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Post Office campaigner Alan Bates given knighthood - but insists there's still 'work to do'

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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Post Office Inquiry: If Paula Vennells's first day was about ignorance, then day two made ignorance look like bliss


    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/post-office-inquiry-paula-vennellss-190300946.html
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    'That is Theft!' Ian Hislop Digs Deep In The Post Office Scandal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9EnbLQzkJ8
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    stokefcstokefc Member Posts: 7,714
    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/
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    Tikay10Tikay10 Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 163,899
    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/


    Generally speaking, in situations like this, the cash goes into "Suspense Accounts", & then, if it's still there after 6 years, it's transferred to the Profit & Loss Account.

    I don't know for sure, but I assume online bookmakers & poker sites do the same thing with unclaimed cash in accounts - folks forget it's there, cba to withdraw it, or die or whatever, it just sits there for x years then presumably reverts to the Business.

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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    edited May 27
    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/

    I genuinely wish it was that simple. But "Theft" requires a dishonest appropriation of someone else's property (which includes money) with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    This Public Inquiry will be costing money. A lot of money.

    We still don't know who did the appropriation. Whether it was dishonest. Whether there was any intention of permanently depriving them of it. Because it is clear that the people who took the money were different to the people who benefitted.

    If we did, the Govt (both Labour and Conservative) would be being prosecuted. Because it appears that they (or possibly the shareholders) received the benefit of the money.

    I think this Inquiry is going to centre on the Lawyers. In relation to misadvice given in relation to the Criminal Convictions (not Civil matters) once further info had subsequently come to light.

    Sometimes, injustices happen without being able to prove who was at fault. But I think a lot of the postmasters suffered for longer than they should. In a way that may well be provable.

    We shall see. But don't hold your breath :)
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/

    I genuinely wish it was that simple. But "Theft" requires a dishonest appropriation of someone else's property (which includes money) with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    This Public Inquiry will be costing money. A lot of money.

    We still don't know who did the appropriation. Whether it was dishonest. Whether there was any intention of permanently depriving them of it. Because it is clear that the people who took the money were different to the people who benefitted.

    If we did, the Govt (both Labour and Conservative) would be being prosecuted. Because it appears that they (or possibly the shareholders) received the benefit of the money.

    I think this Inquiry is going to centre on the Lawyers. In relation to misadvice given in relation to the Criminal Convictions (not Civil matters) once further info had subsequently come to light.

    Sometimes, injustices happen without being able to prove who was at fault. But I think a lot of the postmasters suffered for longer than they should. In a way that may well be provable.

    We shall see. But don't hold your breath :)
    What do you think Fujitsu are guilty of?
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/

    I genuinely wish it was that simple. But "Theft" requires a dishonest appropriation of someone else's property (which includes money) with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    This Public Inquiry will be costing money. A lot of money.

    We still don't know who did the appropriation. Whether it was dishonest. Whether there was any intention of permanently depriving them of it. Because it is clear that the people who took the money were different to the people who benefitted.

    If we did, the Govt (both Labour and Conservative) would be being prosecuted. Because it appears that they (or possibly the shareholders) received the benefit of the money.

    I think this Inquiry is going to centre on the Lawyers. In relation to misadvice given in relation to the Criminal Convictions (not Civil matters) once further info had subsequently come to light.

    Sometimes, injustices happen without being able to prove who was at fault. But I think a lot of the postmasters suffered for longer than they should. In a way that may well be provable.

    We shall see. But don't hold your breath :)
    What do you think Fujitsu are guilty of?
    Difficult to be sure.

    But an educated guess would be that one or more people from Fujitsu moved some money about. Without the knowledge of the Post Office.

    And that it doesn't seem to fit into the sort of categories you (or I) would expect. This doesn't look like someone deliberately stealing for their own benefit. Or a calculated campaign to fiddle stuff to keep a lucrative contract. Because I think there would have been quicker progress.

    My guess is someone at Fujitsu made a mistake. And then took a whole load of steps to hide his mistake. To keep his job-not for personal gain. Never thinking for a second the enormous amount of grief that would result. And that that may never be proved.
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    TheEdge949TheEdge949 Member Posts: 5,485
    I remember an acquaintance once telling me that often the lie or deceit isn't the cause of the problem, it's the elaborate cover up that inevitably unravels and exposes everything.

    There are people involved who should be made to answer for their part in all this. However, I fear they never will. Smoke and mirrors and the odd patsy hung out to dry for public consumption.
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406

    I remember an acquaintance once telling me that often the lie or deceit isn't the cause of the problem, it's the elaborate cover up that inevitably unravels and exposes everything.

    There are people involved who should be made to answer for their part in all this. However, I fear they never will. Smoke and mirrors and the odd patsy hung out to dry for public consumption.

    That is normally true. And some if it is true in this case. Just wait until it's the Lawyers turn :)

    The thing is-it nearly always "unravels and exposes everything". And this time, it hasn't. I suspect that part of the blame is going to be pinned on some of the Lawyers. With more justification than the former CEO. And, if they were employees, might even see some money from the Govt or the Shareholders.

    But it will still only be a small-ish part if all of this. Bigger than Vennells, IMO.

    But not the whole answer.
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    edited May 27
    Without wishing to pretend I can predict the future, I have been in a position where I am the lead Lawyer, advising a CEO (or other Director). And I have also been in a position where I was doing a specialist job, reporting to the Head Lawyer. As well as external Counsel advising a large Company on sensitive issues.

    I know I am talking with the benefit of hindsight. But in any of those 3 roles, at some stage (probably some time between 2013 and 2017) I think it likely (on the limited information available) to have felt the need to protect myself, by setting out the legal position in relation to prosecuting authorities and possibly unsafe criminal convictions. Not because I knew something was wrong. But because it looked like a real possibility, and I wanted to protect myself first, the Company second, and some possibly wronged people third

    On the assumption the public grilling of Vennells was good (and it certainly looked good) there was no proof that any of the Lawyers tipped off Vennells. Which is why I had some sympathy for her. Because it is clear to me that one of the following apply:-

    1. 1 (or more) of the Lawyers put something in writing about certain risks to someone else; or
    2. 1 (or more) of the Lawyers did not put something in writing when they should have; or
    3. There was no occasion when it would have been Negligent and/or a Breach of Statutory Duty not to have done so, and just let it lie

    If that is what will happen in the next month or 2, that might well be fun...
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/

    I genuinely wish it was that simple. But "Theft" requires a dishonest appropriation of someone else's property (which includes money) with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    This Public Inquiry will be costing money. A lot of money.

    We still don't know who did the appropriation. Whether it was dishonest. Whether there was any intention of permanently depriving them of it. Because it is clear that the people who took the money were different to the people who benefitted.

    If we did, the Govt (both Labour and Conservative) would be being prosecuted. Because it appears that they (or possibly the shareholders) received the benefit of the money.

    I think this Inquiry is going to centre on the Lawyers. In relation to misadvice given in relation to the Criminal Convictions (not Civil matters) once further info had subsequently come to light.

    Sometimes, injustices happen without being able to prove who was at fault. But I think a lot of the postmasters suffered for longer than they should. In a way that may well be provable.

    We shall see. But don't hold your breath :)
    What do you think Fujitsu are guilty of?
    Difficult to be sure.

    But an educated guess would be that one or more people from Fujitsu moved some money about. Without the knowledge of the Post Office.

    I got the impression that the PO was responsible, and that it wasnt malicious, or fraudulent.
    I felt that they thought they were rectifying mistakes.
    For Fujitsu to move money without the knowledge of the PO, it surely would have been difficult to do without leaving a trail.
    Unlikely they could access the postmasters log ins without assistance of the PO.
    What would the motive have been?


    And that it doesn't seem to fit into the sort of categories you (or I) would expect. This doesn't look like someone deliberately stealing for their own benefit. Or a calculated campaign to fiddle stuff to keep a lucrative contract. Because I think there would have been quicker progress.

    If someone was stealing you would think that would easily be traceable.
    It would surely be difficult to get away with transferring money out of the PO bank accounts without a trace.
    So if there was no stealing, it is difficult to see how anyone at Fujitsu would have a motive to move any money.


    My guess is someone at Fujitsu made a mistake. And then took a whole load of steps to hide his mistake. To keep his job-not for personal gain. Never thinking for a second the enormous amount of grief that would result. And that that may never be proved.


    I thought that it more likely that PO staff were responsible, and may have put pressure on Fujitsu over the evidence they gave in court.
    It was crucial to the PO that the ability to access remotely didnt come out.
    As time went on this aspect coming to light became a bigger, and bigger disaster.
    The value of the contract gave the PO a massive hold over Fujitsu.
    It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
    I think if someone at Fujitsu had made a mistake, there would have been a queue at the PO ready to throw them under a bus.


  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    stokefc said:

    Well the missing money went somewhere plus all the money the postmasters wrongly paid back , think i read somewhere it went to the P/L column in the PO accounts , so it's theft then :/

    I genuinely wish it was that simple. But "Theft" requires a dishonest appropriation of someone else's property (which includes money) with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    This Public Inquiry will be costing money. A lot of money.

    We still don't know who did the appropriation. Whether it was dishonest. Whether there was any intention of permanently depriving them of it. Because it is clear that the people who took the money were different to the people who benefitted.

    If we did, the Govt (both Labour and Conservative) would be being prosecuted. Because it appears that they (or possibly the shareholders) received the benefit of the money.

    I think this Inquiry is going to centre on the Lawyers. In relation to misadvice given in relation to the Criminal Convictions (not Civil matters) once further info had subsequently come to light.

    Sometimes, injustices happen without being able to prove who was at fault. But I think a lot of the postmasters suffered for longer than they should. In a way that may well be provable.

    We shall see. But don't hold your breath :)
    What do you think Fujitsu are guilty of?
    Difficult to be sure.

    But an educated guess would be that one or more people from Fujitsu moved some money about. Without the knowledge of the Post Office.

    And that it doesn't seem to fit into the sort of categories you (or I) would expect. This doesn't look like someone deliberately stealing for their own benefit. Or a calculated campaign to fiddle stuff to keep a lucrative contract. Because I think there would have been quicker progress.

    My guess is someone at Fujitsu made a mistake. And then took a whole load of steps to hide his mistake. To keep his job-not for personal gain. Never thinking for a second the enormous amount of grief that would result. And that that may never be proved.
    Police to deploy 80 detectives for Horizon scandal probe


    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/police-to-deploy-80-detectives-for-horizon-scandal-probe/ar-BB1n8MUj?ocid=msedgntp&pc=NMTS&cvid=a803fc5bc7634bee98c5ba3911dbb03a&ei=66
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Alan Bates reacts to ‘rehearsed testimony’ by Paula Vennells

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP9FE8czkhU
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    edited May 28
    Of course it was a "well rehearsed" performance. Although not well executed.

    But I get a little bored with the pronouncements of Alan Bates. Giving similarly well-rehearsed performances. And executing them rather better.

    He was the lead and the face of 1 of the biggest Group Litigations ever. Has no doubt received an enormous amount of guidance. In relation to litigation that is ongoing. Where he has refused various offers believing he is entitled to more.

    In relation to his Litigation-good luck to him. But please spare me the moral pronouncements. Which come from exactly the same place

    That woman has had legal advice from people trying to stop her losing money or her liberty.
    Says the man who has had legal advice on how best to twist arms to get more money.

    And-his point is?
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    Of course it was a "well rehearsed" performance. Although not well executed.

    But I get a little bored with the pronouncements of Alan Bates. Giving similarly well-rehearsed performances. And executing them rather better.

    He was the lead and the face of 1 of the biggest Group Litigations ever. Has no doubt received an enormous amount of guidance. In relation to litigation that is ongoing. Where he has refused various offers believing he is entitled to more.

    In relation to his Litigation-good luck to him. But please spare me the moral pronouncements. Which come from exactly the same place

    That woman has had legal advice from people trying to stop her losing money or her liberty.
    Says the man who has had legal advice on how best to twist arms to get more money.

    And-his point is?

    I didnt think the interview was very good.
    Although a couple of points were highlighted, and confirmed some of my thoughts.
    The sheer numbers involved make it impossible for any CEO worth their salt, to ignore.
    Five thousand out of fifteen thousand.
    That is incredible, and surely impossible to not smell a rat.
    The PO led by her, chose a path of cover up, rather than a proper investigation, to uncover the truth.
    The timing of her appointment probably coincided with the facts becoming obvious.
    I appreciate that the fiasco started in 1999, with maybe a small number of cases.
    So maybe her predecessors could be forgiven, as it was not clear as to what was going on.
    Any CEO would surely want to get to the bottom of this.
    Yet under her watch they minimised their investigation.
    Any honest CEO should have wanted to find out the truth.
    The one telling point for me is that I believe that it would have been impossible to get one criminal conviction, if any court was aware that remote access was possible.
    The PO knew this was possible, as they were instructing Fujitsu to gain remote access.
    The convictions were gained fraudulently, by maintaining that the subpostmaster was the only person with access.
    Therefore any shortage must be down to him.
    Once you admit that there were other people with access, it is impossible to convict.
    The convictions were gained because the money was missing therefore he must be responsible.

    So either she was competely incompetent, or criminal or both.
    I have a feeling she was both.
    Although I have my doubts whether any criminal charges will follow.
    This apparently cant happen until at least 2026, if at all.
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    edited May 28
    The irony is this.

    It is my belief that the PO were not aware of the enormous burdens placed on people responsible with bringing criminal prosecutions.

    And that there will not be any prosecutions brought by the multitude of professionals within the inquiry.

    Simply because they do. So the experts who will spend tens of millions of taxpayers money, with a plethora of experts, will chew the fat for years. And berate people for not taking actions that they themselves could do. But won't. Quite deliberately.

    And then-only then-pass it on to the police. Who will not have that level of expertise.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    The irony is this.

    It is my belief that the PO were not aware of the enormous burdens placed on people responsible with bringing criminal prosecutions.

    And that there will not be any prosecutions brought by the multitude of professionals within the inquiry.

    Simply because they do. So the experts who will spend tens of millions of taxpayers money, with a plethora of experts, will chew the fat for years. And berate people for not taking actions that they themselves could do. But won't. Quite deliberately.

    And then-only then-pass it on to the police. Who will not have that level of expertise.

    It surprises me that those that were the legal representatives of the PO would not have asked the questions, when preparing witnesses, that would have established that remote access was possible, and was indeed a regular occurrence.
    The key factors were surely that the money was missing, and that only the sub postmaster could be responsible.
  • Options
    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    The irony is this.

    It is my belief that the PO were not aware of the enormous burdens placed on people responsible with bringing criminal prosecutions.

    And that there will not be any prosecutions brought by the multitude of professionals within the inquiry.

    Simply because they do. So the experts who will spend tens of millions of taxpayers money, with a plethora of experts, will chew the fat for years. And berate people for not taking actions that they themselves could do. But won't. Quite deliberately.

    And then-only then-pass it on to the police. Who will not have that level of expertise.

    It surprises me that those that were the legal representatives of the PO would not have asked the questions, when preparing witnesses, that would have established that remote access was possible, and was indeed a regular occurrence.
    The key factors were surely that the money was missing, and that only the sub postmaster could be responsible.
    Reality is not like that. Lawyers like to win. And there are all sorts of entirely legal ways to seek to achieve that.

    I spent a lot of time helping my side win. And the other side was mostly (not quite entirely) for the other side to deal with. Because the Centre Forward doesn't tell the Opposition Centre Half how best to stop him scoring.

    I never asked my witnesses questions where I didn't want to know the answer. Unless I knew the other side was likely to ask those questions.

    But then I spent nearly all my career dealing with Civil Law.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,618
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    The irony is this.

    It is my belief that the PO were not aware of the enormous burdens placed on people responsible with bringing criminal prosecutions.

    And that there will not be any prosecutions brought by the multitude of professionals within the inquiry.

    Simply because they do. So the experts who will spend tens of millions of taxpayers money, with a plethora of experts, will chew the fat for years. And berate people for not taking actions that they themselves could do. But won't. Quite deliberately.

    And then-only then-pass it on to the police. Who will not have that level of expertise.

    It surprises me that those that were the legal representatives of the PO would not have asked the questions, when preparing witnesses, that would have established that remote access was possible, and was indeed a regular occurrence.
    The key factors were surely that the money was missing, and that only the sub postmaster could be responsible.
    Reality is not like that. Lawyers like to win. And there are all sorts of entirely legal ways to seek to achieve that.

    I spent a lot of time helping my side win. And the other side was mostly (not quite entirely) for the other side to deal with. Because the Centre Forward doesn't tell the Opposition Centre Half how best to stop him scoring.

    I never asked my witnesses questions where I didn't want to know the answer. Unless I knew the other side was likely to ask those questions.

    But then I spent nearly all my career dealing with Civil Law.
    Wouldnt you have to establish that the money was miissing, and that nobody else could have done it?
  • Options
    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,406
    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    The irony is this.

    It is my belief that the PO were not aware of the enormous burdens placed on people responsible with bringing criminal prosecutions.

    And that there will not be any prosecutions brought by the multitude of professionals within the inquiry.

    Simply because they do. So the experts who will spend tens of millions of taxpayers money, with a plethora of experts, will chew the fat for years. And berate people for not taking actions that they themselves could do. But won't. Quite deliberately.

    And then-only then-pass it on to the police. Who will not have that level of expertise.

    It surprises me that those that were the legal representatives of the PO would not have asked the questions, when preparing witnesses, that would have established that remote access was possible, and was indeed a regular occurrence.
    The key factors were surely that the money was missing, and that only the sub postmaster could be responsible.
    Reality is not like that. Lawyers like to win. And there are all sorts of entirely legal ways to seek to achieve that.

    I spent a lot of time helping my side win. And the other side was mostly (not quite entirely) for the other side to deal with. Because the Centre Forward doesn't tell the Opposition Centre Half how best to stop him scoring.

    I never asked my witnesses questions where I didn't want to know the answer. Unless I knew the other side was likely to ask those questions.

    But then I spent nearly all my career dealing with Civil Law.
    Wouldnt you have to establish that the money was miissing, and that nobody else could have done it?
    No.

    In a Civil case you have to prove to the satisfaction of a Judge that your version is more likely that the other side's version. 51%. Not that no other version was possible

    On a Criminal case 1 side is trying to prove something beyond reasonable doubt. Whereas the other side is trying to prove that there is reasonable doubt as to their guilt. They do not have to prove innocence.

    Various Judges listened to Civil cases and preferred 1 version of events.
    And various judges decided that there was not reasonable doubt in Criminal cases.

    People did prove, to the satisfaction of Judges, that the money was missing. And that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Defendants had done it.

    I appreciate, with 20/20 hindsight, that a lot of those Civil cases may have been decided wrongly. And even more of the Criminal cases may have been.

    I also appreciate that people want to use their hindsight to try and pin all the blame on people who only individually had part of the picture, and foresight, as opposed to hindsight.

    But life is not that simple.
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