Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 480 total)
  • mr bates vs the post office
  • monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Has anyone watch it yet?

    Just wondering what people’s thoughts on it were. Even if your not particularly interested in the scandal it’s an excellent drama and well worth a watch imo.

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Watched episodes 1 & 2 last night. Great drama with Toby Jones doing what he does best. Also horrific to think that the PO could behave in the way they did.
    And as for Paula Vennells 😡

    thols2
    Full Member

    I worked as a mail sorter for DHL when I was a student. The Mister Bates material used to be in brown envelopes back then. I was always tempted to keep a furtive address book and stalk them for blackmail purposes.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    What I don’t understand is how did people in the PO not spot the problem?

    Surely even if one person thought the new system was catching workers with their hand in the till, the audits must have shown up that there were hundreds (thousands?) of stamps, foreign currency, etc being “sold” that never appeared anywhere else? So anyone of those people doing the audits must have had some clue as to what was happening?

    M6TTF
    Free Member

    A guy who used to work with my mum, before becoming a postmaster, lost his house, and reputation over this scandal. Unbelievable how it all got swept under the carpet

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Would need to understand the relationship between Fujitsu and PO. It’s possible that PO wasn’t aware of how many interventions Fujitsu were making, but more questions and less dogma was required.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @thisisnotaspoon

    What I don’t understand is how did people in the PO not spot the problem?

    They did.

    I believe that one of the latest revelations to come out of the enquiry was that in many cases the Post Office Investigators didn’t believe that a crime had been committed, and yet still the prosecutions went ahead.

    The more evidence that comes out, the more it seems that at best there was a willful ignorance of the problem.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Would need to understand the relationship between Fujitsu and PO. It’s possible that PO wasn’t aware of how many interventions Fujitsu were making, but more questions and less dogma was required.

    Again, there’s plenty of evidence that’s come out that there was willful ignorance (at best) on the part of the Post Office about this.

    longdog
    Free Member

    Yeh, we’ve watched all the episodes. It’s an excellent dramatisation of the fiasco which is still not over.

    The whole situation is disgusting and heads should roll.

    Sui
    Free Member

    nquiry was that in many cases the Post Office Investigators didn’t believe that a crime had been committed, and yet still the prosecutions went ahead.

    very much at the behest of the chief execs.  Whole thing is disgusting, i read a lot of the commentary on this last year/year before, and at face value some of this borders on criminal.  the CEO/Chairman of both the PO and Fujitsu should be made to pay out financially as they all did very well from the deal to install.

    masterdabber
    Free Member

    It makes for uncomfortable viewing see so many people put to the sword by these bastards. How it has been allowed to happen and to drag on (and continues to drag on) is beyond me. 

    Kramer
    Free Member

     How it has been allowed to happen and to drag on (and continues to drag on) is beyond me. 

    Because it’s going to be expensive to fix, so comes up against the Conservative treasury spending restrictions, and Labour are reluctant to push it because most of it happened on their watch.

    scuttler
    Full Member
    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Again, there’s plenty of evidence that’s come out that there was willful ignorance (at best) on the part of the Post Office about this.

    Well of course, but understanding the motivations would help with understanding the root cause. I won’t say to prevent it happening again, because that is just naïve, but lessons could still be learned.

    alex22
    Free Member

    I watched it, a shocking tale of cover-up and mis-management by those at the top.

    The weird thing is, is that one of the whistleblowers in parliament who has since 2010/11, campaigned to seek justice for the victims, was MP Andrew Bridgen.

    You know, the same crank, anti-vax MP Andrew Bridgen who got expelled from the Conservative Party for being an anti-semite after he kept on insisting that the government look thoroughly into the ongoing high levels of excess death here in the UK since the vaccine roll out.

    Nowt so strange as politics eh?

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @oldtennisshoes

    From what I’ve read, the relevant parties have been less then forthcoming at the public enquiry, to the point that they’ve contradicted their own previous testimony.

    A few factors seem to be:

    • Most of the Post Office executive came from the Post Office side of the organisation,  and there was a cultural belief in their superiority to the amateur “shopkeeper” type sub-postmasters
    • There was a huge sunk cost in the system
    • There was pressure to get the Post-Office into a fit state to privatise
    • There likely would have been financial incentives to executives for a successful privatisation
    • There was massive group think, and a belief that as the Post Office was a trusted organisation they could do no wrong

    It’s not clear whether race played a part either.

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Thanks @Kramer

    tewit
    Free Member

    Yeah, we’ve watched the first 2 episodes and, yeah it’s a great dramatisation. Bloody awful how the sub PO masters were treated. There’s a couple of excellent documentary series about it on R4. The Great Post Office Trial. You can still listen to it on BBC Sounds.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    It’s not clear whether race played a part either.

    I don’t think this was a factor, as it was people from all different walks of life and parts of the country.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I don’t think this was a factor, as it was people from all different walks of life and parts of the country.

    As far as I know, nobody has analysed whether brown and black people were over-represented in the cohort that were prosecuted.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    I’d have thought that speaking English as a second language would have had an influence cirtainly to investigations, but I don’t think that the bugs in the horizon system itself would have targeted people based on race.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I don’t think this was a factor, as it was people from all different walks of life and parts of the country.

    No, but (purely conjecture) the decision to go after a group of shopkeepers by a group of executives / board members could have a racist element to it, because those are stereotypically two very different demographics.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I’d have thought that speaking English as a second language would have had an influence cirtainly to investigations, but I don’t think that the bugs in the horizon system itself would have targeted people based on race.

    Neither do I. But it may have influenced the decision to prosecute.

    The book I read said that there was no definitive evidence yet, but thought that it was a subject worthy of further analysis.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    It’s very welcome to see this made into mainstream drama – hopefully more people will now share the barely-suppressed rage I feel about one of the worst, and most extensive miscarriages of justice in recent history, and the lack of redress for its victims, both in terms of the derisory financial compensation the sub-postmasters are being offered currently, and the fact that no-one who caused it has so far faced any kind of criminal charges.

    They gave the former CEO of the Post Office her CBE in 2019 despite much of this scandal being already well known.

    At least 61 of the sub-postmasters have died without receiving a penny in compensation. Some have committed suicide in the face of prosecution and bankruptcy.

    Post Office Ltd needs to be renationalised, torn down and rebuilt from scratch. Its pathetic apology re-issued today still suggests it is trying to help the sub-postmasters get their due, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Neither do I. But it may have influenced the decision to prosecute.

    I think that is quite possible, given that the decision to prosecute was made within the PO itself, and the department involved used paperwork with classifications such as ‘negroid’ as late as 2010.

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Yet another example of Tories getting in a froth over benefit fraud, and coming up with a complex, unworkable solution to a problem that isn’t really there in the grand scheme of things.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Yet another example of Tories getting in a froth over benefit fraud, and coming up with a complex, unworkable solution to a problem that isn’t really there in the grand scheme of things.

    Horizon was originally pushed into use by Blair despite warnings it was a crock of shit, and the current Lib Dem leader was Postal Services Minister during the period when this was coming to light. No party comes out of this with their hands clean.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    No party comes out of this with their hands clean

    100%. I know many postmasters who will never vote libdem due to Ed Davey’s involvement, or lack of.

    Kramer
    Free Member

     the department involved used paperwork with classifications such as ‘negroid’ as late as 2010.

    I’d forgotten about that little gem. Thanks for reminding me. I think.

    mc
    Free Member

    the decision to prosecute was made within the PO itself

    This would appear to be entirely normal for cash handling companies.

    I know somebody who worked for a bank for a while where money went missing one day. They suspected who took the money (only one employee left the branch that day with a container big enough to carry the money), but as they didn’t have the evidence to prove that they took the money, they simply swept it under the carpet.

    The attitude was that unless they could pretty much guarantee a conviction, any external investigation would undermine customers trust in the bank. So unless they had the evidence, the police were never involved.

    And having subsequently been involved with other cash handling companies, nothing much has changed. They’ll run their own internal investigations, and only once they have the evidence, will they involve the police. The stories I got told would make you question anybody handling cash.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    This would appear to be entirely normal for cash handling companies.

    You misunderstand me. The Post Office doesn’t have to involve the police. It has the power to launch criminal proceedings itself.

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    The stories I got told would make you question anybody handling cash.

    Another reason we should be going cashless 🙂

    binners
    Full Member

    As with most things like this, it’s not the original problem that ends up as the issue, it’s the cover-up.

    That’s the real scandal. Knowing you’re in the wrong but going ahead and thinking you can bully people into submission and to hell with the consequences for the ‘little people’

    Fair play to him for being given an OBE in the New Years honours list and telling them to stick it! They’re obviously still misjudging him if they think they can buy him off with baubles

    The whole thing has overtones of Hillsborough though, where the establishment close ranks to ensure that nobody is ever held to account for it

    dissonance
    Full Member

    The Post Office doesn’t have to involve the police. It has the power to launch criminal proceedings itself.

    Although the PO had some additional rights due to its history as a public body any company or individual in England has the ability to launch criminal proceedings using private prosecution.
    The numbers of private prosecutions in England is unclear because there is currently no central register
    Its reported the numbers carried out by companies (such as insurers) have been increasing since 2010 due to the tories austerity measures.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    There’s a thread about the whole affair and the excellent coverage on R4 somewhere on the forum.
    Will find it and post a link later.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    Private eye have made their special report free.

    tillydog
    Free Member

    oldtennisshoes

    Another reason we should be going cashless 🙂

    Quite the opposite – had the transactions been in physical tokens (cash), this could never have happened.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Exactly – it’s a prime example for cash.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Although the PO had some additional rights due to its history as a public body any company or individual in England has the ability to launch criminal proceedings using private prosecution.
    The numbers of private prosecutions in England is unclear because there is currently no central register

    The issue is oversight of cases which carry a potential custodial sentence. PPs are rare, and those for such serious offences are often taken over by the DPP and become public prosecutions if they pass beyond the preliminary stages. Not so for the PO, they had hundreds of such cases going on without any threat of this additional scrutiny of their evidence and what was being disclosed to the defence.

    irc
    Full Member

    Of course in Scotland there are no private prosecutions so any Post Office prosecutions had to be done via reporting them to the PF. Seems the Horizon issues were known at least a decade ago with Scottish cases being dropped.
    “Pardoe was also shown a 2013 report which, again, he would have seen at the time. It stated that a Procurator Fiscal in Scotland had declined to let the Post Office proceed with a prosecution of a Subpostmaster on the basis of “issues with Horizon”.”

    Criminal conspiracy: slowly joining the dots

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Wasn’t aware of that @irc . Shame our lot had no power to intervene (or inclination, I expect).

    That whole article is a tough read.

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