A “cruel and incompetent” administration guilty of “institutional obstinacy” is the conclusion about the UK Post Office fiasco which saw hundreds of postmasters mistakenly blamed for losses and bankrupted, sacked or jailed which in reality were due to a faulty Horizon IT system. The judge remarked that the evidence he heard from the Post Office side were akin to ‘flat earth’ assertions. That was more than three years ago – and not all those wrongly accused have been either exonerated or compensated.
(From a 2021 post): Calling the fraud convictions of innocent post office subpostmasters a miscarriage of justice hardly covers the years of criminal malfeasance on the part of the overpaid bosses who seemingly knew the fault lay in the accounting computer system installed in 1999. The latest ruling has set aside 39 convictions as unsafe, which had led to prison for some, others lost their homes, were shunned by their communities, and a number died before their names were cleared – lives ruined for fifteen years. The Post Office prosecuted a total of 736 people, many more of whom are now expected to go to the courts to have their own convictions quashed.
The judges said: “Post Office Limited’s failures of investigation and disclosure were so egregious as to make the prosecution of any of the ‘Horizon cases’ an affront to the conscience of the court.” 58 million has already been paid to 550 subpostmasters who won group litigation in 2019 and many more are to come so the total could exceed £300 million in payouts. The Post Office spent £32million to deny any fault before capitulating and since the Government owns 100 per cent of the shares taxpayers will fund the compensation payments.
2024 – Now a new ITV drama has finally triggered public outrage about the monstrous injustice which has been dragging on for two decades. Only now does the Metropolitan Police say it is investigating criminality within the Post Office, potential fraud and misconduct in public office. Two of the offending/malfunctioning computer firm Fujitsu’s expert witnesses in the trials are already under investigation for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
There are calls for the bosses to be penalised, notably Paula Vennells, the former chief executive from 2012 to 2019, who was awarded a CBE in 2019 for services to the Post Office (in 2019??) and received bonuses of more than £2.2 million she received as part of her £4.5 million earnings during her seven-year tenure.
Though more to the point there needs to be rapid change of the law to allow for compensation in full to be paid to those wrongly accused – 20 years ago!! – which is being dragged out by jobsworth prats in the Post Office, civil service and legal profession
Vennells born 21 February 1959, is a Boris-on-steroids-whirlwind with a Pisces Sun Mercury opposition Pluto square Jupiter opposition Mars in Gemini. And an impulsive Yod of Saturn sextile Neptune inconjunct Mars.
Fujitsu, 20 June 1935, Kawasaki, Japan, is a Sun Gemini with Neptune in Virgo opposition Saturn in Pisces – and two yods onto Saturn in Pisces and Mars in Libra. The same kind of jitterbug, edgy energy as Vennells.
Alice Perkins, 24 May 1949, wife of Jack Straw, was chairman between 2011 and 2015 and in a position to demand the situation be properly investigated but didn’t. She has four planets spreads out through Gemini – Sun, Venus, Mercury and Uranus; with an ultra-determined Mars in Taurus square Pluto.
Moya Greene, 10 June 1954, was CEO from 2010 when 150 postmasters were prosecuted. She was the highest paid UK Civil Servant in 2010, with a basic salary of £498,000 and her total compensation for 2012/13 was reported by the Royal Mail as £3.7 million. She is another Gemini with her Sun in a super-ambitious trine to Neptune and sextile Pluto; with an opportunistic Mars opposition Jupiter tied into Saturn in Scorpio.
Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, is also coming in for heavy criticism since he was postal affairs minister between 2010 and 2012 in the coalition government. Born 25 December 1965, he’s a Sun Capricorn with Saturn in Pisces opposition Uranus Pluto in Virgo. He is looking jammed up this year and next with tr Pluto conjunct his Mars and worse in 2026/27.