How powerful is a petition? (Credits: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The question is, do you think anything will result from it?
Despite the Prime Minister ‘strongly supporting’ a review into the ex post-office boss and expressing willingness to exonerate postmasters involved in the Horizon scandal, the makers of the accounting system, Fujitsu, are yet to face consequences and were even awarded a £48 million contract to run the Police National Computer. Well…
Read on to see what readers think about this issue, among others.
‘I signed the petition to have Paula Vennells stripped of her CBE immediately’
I was delighted to see the 38 Degrees petition to have former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells stripped of her CBE has now reached in excess of a million signatures. I signed it immediately.
Is it also appropriate for her to retain her £5million payout on leaving in 2019 (Metro, Mon)?
The Horizon scandal, for which she bears ultimate responsibility, is a very serious miscarriage of justice.
Thousands of Post Office staff were wrongly accused of theft or fraud and hundreds were falsely convicted. At least four suicides have been linked to the scandal, which was dramatised in ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office.
There were failings by so many and at numerous levels. Without question, all heads should roll with immediate effect and those who have been treated so badly compensated properly.
It is a very sad state of affairs that the problems with the Horizon accounting system had been known for in excess of 20 years and still so many victims have still not received the compensation they deserve. Worse, they are forced to continue to fight for justice.
The Press support for the victims must be applauded. Many people died, suffered serious health concerns and were stigmatised for life. Children, too. I knew someone affected by it badly.
I greatly admire the victims’ fight and stand with them, as do so many of us.
Sarah Bird, via email
METRO TALK – HAVE YOUR SAY
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Don’t count on her losing it…
I would not stand on one leg waiting for Paula Vennells to be stripped of her CBE because 1million people signed a petition. Nearly 1.2million signed one to have Tony Blair stripped of his knighthood. John Nightingale, South Redbridge
What about the rest of the board?
Tim Parker, Post Office Chairman and Paula Vennells, former Post Office Chief Executive (Credits: PA)
While Paula Vennells is rightly criticised for her part in the scandal, a point not mentioned is the complete lack of action by the rest of the board.
As an ex-director of various companies, the principle of collective responsibility exists, whereby all directors have a responsibility to properly manage a company. One of the directors should have raised a concern on the Horizon issue and requested a fully independent investigation into the Fujitsu system. It appears well-paid directors were asleep at the wheel.
Also, Fujitsu does not appear to have been sanctioned and, in fact, has subsequently been awarded a £48million contract to run the Police National Computer, and in total been paid £3.5billion since 2013 on government work. Nice work if you can get it! Maurice Fitzgerald, Worcester Park
Vennells broke her promises to Post Office staff, the public and politicians and yet, although there were proven cover-ups, suicides of innocent people, imprisonment of innocent people, breakdowns etc, she was rewarded with a CBE in 2019 by the Tory government.
Now, prime minister Rishi Sunak has the cheek to say that measures are being considered to clear the Post Office workers. They must be so encouraged by yet more empty words. Jokers! Corin, London
B Butterfield (MetroTalk, Mon) is correct to state that public rather than private ownership of public services is the lesser of two evils.
I would also like to think that Andrew Turek’s point (MetroTalk, Mon) that people are now less deferential than their predecessors was a lamentable comment on today’s society rather than something to be proud of. There is enough disrespect out there as it is.
What those sub-postmasters, for example, were put through was a disgrace. If there was ever a lesson on not becoming over-reliant on technology, this was it. Dec, Essex
Unavoidable media personalities, virtual court and justifying long-haul travel
Some people are just everywhere… (Picture: BBC/Hat Trick/Richard Kendal)
You just can’t avoid some people! Wherever you go on TV or radio, you get Alexander Armstrong or Tony Robinson doing quiz shows, archaeological digs or bloody travelogues. Fred, South-East London
It’s amazing that someone decided to issue a set of stamps featuring the Spice Girls (Metro, Fri). I would imagine philatelists are shaking their heads in disbelief. Molly Neville, Sheffield
Perhaps those middle-class snobs who criticise Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin’s knighthood would prefer to eat horse meat and snails. These pro-EU people are pathetic. Give it a rest and concentrate on more important things such as the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. James Bradshaw, London
Further to police investigating the ‘gang rape’ in the metaverse (MetroTalk, Mon). They would have to create a virtual court and virtual prisons to take care of these virtual ‘crimes’. Our real-life courts and prisons are already overstretched. Chuks, Woolwich
Re: eco-rations for flights (MetroTalk, Mon). I work hard and fly long-haul for a couple of weeks in early March to get some warmth prior to spring and pay the necessary extra fuel costs.
And I contribute to the economy of the countries I visit, so do not feel in the least bit guilty. Jim, South London
Blair had EVEN more signatures on a petition to strip him of a knighthood.