By Harry Mottram: For years journalists have been exposing the Post Office scandal where Post Masters were accused of theft, were charged, tried, found guilty and sentenced for something they didn’t do. Meanwhile waffling politicians like LibDem Ed Davey, Conservative Peter Lilley, fellow Tory MP George Freeman, Lib Dem Jo Swinson, and prime ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak who as the head of the Government between 2000 and 2023 would all have been aware of the growing scandal. In the words of Greta Thunberg it’s all ‘blah, blah, blah’ for politicians involved in the issue. Even today the Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake when confronted live on TV by Post Masters couldn’t give straight answers about bringing to justice figures in the scandal people like Paula Vennells, Adam Crozier, Richard Christou, Tim Parker or Gareth Jenkins.

Without the ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office written by Gwyneth Hughes, directed by James Strong and featuring Toby Jones as Alan Bates – the sub postmaster who campaigned for justice – action to right the wrongs was going to continue at a glacial pace – too late for many who died without having their names cleared and compensated for their losses. While those like Paula Vennells and Ed Davey would continue to draw huge salaries and stay free of pestering journalists. In complete contrast of course to the victims of the scandal – some having had their lives shattered and who still await justice. full marks to ITV, Private Eye and the many journalists, some constituency MPs and above all the likes of Alan Bates who took on the PO.

The Government in the 1990s were convinced a computer system should replace the old system of paying benefits and pensions by Giro cheques would cut out fraud which was estimated at £150m a year. With the tax payer facing a bill in 2024 of more than £1 billion pounds that decision looks in hindsight insane. However, it wasn’t so much the idea to cut down on fraud that was at fault but the failure in common sense amongst humans when they accept the notion that computers cannot be wrong. Compound that with management being in denial that they couldn’t be wrong and bit by bit it allowed the scandal to grow. The main blame must lie with those in a position to question the idea that hundreds of Post Masters could be fraudsters.