by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

X / Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

The Post Office Horizon scandal has taken far too long to become a hot political issue. In this regard, I think the comments by Stephen Flynn MP were spot on. The UK Government never does anything to rectify an injustice unless it has no choice. That usually means only when there is public outrage thanks to some media event highlighting the issue. It is sad that it took a TV dramatisation to make the UK Government pay attention, but perhaps some measure of justice will now be seen to take place. Personally, I’m not convinced the Tories will do very much. They will delay compensation payments, and will seek to find a suitable scapegoat. Don’t count on it being former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells. For many in the Tory Party, handing back her CBE will probably be considered a suitable punishment.

There were, of course, plenty of other people involved in this shameful persecution and cover-up, and it is astonishing that so many auditors, IT specialists and managers could not accept that there was a problem with the Horizon software. This smacks either of widespread incompetence or equally widespread complicity in the cover-up. A great many heads should roll, especially those who must have knowingly lied to the Courts. If any such thing does happen, I fear it will take a very long time, but hopefully some of those responsible are feeling very uncomfortable now.

One person who is very exposed is Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey. His lack of action during the time he was responsible for the Post Office was certainly disgraceful, but I expect the Tories to turn on him simply because he will be a convenient scapegoat. Whether any other politicians or Post Office executives will be similarly sought out is, I fear, unlikely.

But this dreadful matter is not the only sign of everything that is wrong in the Corporate world in the UK. Company executives seem to think they can do as they like, taking all the rewards they can grab, while treating their employees abominably. The announcement by Brewdog that it would no longer pay new employees the real living wage was horrible enough, but now the media are reporting that the CEO enjoyed a luxury holiday in the Maldives shortly before Christmas. This is emblematic of the way bosses behave in the current UK, and there will be plenty of similar episodes for as long as the culture of corporate greed continues. I will admit that I know nothing about the finances of Brewdog, but I am fairly confident that, if they were seeking to reduce costs - a perfectly understandable and standard thing in business - I doubt very much that they looked at reducing the executive pay and bonus awards. Instead, like most businesses, they will have looked at employee pay as the main target of cuts.

The UK is among the worst in the world for pay inequality, and this leads to the wealthy bosses becoming entirely detached from the problems their employees face. I do hope Brewdog will reconsider, because it really does not look good if you publicly announce that you don’t intend to pay your workers the very minimum they need to live on. But even if they do backtrack, other companies will soon come out with similar ideas. We need an entire culture change in the corporate world, but there is no way we will get it in the UK. If only there was a solution to that.