Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

My wish for Ed Davey

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Has Ed Davey resigned yet? Being a man of great decency and honour, I assume he has, leaving the party to be led by Velma from Scooby-Doo. If he hasn’t yet resigned – and from his statements at time of writing it doesn’t look as if he has that intention – then I hope he is hounded on every step of the electoral trail this year by furious postmasters and mistresses. May they ambush every photo op, like a tribe of incandescent hobbits. Yes, there were at least ten other government ministers, from all three major parties, who should feel some sense of culpability, but Davey’s tenure as Post Office minister came at a fairly crucial time in the proceedings, between 2010 and 2012. We are reminded too that Davey finds it difficult to open his fat mouth without calling for someone’s resignation and so it is gratifying to see the boot on the other foot and kicking with great vigour.

The purpose of bureaucrats is to prevent instability and so the whistleblowers are always ignored

The Horizon scandal is being called Britain’s greatest ever miscarriage of justice, given that more than 700 postmasters and mistresses were hauled before the courts, given criminal convictions and in many cases rendered bankrupt simply, it would seem, because the Post Office bureaucrats refused to consider that perhaps their Fujitsu software accounting system might be a little flawed. Instead, disdaining Occam’s razor, they wedded themselves to the highly unlikely proposition that hundreds upon hundreds of frauds were being carried out across the country by their employees.

If they had paused for one moment to weigh up the probabilities at work, they would surely have suspected that the problem lay with IT, not the workforce. But they either couldn’t do that, or didn’t do that, presumably because they would have been forced to take the rap for installing such a staggeringly useless system, which one outside invigilator, a man called Jason Coyne, described as being frequently not fit for purpose.

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