore before the arbitrary cut off date the Post Office had chosen to review its prosecutions. According to Smith’s typed notes of the meeting, Altman wondered how they were going to “deal” with Seema Misra if “she comes forward”.

[For information Martin Smith one of the lawyers listed above is being interviewed at the inquiry by Ed Henry KC - Sluffy]

“So she’s got to come forward”, noted Henry. “The impetus is on her. No one is going to tell her.”
Smith did not demur.
“It seems, by this stage, no one wanted to provide Mrs Misra with a ‘ticket’ to use your expression, to the Court of Appeal. Adopt a passive approach. Correct?”.
“I would certainly agree”, replied Smith “the Post Office did not want, at that stage, to be actively encouraging people to go to the Court of Appeal.”

The minutes also record Altman approving (as “sensible”) the 2010 cut off date for what became known as the CK Sift Review and reviewing pre-2010 applicants on a case-by-case basis. He then notes the Post Office “can’t avoid the possibility [the? more?] Misras might crawl out of the woodwork”.

The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Screenshot-2024-05-03-at-06.23.08
Smith’s typewritten note of the meeting with Altman

Henry wanted to know why Seema Misra wasn’t a slam dunk for disclosure, given that an expert witness, who may have committed perjury during her trial, was now accepted by all present as tainted.

“I don’t know”, replied Smith.

The meeting minutes show the gang of lawyers keep coming back to the Misra issue. When Gavin Matthews suggests apologising, Altman says “I wouldn’t.” He is also adamant she needs to be kept out of the mediation scheme, or the Post Office is “storing up trouble”.

Henry took Smith to a Cartwright King note likely written by Smith’s colleague Harry Bowyer which stated that by December 2013 it was his opinion that the Misra case “clearly passes the disclosure threshold” and that Cartwright King “will be disclosing the Second Sight Interim Report and the Helen Rose report to Misra’s lawyers”.

By January 2014, this advice has somehow, magically changed. Simon Clarke is now reviewing the Misra case, and he concludes she is due no disclosure, advice Henry told the Inquiry Clarke forwarded to his colleague Martin Smith with a covering email simply stating “Phew!!!”

Henry asked Smith if he believed Seema was “owed the truth”. Smith agreed “absolutely”. So, Henry asked, what happened between December 2013 and January 2014 to change Cartwright King’s advice?

Smith suggested more documents about Seema Misra’s case had become available to Cartwright King, but how they had a bearing on the final – reputationally essential – decision not to disclose, was not something he could opine on.

THIS IS THE COVER-UP - nothing at all with Bob's twisted, prejudicial and biased view of government from Tony Blair onwards.

There was no Powers That Be cover-up, with their hands all over it from the very start - the cover up was initially at least a legal slight of hand to recognise that the Post Office had used a TAINTED WITNESS' but somehow spin it that the defence had to somehow find out about that (rather than disclose it to them!)

When I've got time I'll see if I can dig out the reasoning why they did not.

Did the government get involved in the cover-up following Altman's intervention?

Well there seems to be a bad smell to me in respect of why Perkins and Vennells got themselves involved with the Royal Mail prospectus.






The Altman involvement commenced on 9th September 2013

Applications for members of the public to buy shares opened on 27 September 2013,[71] ahead of the company's listing on the London Stock Exchange on 15 October 2013.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail#Staffing

So he had no involvement with the Royal Mail sell off, the Clarke advice was sent on the 15th July and known by Crichton but she was immediately closed down by Perkins the following day by being sat on the naughty step outside the PO Board meeting of the 16th July 2013, so why was there an apparent urgency from Vennells and Perkins to remove mention of Horizon on the Royal Mail prospectus that had to be printed and nationally delivered and sent out by a deadline just ten weeks later??

I simply don't get why Perkins apparently wanted the removal of the mention of Horizon from the document?

Let me flip it the other way - if the government KNEW all along what was going on at the PO and were covering it all up, then THEY not Perkins, Vennells or anyone else from the PO - would simply order the removal of any mention of Horizon themselves.

I can't understand why it was important for Perkins for it to be removed?


They (the government) could of course wanted to keep the 'scandal' under wraps irrespective of the Royal Mail sell off but if so why then did...

In 2015 Baroness Neville-Rolfe, on behalf of the government, told the incoming Post Office chairman Tim Parker to properly review the Horizon situation.  He did so, commissioning the former First Treasury Counsel (top government lawyer) Jonathan Swift QC to investigate.

Swift, who is now a judge – Mr Justice Swift – wrote a wide-ranging Review in which he largely (and as it transpires, wrongly) sided with the Post Office on most things. Swift nonetheless raised very strong warning signs that potential miscarriages of justice might have taken place. He is particularly concerned at the Post Office’s switcheroo tactic of charging Subpostmasters with theft and false accounting and then offering to drop the theft charge in exchange for a guilty plea to false accounting.

“The allegation that POL has effectively bullied SPMRs [Subpostmasters] into pleading guilty to offences by unjustifiably overloading the charge sheet is a stain on the character of the business.” he says.

“Moreover, it is not impossible that an SPMR would have felt pressurised into pleading guilty to false accounting believing it to be less serious when they might not otherwise have done so.”


https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/secret-2016-post-office-chairman-s-report-not-shared-with-po-board/

This independent report found nothing about the 2013 Clarke advice - buried by the PO thanks to Altman.

If we go on a bit further...

Patrick Green QC, lead counsel for the claimants in Bates v Post Office, confirmed it was not disclosed to the claimants during the epic High Court group litigation (GLO). This morning he said:

“The Review is an incredibly important document and we would have wished to have shown it to the Court if it had been available to us.”

James Hartley from Freeths told me the Review was:

“Yet more evidence of issues and questions of profound gravity that were known to the Post Office’s most senior management – at the very time when they were launching the most aggressive defence to the GLO claim that public money could buy.

“Had the Post Office been transparent and responsible about how to address these issues then there is every likelihood that the GLO claimants could have been spared the ordeal of the High Court litigation that the Post Office put them through.”

On legal advice from the Post Office’s General Counsel Jane MacLeod, [She who REFUSED to attend the inquest - Sluffy] the Review (and the as yet unknown “follow-up work” engendered by the Review) was not even shown to the full Post Office board.

This “significant error of judgement” by Tim Parker was picked up in 2020 by the Post Office’s Senior Independent Director Ken McCall and reported to the government by the UKGI’s director on the Post Office Board, Tom Cooper.  

[This is highly significant because it shows that the government via its Shareholder Executive (Sh-ex) - the government representative who owns the one and only share in the Post Office didn't know anything - ie there could not have been a government cover-up because Sh-ex are the ones who tell the government what is going on at the Post Office in the first place - for instance the ones who wrote the report that Vennells was useless! - in other words if they KNEW of the shit that was happening at the Post Office it would be them who tell the government and then the government would then act - but if the government didn't know about the PO cover-up then they are in the dark like everyone else is. Sluffy]  

Cooper says McCall felt it would be wrong to take any action against Parker because it would be “disproportionate”.

Cooper tells his colleagues in government that he hasn’t asked McCall “to put any of this in writing or come in to meet Ministers or officials to discuss, but this is an option.”

As a result of Cooper’s email, Sarah Munby, the Permanent Secretary for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy wrote to Tim Parker in October 2020 saying:

“We understand that you were advised at the time by the Post Office’s General Counsel that for reasons of confidentiality and preserving legal privilege the circulation of the report should be strictly controlled. Nevertheless, given the background of parliamentary interest, the fact that your review was commissioned by the Minister responsible for the Post Office and the potential significance of the recommendations made by Jonathan Swift QC, we consider it was an mistake not to have ensured that the whole board had an opportunity to see and discuss the detail of its findings and agree what any next steps should be. With hindsight, this information should have been seen by the board and we are disappointed that it wasn’t.”



Last edited by Sluffy on Fri Jun 07 2024, 22:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : NOTE - I've edited the part of the above post in respect of the timeline between the Clarke advice and the Royal Mail prospectus issue to hopefully question why Perkins/POL were so eager to remove mention of Horizon from the sale prospectus?)

244The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Fri Jun 07 2024, 15:39

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Brian Altman KC

Brian Altman’s role in perpetuating the Post Office scandal is self-evident. He gave advice which helped a bent client keep a lid on a gargantuan miscarriage of justice. Whether that was down to any professional failings was in issue today. Altman had sight of clear evidence of criminal activity (orders to shred documents, misleading a court), massive failures of disclosure (the Misra case), prosecutor misconduct (the Hamilton case), yet he somehow managed to give advices (and, later, set court strategies) which were neatly in line with his client’s wishes.

“Do you think that you might have been set up?” asked Ed Henry KC towards the end of the day.
“It’s a very interesting proposition, Mr Henry”, Altman replied. He then referenced an email chain where the Post Office and their legal advisors were discussing who to get on board to help them in the light of the Clarke Advice and the CK Sift Review.

In the chain, Gavin Matthews from Bond Dickinson purrs approvingly that though Altman has just stepped down as First Senior Treasury Counsel (a very very senior criminal prosecutor), he “has the ear of the DPP/AGs Office” [Director of Public Prosecutions/Attorney General]
“His connections sound useful,” replies Hugh Flemington, the Post Office’s Head of Legal.

Altman told Henry he was dwelling on the idea he was set up as “a thought to wrestle with.”


But Altman is no dupe. We were reminded by Sam Stein KC that Altman’s chambers’ website describes him as “one of the greats of the bar” and a “brilliant operator.” So how did he come to find himself, as Ed Henry put it, consistently managing to “back the wrong horse.” What did Altman actually do wrong?

Very little, according to B. Altman KC. The totemic misjudgment he would admit to was his failure to recommend that Seema Misra and others should be told that the Post Office’s expert witness in her trial was “tainted”. This related to the Clarke Advice. Altman accepted several times it was a “misjudgment”, and explained it by saying that “it is something I have thought about and it is something that should have been disclosed to appropriate people.”

So, said Jason Beer KC (who asked questions for most of the day) “nothing was done to inform convicted defendants or those in any ongoing cases that Mr Jenkins had wrongly withheld his knowledge of bugs in the Horizon system.”
“Unhappily that has to be the case,” replied Altman. “With the benefit of hindsight, and having thought an awful lot about this, it’s something that should have been considered for disclosure and disclosed in appropriate cases. No question.”
“And should have been disclosed by you, Mr Altman,” intoned Beer.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m accepting that” Altman acknowledged.


In Altman’s world, an order from John Scott, the Post Office’s Head of Security, to shred documents was a “cultural” or “teething” problem. He initially claimed the word “cultural” had been coined by Post Office General Counsel Susan Crichton and that “teething” was not something he said in reference to Scott’s order, before grudgingly conceding it had been. He claimed that in no way was he “minimising” what might be perceived as an attempt to pervert the course of justice. When asked why he did nothing about it, Altman told the Inquiry that he was informed that Scott’s “ridiculous” instruction had been “overcome”.

Altman was taken to a letter being written by the Office the Criminal Cases Review Commission which championed his monitoring of the Cartwright King Sift review as “fundamentally sound”. Altman was sent a draft of the letter for his comments. Beer noted the letter failed to inform the CCRC of the Helen Rose report and the Clarke Advice. On the latter, Altman simply said it “should have”. He could not explain why the Helen Rose report wasn’t even mentioned.

Internally it seems Altman’s designation of the CK review as “fundamentally sound” was used in the same way Second Sight’s declaration there were no system-wide issues with Horizon was waved in the faces of people raising queries. Altman was taken to an email by Andy Parsons from (later Womble) Bond Dickinson which stated his conclusion gives the Post Office. “good grounds to resist any formal external review of its historic prosecutions (ie by the Criminal Cases Review Commission).”

Altman was asked if he thought his advice was going to be used in this way. “Absolutely not”, he replied.


The most laughable piece of Advice given by Altman was produced on 19 Dec 2013. He declared to his clients:

“I have seen no evidence to suggest that Post Office Ltd exercises its investigations and prosecution function in anything other than a well-organised, structured and efficient manner, through an expert and dedicated team of in-house investigators and lawyers, supported by Cartwright King solicitors and their in-house counsel, as well as
external counsel and agents where required.”

Where, enquired Beer, did he get this from?

“Based on what Post Office had sent to me, I’d met Cartwright King, I’d met Rodric Williams, I’d met Jarnail Singh, once, maybe twice, and I had read by that stage, certainly two of the prosecution files…. and I think the overarching view I’d come up with is reflected in that paragraph.”

Jarnail Singh?! Beer drilled down into this:

JB: Had you examined any documents or material relating to the training of investigators?
BA: I’ve got an idea I might have asked for something, but I can’t remember
JB: Had you examined the knowledge and experience of Post Office investigators?
BA: I think I knew some of them were former police officers.
JB: Was that the extent of it?
BA: I can’t remember.
JB: Had you examined the investigators knowledge of and practical application of the law of disclosure?
BA: No.
JB: Had you examined the extent to which investigators actively investigated all reasonable lines of enquiry, including those which point away from the guilt of a suspect?
BA: No.
JB: Had you investigated what supervision, checks and balances existed if any to superintend the work of the investigators?
BA: Well I understood that Cartwright King were involved, the external agents, and I understood that they were the instructing solicitors. I had met Simon Clarke and I had met Harry Bowyer and I remember being impressed by them.
JB: That’s being impressed by lawyers. I’m asking about the superintendence or supervision of the investigators.
BA: No but I rather thought that Cartwright King had that superintendence.
JB: Had you examined how, in practice, decisions as to whether to prosecute or not were made in practice?
BA: No.
JB: Had you discovered who the decision maker was in relation to any decision to prosecute?
BA: Well, if my memory serves me during the course of this review I had referred to several Post Office policies and I think one of those policies put the ultimate decision in the hands of someone non-legal. So I made a point about that.
JB: Had you examined what the training or experience of that person was?
BA: Of that person, no, but the point I made was that it had to be in the hands of a legal individual.
JB: Did you examine how much consideration that person gave to an analysis of the evidential strength of a case?
BA: No.
JB: Did you examine what tests that decision-maker applied when deciding a case was to be prosecuted?
BA: No.

Beer wondered, “given all those things” how Altman could come to the conclusion that the Post Office “exercises its investigatory function in a well-organised, structured and efficient manner?”
Altman replied that he was talking about a “hierarchical structure”. He wasn’t “deep diving”.
Beer wondered if Altman if there was a “danger” his conclusions could be “misunderstood and therefore misapplied and being used as a weapon by the Post Office in fending off criticisms of it.”
“Yes I can see that”, replied Altman. “At the time I didn’t appreciate that it would be.”

But it was, though, wasn’t it? Which makes Brian Altman very much part of the problem.

https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/the-one-thing-brian-altman-did-wrong/

245The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 09:06

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Here's a bit from Nick Wallis (an extract actually) about Mrs Straw's 'PR guy' and Jack Straw's former 'spad', Mark Davies. No conflict of interest or owt else untoward about her finding him a new job at public expense, of course. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

'If ever you wanted a window on a completely batshit corporate mentality, as promulgated by Strong Man Mark Davies, face marred by sweat and blood, beating down those moany Subpostmasters with his bare hands and unlimited financial resources, this was it.


“Does this give an insight into what Mr Davies saw as his role at the Post Office?” asked (Jason) Beer.


“He must have been feeling under a lot of pressure”, replied Perkins.


“Was it your view that the Post Office team regarded themselves as marred by dust and sweat and blood in a worthy battle against their Subpostmasters?” he asked.


“I wouldn’t have put it like that”, said Perkins.


Whilst Perkins can afford to be glib, this matters. The culture and attitude Davies brought to bear on this scandal had a real world effect. Davies had already persuaded his CEO not to open an investigation into past prosecutions of Subpostmasters because it might cause bad PR, and by Dec 2014 Vennells had become a simpering cheerleader for Davies’ methods.



We’ve already seen the sickening hero-gram Vennells sent to Davies (and Perkins) after our second One Show piece went out on 17 December. The film featured Jo Hamilton, the late Julian Wilson, Noel Thomas, Lee Castleton and a serving Subpostmaster from Nelson in South Wales, called Steve Phillips.



In her email review, Vennells told her team the concerns raised by the campaigning former Subpostmasters left her “bored” and that Hamilton “lacked passion”. The next day Vennells sent another email turning her ire on Steve Phillips. Addressing the Post Office’s top legal person, Chris Aujard, Vennells wrote:


“Chris, if you didn’t see the One Show, please can you watch the clip – again I expect we are best to do nothing at this stage but Steve Phillips is completely out of order, inaccurate at best, lying at worst. And has wilfully collaborated to [bring] us into disrepute. Any views?”


She’s looking to fuck him up.


This email was discussed at the Inquiry yesterday with Alice Perkins by Angela Patrick, Jo Hamilton’s barrister.


Patrick asked Perkins: “is this just another example of the belligerent language we had seen being used in the business when talking about campaigning Subpostmasters? “Wilfully collaborated in bringing us into disrepute”, what do you think of that language?”


“Well, looking at this now, obviously it looks absolutely dreadful”, said Perkins.


But Vennells was proud of herself, and keen for Alice Perkins to see her thoughts, forwarding her both the “bored” email from 17 Dec and the 18 Dec one above containing her views on Steve Phillips.
The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Screenshot-2024-06-06-at-15.56.04-1024x601



Angela Patrick sitting next to Jo Hamilton (r)


“Did you take issue with what Ms Vennells was saying?” asked Patrick.


“I may have done but I simply do not remember this”, replied Perkins.


“We’ve seen the first [email] and I’ve read it out, she was congratulating Mark Davies for a job well done. This was a win she wanted you to see, wasn’t it?”


“It would look like it, yes”, replied Perkins.


There is no evidence of Perkins doing anything about her CEO’s language or attitude towards Phillips or the campaigning Subpostmasters. This allowed Davies and Vennells and Crowe and van den Bogerd and Aujard and Williams and Flemington and Singh to continue in their grotesque attempts to belittle and besmirch their innocent victims for another five years.

246The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 11:02

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

I haven't got very far into Nick Wallis's 562 page tome yet but I have dipped into the index a few times. There's no mention of Jack Straw at all and the only mention of Charlie Falconer is on page 452 in connection with Ed Milliband's determination  to 'hold the government's feet to the fire over this scandal'. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes



I expect that even Nick's still learning as 'this scandal' continues to unfold  but apparently (page175) 'Arbuthnot knew and respected (Alice) Perkins  from the period they had worked together at the Ministry of Defence'.

I wonder when the penny dropped. The mask well and truly slipped when Perkins faced questioning over the last couple of days.

247The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 12:44

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Are you claiming here that YOU KNOW MORE about the scandal than the bloke who who has been investigating this for THIRTEEN YEARS, won awards for his reporting, for the last SIX YEARS has devoted his life to it so much so that he depended on crowd funding to continue, wrote the Private Eye article, knows personally all the main and high profile sub-postmasters, MP's and even Alan Bates himself and was the consultant to the award winning ITV television series Mr Bates v The Post Office???

Wallis has reported on the British Post Office scandal since 2011, having become aware of it while presenting on BBC Radio Surrey.[1][2]

He made programmes on it for BBC Television's Panorama[3] and presented the ten-part BBC Radio 4 series The Great Post Office Trial.[4] The radio series was named "Best News and Factual Radio Programme" in 2020 by the Voice of the Listener & Viewer, and won two gold awards in the 2021 New York Festivals Radio Awards.[5][6][7]

From 2018, having left the BBC, he started reporting the Bates & Others v Post Office Ltd trial on a dedicated blog, www.postofficetrial.com, having raised £9,000 through crowd-funding.[3][8] He co-wrote Private Eye's 2020 report "Justice Lost in the Post".[3][9] His book The Great Post Office Scandal was published in 2021.[3] He acted as a consultant on the 2024 television series, Mr Bates vs The Post Office.[10] He also runs his own website about the scandal.[3]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Wallis


All that and he still doesn't know anything about Jack Straw's involvement???

What a twerp Wallis really must be!

Why don't you simply just go and tell him everything as you clearly you know far more than he does?

How could he not have known about Straw 'placing' his agents Perkins and Davies inside the Post Office by TPTB (The Powers That Be) to subvert the truth getting out from the very beginning back in 1998/9?

The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Jack-Straw-and-Tony-Blair-006

Clearly Straw and Blair giving a deep state fascist salute - how were we ever fooled by these to two seemingly harmless Cool Britannia types, whilst at the time they were on a reign of twenty years of terror to the country's sub-postmasters?

The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Untitled-design-1

248The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 13:17

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

With all this dirt under the Post Office carpet by 2010, isn't it curious that the new coalition government was quite content to appoint someone so intimately close to the previous Labour administration, to be Chair of the Post Office? No 'holding feet to the fire here', it seems.

I don't know but was the coalition thinking that Ms Perkins was a 'safe pair of hands' and it would be best all round if she 'managed' it all without major incident or embarrassment.

All this business about her trying to fact find when she joined doesn't necessarily mean that she wanted to deal properly with what was actually under the rock and evidently, despite her protestations, she didn't. 

Its not exactly rocket science; it's pretty obvious that, before you try to keep the lid on something, its a big help to know exactly what is under the lid.

249The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 13:52

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

But you are assuming someone (TPTB as you claim) "knows exactly what is under the lid" - yes?

But no one knew there was a bug in Horizon until 2013 - it came to light with Jenkins disclosure to Second Sight 2013, followed by the Clarke advice 15th July 2013 (The Rose Report 12th June 2013, fractionally may have come first but was discovered only after the first two).

So if no one was aware that there even was anything to cover-up when agent Alice Perkins was 'parachuted' into her position of Chairman of POL in July 2011, then it wasn't to cover-up the scandal of the imprisonment of innocent sub-postmasters, because at the time no one knew they actually were innocent because the prosecutions had been based on the testimony of a 'tainted' expert witness from Fujitsu - Gareth Jenkins, the father of the Horizon system who testimony did NOT DISCLOSE the system had remote access to it that was unknown to the users - the SPM's themselves! 

By definition any cover-up can only take place AFTER the thing that needed to be covered up was KNOWN to exist - and the 'unsafe witness' only came to light in 2013 - TWO YEARS AFTER Perkins had been parachuted in deliberately to suppress something that simply had yet to have happened.

The government certainly didn't know that from the very beginning so could have have had their 'hands on it' from the start - could they?

Can't you see a slight flaw in your "TPTB had their hands all over this from 1998/9" conspiracy theory, when the very thing they were suppressing didn't actually even happen until another FOURTEEN YEARS LATER?

..dunno..

250The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 15:44

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

It must have taken years of effort and slog to attain your level of obstinate stupidity, Sluffy.
But congratulations anyway.

I think it was probably 2000 or 2001 that I learned that the Post Office computer was unreliable and that Post Office management was worse. Honestly, it didn't need an Hercule Poirot to figure it out.


'Follow the money' is rarely a bad place to start when summat's not reet. It seems quite likely that some Treasury Official or spad persuaded government that they should at least try a strategy of getting the Post Office to settle SPM's claims for peanuts whilst they got on with trying to flog Royal Mail. 

Iirc it was in 2010 that outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne left a note to his successor. 'I'm afraid there is no money' it famously read.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/09/liam-byrne-apology-letter-there-is-no-money-lab

251The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sat Jun 08 2024, 16:09

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

That doesn't refute what I've said.

Horizon wasn't unreliable it had bugs in it - like all computer systems.

People ultimately were prosecuted for it but they were prosecuted based on the evidence of an expert witness who did not give full disclosure as he was required to do.

This fact only became evident in 2013.

A succession of governments from 1998/9 to 2013 COULD NOT have been covering this FACT up because it was UNKNOWN TO THEM.

The government of the day from 1998/9 to 2013 may have been covering something else up but it COULD NOT have been about the scandal of imprisoning innocent people because the various governments from 1998/9 to 2013 DID NOT KNOW THAT THE CONVICTIONS WERE UNSAFE DUE TO A UNRELIABLE EXPERT WITNESSES TESTOMONY ON WHICH THEY WERE ALL CONVICTED ON.

God above Bob I may well be stupid but clearly if the succession of governments from 1998/9 were trying to cover something up IT WASN'T THE PROSECUTION AND IMPRISONMENT OF INNOCENT PEOPLE BASED ON GARETH JENKINS TESTOMONY.

The concealment of this from 2013 onwards is what the scandal is all about ffs, and it isn't about Tony Blair and Jack Straw dragging the Post Office into the twenty-first century by forcing it to become computerised.

Jack Straws wife certainly wasn't parachuted into the POL TWO YEARS BEFORE this revelation from Jenkins that Horizon DID have remote access in 2013 to keep a lid on it - did she?

That didn't even happened until TWO YEARS AFTER she got the job!

252The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sun Jun 09 2024, 09:15

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

For all you fans of the Post Office scandal here's Nick Wallis's take on Alice Perkins the day before she gave evidence. 

Nick has done a fantastic job but he does seem quite resolved, for some reason, not to mention that Perkins is Jack Straw's wife. She had a material conflict of interest if in any way she was part of or perceived to be part of any wrongdoing that denied or delayed the SPMs the justice that they had sought for so long. The injustices were manifest and had overwhelmingly occurred whilst her husband was a senior member of the government that ignored all the warning signals, as she herself did later.

It was a poisoned chalice that she should never have taken on but steeped in the dark arts of the Civil Service and swooning at her belief in her own abilities she evidently couldn't resist it.

'Alice Perkins was Chairman of the Post Office for four years between 2011 and 2015. She got the job after a career spent in the civil service. One of the people who ostensibly worked for her during that period told me Perkins was “patronising… wooden and inarticulate”, complaining she “couldn’t connect with people at all… we used to see her about twice a year and she would give speeches that made you numb with boredom.”
This is exactly what you might expect from a career civil servant. It might serve to lower your expectations for the next two days of evidence, were it not for several tantalising snippets of information which have come out of the Inquiry in recent weeks.

Snippet One

We know for a fact that Perkins was horrified at the way the Post Office General Counsel Susan Crichton had gone about letting independent investigators Second Sight conduct an actual independent investigation into the Horizon system. This was not the way to do things at all. Perkins met with Crichton in 2013, after Second Sight had delivered their report and gave her what for, recording in a note:
“I understood that Second Sight’s investigation had to be independent but in the civil service there would have been someone marking it who was close to all the key people – Second Sight, James Arbuthnot, JFSA [Alan Bates’ Justice for Subpostmasters’ Alliance]) and knew what was going on between them.”
Commission an independent report by all means, but don’t let the investigators be truly independent. Mark them.

Snippet Two

Perkins’ comic book baddie persona took root with another dig at Susan Crichton when she told her CEO Paula Vennells (again in 2013) that Crichton “sees so much as beyond her control. That’s the problem. It’s her alibi.”
Cold.

Snippet Three

Perkins’ knowledge of the civil service dark arts manifests most ludicrously at the hands of her lachrymotic CEO. On 30 Jan 2015 Paula Vennells was preparing for her appearance before the Business Select Committee. In what has become an infamous email, Vennells wrote to her civil servants with concerns about remote access to the Horizon IT system:
“What is the true answer?” she asked. “I hope it is that we know this is not possible and that we are able to explain why that is. I need to say ‘no it is not possible’ and that we’re sure of this because of xxx and that we know this because we’ve had the system assured.”
Telling her colleagues of the “need” to say “no it is not possible” has been interpreted as an instruction to find a way for Vennells to tell parliament remote access is “not possible”. But not according to Paula Vennells.
On her first day of evidence to the Inquiry, Vennells (who had mystifyingly waited nine years to correct the record) told Jason Beer KC that the phrasing about her “need” was deliberate, because her boss, Alice Perkins had told her: “if you want to get the truth and a really clear answer from somebody, you should tell them what it is you want to say very clearly and then ask for the information that backs that up”.

Really, Paula?

A half-wit would clock this as nonsense. Vennells apparently didn’t. As members of the public gallery stifled sniggers, Jason Beer KC asked. “That’s an odd way of going about things, isn’t it? ‘I want to know the answer to the question. Here’s the answer to the question’.”
People began laughing, but Vennells stuck to her guns. She maintained the Perkins doctrine – telling people the answer you want to hear and then instructing them to find the information which backs that up – was legit corporate management practice. Not at all the sort of thing a semi-deranged dictator, or manipulative civil servant would demand.

More fool who?

This is what makes Perkins’ evidence over the next two days so interesting. Is she a gormless apparatchik or a mafia don? Which version of Perkins will turn up to the inquiry? The wooden and inarticulate guffler, or the smirking Machiavellian schemer?
Perkins’ likely claims of corporate propriety might be contradicted by contemporaneous evidence, but she is probably clever enough to have left very little trace. She certainly got out of the Post Office quickly enough.

253The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sun Jun 09 2024, 10:21

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Bob, the issue is the Post Office scandal - isn't it?

The PO scandal is about locking up innocent people and ruining lives - is it not?

At what point did the scandal start, was it not when innocent people started to be punished for something they did not do - yes?

Did the scandal start because the PO was modernised by the introduction of computerisation at the turn of the century - No, as every organisation has at some point modernised themselves my embracing new technology such as computerisation.

Were there bugs in the system and did the bugs lead to injustices - yes and yes.

Was it known that there were bugs in the system and that injustices occurred at the time - no and no.

Was there a cover-up by anyone at the time (let alone TPTB) that there were bugs in the system and injustices occurring - no, no one knew about them, so how could there have been a cover-up?

When did the bugs and injustices finally come to light - 2013.

When was agent Perkins 'parachuted' into the Post Office by TPTB to conceal the ongoing cover-up of a scandal that Bob believes started in 1998/9 by amongst others Jack Straw - 2011.

Conclusion

Perkins was not 'placed' into the Post Office in 2011 to hide, conceal or otherwise cover up something that only became known to anyone two years later in 2013

The cover-up of the scandal only commenced in 2013, and thus the Inquiry is to seek to establish who took part in the cover-up and at the moment Jason Beer KC (the leading counsel of the Inquiry) and Nick Wallis (the journalist who you clearly follow and who's book you have just bought) are both pointing the finger at the Post Office EXECUTIVES (eg Vennells, Davies, Aujard, etc) and NOT Jack Straw or a Deep State cover-up conspiracy theory that has been ongoing from the very start since 1998/9.

254The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sun Jun 09 2024, 12:31

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

It seems that by 2001 (and perhaps before that), SPMs were already complaining in large numbers that Horizon was producing non-existent deficits and they were being made to PAY UP.  They were all told that there was nothing wrong and to PAY UP OR ELSE.

The SPM at Cleveleys didn't pay up and in 2001 was sacked but she made off with the computer terminal and took it to an IT expert who was able to demonstrate flaws to such an extent that the Post Office had to settle most, if not all, of her £188K legal claim in return, it seems, for the SPM's silence.

The cover-up had well and truly started. So who exactly was involved and who was told what? That, amongst other things, is what the Inquiry may or may not uncover. It might be news to Sluffy but the idea of cover-ups is that those involved try their hardest to cover up anything/everything they can.

One thing that is clear though is that if these shortfalls were bogus, and plainly they were, there had to be something seriously wrong with Post Office management and governance. There also had to be something wrong with the Post Office's financial accounting system.

In 2011 the auditor told Ms Perkins that Horizon was a big problem. Did Perkins follow it up? Apparently not but if it was a problem, how long had it been a problem?

Had the auditors reported the problem to senior management previously and, if so, when and in what terms? This doesn't seem to have been nailed down by the Inquiry but the likelihood is that the issue was referenced in annual Management Letters to the Royal Mail Board to be reviewed by the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board.

Second Sight may have something to say about this in their statements to the Inquiry but they plainly cottoned on to the Suspense Account issues (i.e. unresolved discrepancies) and POL evidently would not supply the details Second Sight wanted to review. POL were worried about the Post Office's 'reputation' and so they should have been.

There need to be prosecutions over all this but I can't help thinking that a lot of guilty parties will get off and the government/Treasury are still not dealing with the compensation anywhere near as quickly as they should be.

255The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sun Jun 09 2024, 14:26

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

It's hard work with you Bob once you've closed your mind and refuse to accept that you may be wrong.

Computers systems have bugs in them - a bug occurred at Cleveleys and a prosecution failed.

If you troubled yourself to read the books by the author who calls themselves The Secret Barrister...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Barrister

...you can read for yourself how 'broken' the criminal legal system is.

The prosecution no doubt failed on Royal Mail being unable to prove a theft took place because of an expert defence witness saying there were bugs in the computer system they were relying on.

What happen next according to the POL was that the bug was a 'one-off' effected just the one sub-post office, and was fixed and resolved from that point on.

Indeed Vennells and van den Bogerd gave that as evidence in their testimony to the Parliamentary sub-committee hearing in February 2015.

As far as the Royal Mail was concerned the 2001 event at Cleveleys was a one-off and they paid the SPM their costs and possibly to stop any bad publicity.

From that point on all prosecutions were based on the (now known to be)  tainted evidence of Gareth Jenkins (the father of the Horizon system)

It seems that Jarnail Singh was the Post Office legal officer who wrongly advised Jenkins in the way he gave his evidence.

I hardly consider this to be a Jack Straw led multi-government cover-up that started in 1998/9 and continued for the next TWENTY YEARS.

In 2011 Perkins took up her position at POL and was told by an auditor (a very, very senior external auditor at that) that there was a big problem FOR THE AUDITING COMPANY in continuing to sign off POL accounts because there were doubts by them about how 'robust' Horizon really was (there was NO PROOF to corroborate POL claim that Horizon was as infallible as POL claimed).

Whilst I'm not here to defend Perkins this is what your own 'hero' Nick Wallis says in Perkins defence...

The two gold stars we can put in Perkins’ achievement chart are her determination to instigate an independent review of the Horizon system (which led to the Second Sight Interim Report) and her equal determination to ensure that any review of campaigning Subpostmaster cases included those with criminal convictions.

When asked why, in March 2012, she volunteered an investigation of the Horizon system during a meeting with James (now Lord) Arbuthnot, she told Jason Beer: “I had had the meeting with Mr Grant. I was aware that Private Eye had been covering this. It was clear to me that Lord Arbuthnot was very concerned about this issue. I took him seriously and I think at this point I’d come to the view… that we should take a fresh look at this to see for ourselves.”

The Empire Pushes Back

Having made the offer to James Arbuthnot to set up an independent investigation, Perkins was nonplussed to discover that no one at the Post Office thought it was a good idea or was inclined to do anything about it.

“Did you feel that the business was pushing back unnecessarily?” asked Jason Beer.
Perkins did.

“Who in the business was pushing back unnecessarily?” he asked
“I thought that Susan Crichton [General Counsel] was definitely pushing back unnecessarily. I thought Mike Young [Chief Technical Officer] was pushing back unnecessarily, and those were the two people who I had in the front of my mind”, replied Perkins. This was apparently partly because Horizon had already been proved to be robust and “given everything else that the business was trying to do at the time that there wasn’t the capacity to do this as well.”

Perkins persevered and got her way. Second Sight were formally appointed in July 2012. Yet twelve months later, in the days leading up to the delivery of Second Sight’s interim report, Perkins seems to have gone native and was attempting to either shut down Second Sight’s report or stall it so the Post Office could get it changed...


https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/perkins-in-wonderland-day-1/

Hardly seems to be the actions of an 'agent' 'parachuted' in to the POL to keep a lid on a 'known' cover-up does it???


Even Wallis is ONCE AGAIN is alluding to that it was the Post Office EXECUTIVES (Vennells et al) who DIDN'T WANT this (The Empire Pushes Back sub-heading he used) AND NOT part of a TWENTY YEAR MULTI-GOVERNMENT COVER-UP CONSPIRACY.

The simple truth seems to go something like this...

Government commissions a national computerised system to bring the Royal Mail's. Post Office into the twenty-first century.

The system (as systems do) had bugs in it - one of which manifested itself at Cleveleys.

The SPM's legal team brought doubts about the prosecutions case based on what the system said were missing money, but Royal Mail could not PROVE it to be so.

Case dismissed, SPM's legal fees paid and probably an agreement paid to prevent bad publicity.

Following the case Gareth Jenkins fixed the bug and all future prosecutions were made with the key testimony of the Expert Witness, Gareth Jenkins that was written and given under the direction of Royal Mail's Jarnail Singh.

This continued until 2013 when Second Sight (commissioned by Perkins and AGAINST the will of Team Vennells) were told by Jenkins that there were TWO other known bugs in Horizon and the Fujitsu had dealt with them by remote access - both information not being disclosed on prosecutions involving Jenkins testimony.

Only at that point did anyone realise there had been a major, major balls up.


It wasn't a Jack Straw led cover-up from 1998/9 it was simply a government organisation that installed a national computer system in the Post Office that had bugs, one of which that happened to manifest itself at Cleverley's and was fixed thereafter.

Yes nobody bothered themselves to see if the bug was just a one off at Cleveleys, or that it was the only bug - they (understandably to me at least) took the assurance of their supplier (Jujitsu) that it was a one-off, resolved and everything was now ok - how would the Royal Mail/PO know otherwise?

Yes further complaints were made by SPM  but based on the assurance of Fujitsu (probably by Jenkins himself?) and Jenkins testimony to that effect used in all future prosecutions that things continued until the shit hit the fan when Second Sight were told by Jenkins there were other bugs and Simon Clarke realised the legal implications of this and wrote his advice to the PO legal office.

THEN the cover-up began - not FOURTEEN YEARS EARLIER by Jack Straw and his Deep State mates.

And fwiw it was Jack's wife Alice who's actions (and against the will of Team Vennells) led DIRECTLY to uncovering the monumental cock-up in the first place ffs!

Do you really think she would have done that if she really was a key conspirator in this Deep State, multi-governmental, twenty year cover-up, conspiracy of yours???

256The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Sun Jun 09 2024, 18:23

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

I mentioned a couple of days back that I would take a look at Simon Clarke's appearance at the Inquiry because I couldn't understand why nothing much happened when he dropped the bombshell that Jenkins was an unsafe witness.

I found his evidence quite illuminating and to a degree quite shocking too.

Clarke was the prosecutor for the PO in a case against someone called Samra (I don't know their complete name) and had Jenkins has an expert witness.  Knowing Jenkins was unsafe he got the case adjourned.

He did this because Second Sights report was going to Parliament and he believed he could not disclose something about Jenkins before Parliament had seen it first.  He therefore sought from the judge an exemption to do so as follows.

It seems that you can get exemption from disclosure to the defence IF non disclosure is agreed by the judge - an example of such being the police not disclosing their informants name and details, etc.

Another exemption being that it is in the 'Public (National) interest' and Clarke put forward a case that disclosing bugs on the PO system might cause negative press and a run by the public withdrawing / withholding their money from the PO and bringing it down.

He argued that he wanted the trial to be adjourned for a few weeks whilst the Second Sight report went before Parliament so not to effect Parliamentary privilege and that once Parliament had seen the report he could at the trial after the adjournment make full disclosure.

So the trial was adjourned for 8 weeks.

It turns out that in the time following the adjournment and before the 8 week adjournment was up he convinced PO to put a stop on all their prosecutions including this Samra case and some weeks later gave disclosure to the defence in respect of bugs in the system.

I must admit for a long time I didn't realise this outcome had happened and it is quite clear that at least one other barrister on the day didn't either!


We then went on to why the 'cut off' day for the case review was from 2010 and not cases prior to it.

It seems Fujitsu/Jenkins had done an audit at the introduction of the new Horizon system and all post offices had balanced.

The two bugs found were in New Horizon not 'legacy' Horizon.

The obvious weakness was that everything relied on Jenkins word.

Beer's understudy who led on the day ridiculed this as Jenkins could not be relied on and pulled apart as 'false' Clarke's excuse as non disclosure due to 'Public (National) interest'.

I don't know what to make Clarke really, on the one hand he was the key whistle blower (twice - the 'shredding advice') yet seemed to bend over backwards to get the POL off the hook!



Just for information.

And well worth watching if you haven't seen it before Bob...

...and if you do, look at how hard Clarke had to bang heads in POL to get them to even disclose stuff internally - note Clarke's shock at the lack of concern when he told PO legal heads of the consequents of Jenkins non disclosure - this wasn't government/Jack Straw doing a cover-up, all this is a PO officers cover-up!

 




257The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Mon Jun 10 2024, 10:14

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

The Prince of Darkness



Nick Wallis's book records (page 104) how James Arbuthnot wrote to Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business (aka The Prince of Darkness) when in 2009 he caught a sniff of what had been going on at the Post Office. The book doesn't say what Mandelson did, if anything, but in December 2009 David Jones MP called Post Office representatives to a meeting at the House of Commons inviting Arbuthnot along.

The MP's 'smelt a rat'. The same rat that I had smelt 8 or 9 years earlier and that hundreds of others had smelt since, I can only assume.
 
After the 2010 election, Arbuthnot sent an email to all MPs about the Post Office. Arbuthnot was surprised to get 20 or so replies. It was a decent enough number but hard to believe that there weren't a lot more MPs that decided to keep schtum.

258The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 11 2024, 01:20

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Ten Bobsworth wrote:The Prince of Darkness



Nick Wallis's book records (page 104) how James Arbuthnot wrote to Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business (aka The Prince of Darkness) when in 2009 he caught a sniff of what had been going on at the Post Office. The book doesn't say what Mandelson did, if anything, but in December 2009 David Jones MP called Post Office representatives to a meeting at the House of Commons inviting Arbuthnot along.

The MP's 'smelt a rat'. The same rat that I had smelt 8 or 9 years earlier and that hundreds of others had smelt since, I can only assume.
 
After the 2010 election, Arbuthnot sent an email to all MPs about the Post Office. Arbuthnot was surprised to get 20 or so replies. It was a decent enough number but hard to believe that there weren't a lot more MPs that decided to keep schtum.

Well whatever the 'Post Office Representatives' told him and Arbuthnot, he clearly believed because here, just a year later (November 2010) he's singing the praises of the post office!!!

The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 S300_UKG_Logo__2_

The publication of the Government’s Post Office Policy statement will secure a strong and stable future for the network across Wales and the rest of the UK, said Welsh Office Minister David Jones today.

The decline in the number of post offices and their importance to local communities was highlighted in the recent Welsh Office taskforce on the rural economy, which looked at what the coalition Government could do to assist rural communities and businesses.

Welcoming the statement, Mr Jones said:  “Post offices play a unique and valued role in communities up and down the country and this was highlighted in the responses I received as part of our taskforce project.  The Coalition Agreement made clear our commitment to a sustainable network and today’s statement sets out how we will achieve that.  The £1.34 billion for the network will ensure that there will be no further closures and will maintain the network at its current size of around 11,500 branches.

“Our proposals for the mutualisation of the Post Office will empower those who know the Post Office best - the sub postmasters, the employees and the community.  In Wales, we already have examples of local communities re-opening post offices, such as at Trefeglwys, near Newtown, and the proposals for mutualisation will further strengthen the role of communities in maintaining and expanding the Post Office network.  These developments embody the spirit of the Big Society and are ready examples of what local communities can achieve for themselves when given the right tools and support from Government.

”Today’s statement shows that the Government recognises the importance of post offices for the future of communities, both rural and urban.  Our proposals for the network will ensure post offices remain a valuable social and economic asset for our communities and businesses.”

The Post Office Policy Statement sets out a range of commitments including:

£1.34bn over the next four years to modernise the network and safeguard its future;
No programme of post office closures;

- Create the opportunity for mutually owned post office;

- Support the expansion of accessible and affordable personal financial services available through the Post Office.

- Enable the Post Office to become a genuine front office for local and national Government services.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-plans-will-secure-a-strong-future-for-post-offices-in-wales-says-david-jones

259The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 11 2024, 06:57

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

So the only mention of Peter Mandelson is that MPs made him aware of concerns but he did nothing, or nothing worthy of mention.

In a chapter entitled 'Ministerial Complacency' (pages 104-105) the Postal Affairs Minister Pat McFadden's name is mentioned along with his verbatim fobbing off of former Home Secretary and Labour MP, Jacqui Smith, when she asked a question about Horizon in Parliament. 

I remember that. By that time, I had been getting fobbing off letters, for more than two years, over serious financial irregularities I had uncovered in the NHS. After the 2010 election my new MP came to see me, at my request. The meeting lasted for two hours and he promised to speak to someone he knew at the National Audit Office. I never heard from him again.

McFadden is due to appear at the Public Inquiry on 18 July, the same day as Ed Davey.
Only half a short day each for those two. It doesn't seem like enough to me.

260The Post Office Scandal - Page 13 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 11 2024, 11:28

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Seems to me Bob that you and Wallis want this to be about a government cover-up, in the same way that nearly everyone believes the Covid PPE 'scandal' was all about the government awarding contracts to their mates.

From the outside it may look that way but if you knew how the system works it isn't like that at all.

For there to be a cover-up in both instances it must involve hundreds if not thousands of people to be involved in the cover-up and none of them becoming a 'whistle-blower' thereafter and consider all the many investigative journalists and those wishing to bring down the government spending years of their time looking for something to find and discovering nothing - because it didn't happen as you believed it to?

PPE was awarded by Civil Servants and not politicians and in this case the government introduced a computerised system with some bugs in it but that in itself wasn't a scandal in itself (organisations implementing bug ridden computer systems happen everywhere, all the time), the issue was that it led to the organisation prosecuting its own employees on the outcome of the bugs on their apparent money balances discrepancies - not knowing that the discrepancies were entire due to the bugs and not the people.

Up to that point it was a genuine mistake that could and should have been discovered and put right - I refer you to Moya Greene text message to Vennells revealed at the inquest...

"When it was clear the system was at fault, the [Post Office] should have raised a red flag, stopped all proceedings, given people back their money and then tried to compensate them for the ruin this caused in their lives," Dame Moya said in a text message".

The scandal / cover up started once it didn't happen.

Greene was the 'conjoined twin' of the supposed 'cover-up', of Horizon (and its bugs) which started under the Royal Mail.  Key watershed moments happened whilst in the Royal Mail Group - the Seema Misra prosecution for instance and would have had direct consequences for RMG AFTER its privatisation - yet its pretty clear that she knew of NO cover-up by TPTB / Deep State / Jack Straw / Peter Mandelson / twenty years of successive governments continually doing so - and believed that what cover up there was, was Team Vennells hiding the fact that PO managers had been made aware of a tainted expert witness testimony had directly led to a massive number of unsafe prosecutions.

If there was a government cover-up right from 1998/9 as you believe it to be, then the first FOURTEEN YEARS would have had to be suppressing the Royal Mail Board as the PO came under its control.

Clearly Greene didn't believe that to have happened or she would have acted, as indicated in her text to Vennells.

Vennells either knew at some point about bugs in the system / tainted witness and chose not to face up to them and at least try to start to put right the wrong that had happened.

Simon Clarke knew about it but was brutal in the way he handled it, namely it was 'privileged' information he gave to his client (the PO) and it was his clients duty (not his) to deal with it.

Team Vennells didn't - that is the scandal but you choose not to see it because it doesn't fit in with your preconceived desire to show that it was all a government cover-up.

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