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Well, yes, obviously

The Minister in charge is the Minister in charge:

Sir Ed Davey must be held to account for “wicked” Post Office decisions, a victim of the scandal has said.

The Lib Dem leader has tried to distance himself from the Horizon scandal, claiming he was “deeply misled” while serving as the postal affairs minister between 2010 and 2012.

But those falsely accused of wrongdoing are demanding that he is subject to a full interrogation over what he knew and when.

Of course SirEd is responsible.

In fact, I think it’s true that three of the last four leaders of the LibDems have been the Minister responsible for this over the yearws. SirEd, Vince Cable and that bird, whatever she was called. Only Clegg didn’t take that particular chalice. But that’s something that needs to be checked.

Ah, missed out Tim Farron, didn’t I?

16 thoughts on “Well, yes, obviously”

  1. Also:
    Margaret Beckett 1997 to 1998
    Peter Mandelson 1998 to 1998
    Stephen Byers 1998 to 2001
    Patricia Hewitt 2001 to 2005
    Alan Johnson 2005 to 2006
    Alistair Darling 2006 to 2007
    John Hutton 2007 to 2008
    Peter Mandelson 2008 to 2009
    Edward Davey 2010 to 2012
    Norman Lamb 2012 to 2012
    Jo Swinson 2012 to 2013
    Jenny Willott 2013 to 2014
    Jo Swinson 2014 to 2015
    Anna Soubry 2015 to 2016
    Margot James 2016 to 2018
    Andrew Griffiths 2018 to 2018
    Kelly Tolhurst 2018 to 2020
    Paul Scully 2020 to 2022
    Jane Hunt 2022 to 2022
    Dean Russell 2022 to 2022
    Kevin Hollinrake 2022

  2. Well there:s a list of names worthy for the noose in any circumstances.

    I see Anna Sobriety is on there too. Just throw a match at her anywhere after lunch. She’ll go up like Joan of Arc.

  3. Interesting that Davey could be “deeply misled” by people working in his own department, but has apparently no doubts regarding the climate scientists. Atmospheric physics is a doddle compared to the tricky business of asking underlings for basic information.

  4. I saw a speech that Davey gave on clumatechange on telly a few years ago. He really doesnt have a clue about that either. It was so full of unverified tosh and easily disprovable “facts”, but of course no one called him out about it. The fool even quoted that “97% of scientists ” fake survey.

  5. Sam,

    Not just deeply misled,

    “Ed deeply regrets not realising that the Post Office was lying to him and other ministers on an industrial scale“

    LibDems circling the wagons around their vulnerable leader:-

    Liberal Democrat MP and former leader Tim Farron said: “Ed has said how much he regrets that the Post Office was lying to him, just like it was to everyone else.”

    Not me guv.

    The enquiry would be fascinating were it not a near certainly that it will be a complete whitewash akin to the ongoing “Evil Torieeees” Covid/lockdown farce.

  6. “She added: “There has to be a concerted effort to get the responsible individuals. It needs to be done as a block, otherwise those responsible will walk away nicely. I would like Vince Cable and Edward Davey to be cross examined about what they knew and did.””

    At the end of this process, no senior person will lose anything. They’ll have awards, pensions, houses. The enquiry will lead to a lot of “lessons must be learned” and the creation of a lot of new useless bureaucracy. A couple of people who were fairly junior at the time might go to prison for a few months.

    It’s annoying, because I’d personally be up for live coverage of some postmasters with cudgels taking lumps out of these bastards pour encourager les autres but it ain’t gonna happen.

  7. Some bloke on't t'internet

    I’m kind of on the fence on this one.

    What is very clear is that senior PO managers sat in front of MPs and told complete lies. If you are being told officially that “there’s no problem” then it’s hard to blame the recipients of the lies.
    On the other hand, it does seem that there was quite enough circumstantial evidence, and first hand testimony from the sub-postmasters, to suggest that something wasn’t in order. On that basis, and I know it’s easy with 20:20 hindsight, MPs and ministers really ought to have been looking a bit beyond the official statements.

    As well as some senior people going behind bars, I do wonder if there should be a quite a few professionals (solicitors, barristers, accountants and auditors) getting thrown out of the profession for professional negligence/malpractice. I really do find it hard to believe that none of those involved in the chain from accusation to criminal charges were able to smell “something a bit fishy”. Can contempt of court be brought retrospectively ?

    And the other one is why on earth are the PO still involved in legal actions. It’s clear they abused their ability to act as police and prosecutor – the power to actually prosecute was stripped from the police almost 4 decades ago because some police abused it. When the first appeals were upheld, it should have been clear then that the PO had abused it’s powers and should have had them stripped.

  8. Did any of these idiots, ministers, PO management, lawyers, Vennells etc. never think, “Hmmm, one or two employees nicking a few quid maybe, but over 700 doing it, and all around the same time?”
    “Nah, Sir Ed, they’re all at it, simultaneous-like!”

  9. The problem is, no one with any technical knowledge seems to have looked unto this for the Government. This could have been dealt with a dozen or more years ago.

    Just by reading some El Reg and similar articles it is clear that Fujitsu/ICL simply did not implement basic transaction processing methods that would have prevented this from ever happening. The ghost of my late wife, who used to design such systems, has been throwing things around the house. So well done Post Office, i now need to hire an exorcist.

  10. johnthebridge,

    Well, quite. I don’t have a lot of time for the whole defence of someone being told lies. If you’re in charge, it’s you’re job to go deeper than that.

    Thing is though, most ministers aren’t really in charge. They know as much about Post Office management as a temporary postman at Xmas. They’ve never run anything and they are running a 3000+ employee operation. And divide their time on it between running it, being in the house, and campaigning locally to save the number 37 bus.

    And it’s why government should do as little as humanly possible. A bit of wealth redistribution to the poor, a bit of sensible safety regulation, preventing monopolies, and that’s it. You need people running the trains, airlines, delivery services who have experience.

  11. Thing is though, most ministers aren’t really in charge. They know as much about Post Office management as a temporary postman at Xmas

    Er – isn’t this why we have civil servants?

    (And if not then why do we have them)

  12. You need people running the trains, airlines, delivery services who have experience.

    And are accountable.

    Too few are, or they are rewarded for failure.

  13. 21 Post Office ministers in 26 years – there is no way any of them could get their feet under the table to be competently in control of anything. How on earth can any government system beleive it can function in any way like this.
    Not just Ed and Vince, but all 21 need to be questioned under oath in open court to have put on record exactly what was said to who and when, and follow the rot down the tree as far as possible. And surely everything will have been minuted – particularly (what are they called) select committees of PO managers reporting to MPs. Seize those minutes.

  14. “…that bird, whatever she was called.”

    I think, working from jgh’s list, you mean 2019’s Prime-Minister-Designate Jo Swinson. The one who lost her seat.

    She was the one who said she would re-run the Brexit referendum, and if the result second time round was Leave, we should Remain.

  15. Someone on Channel 4 News- I think a Tory MP- said Twitter shows Ed Davey calling on 15 occasions for someone to resign.

    He suggested perhaps Ed Davey should be held to the same standard.

  16. John,

    “Er – isn’t this why we have civil servants?”

    But who selects them? Who decides that Paula Vennells would be good at running the Post Office? It’s the politicians.

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