Mr Bates vs. The Post Office: Episode 4
April 28, 2024 3:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Alan leads the charge at a packed meeting of subpostmasters to persuade the JFSA to finally push for their day in court, as the legal costs are enormous, and they may end up with no financial compensation even if they win.
posted by bunderful (5 comments total)
I like the little hints of unglamorous prep work, like setting out snacks and arranging chairs.

The Real People and Cast of Mr Bates vs The Post Office

Post Office scandal explained: What the Horizon saga is all about (2021)

Post Office Scandal - a blog devoted to covering the scandal

Wikipedia entry on the show
Such was the impact of the drama that the scandal became a major news story, and on the following day Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced new legislation to exonerate wrongly convicted subpostmasters and said there would be a "new upfront payment of £75,000 for some of those affected". However, the new legislation will aim to ensure that any subpostmaster who is guilty of criminal wrongdoing is still subject to prosecution.
posted by bunderful at 4:30 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

Oh god:

The Post Office’s incessant mis-stating of the Subpostmaster contract terms was infuriating. A Subpostmaster was only liable for discrepancies caused by his/her “carelessness, negligence or error” – something many were never told. [Angela van den Bogerd] told the Inquiry it was just the way it was. (from the Post Office Scandal blog linked above)

The Post Office just assumed it was user error.

The more I read about this, the more awful it gets. The tv show covers only a fraction of it. What I’ve yet to read is any real consequences to the management who perpetrated the coverup and no one mentions going after Fujitsu Horizon for the faulty code.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:28 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]

Of course it’s great that they got some good things there at the end but the sobering reality of the onscreen footnotes at the end almost negates the good feelings from seeing Jo and others get their convictions overturned. This episode also really highlighted the classism that runs so much of the UK. It’s just so fucking infuriating.

But I was glad to see Bob again (ILU Ian Hart) and it was satisfying to see Alan get something for his relentless perseverance—and that he wasn’t ready to quit.

I watched the documentary about it on PBS called The Real Story: Mr Bates vs the Post Office right afterwards. Not a lot new in it but it was nice to see some of the real faces of the main characters. I just don’t understand how those people who caused this fiasco aren’t in prison. You can just get away with anything when you’re in the right class, I guess.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:01 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

Ongoing…I thought there was a post on the blue that was covering this but all I can find is a closed one from Dec 2023…

[Gareth Jenkins, Fujitsu's former chief IT architect] report and accompanying memo provide[d] the clearest evidence yet that as early as autumn 2010 the Post Office and Fujitsu, which built the Horizon IT system, were aware of details about the software which could cast doubt on prosecutions, and were keeping them hidden.

The memo, which summarised a series of meetings about the report, said that if the bug was widely known, it could cause a "loss of confidence in the Horizon system", provide branches with "ammunition to blame Horizon for future discrepancies" and have "potential impact upon ongoing legal cases". BBC

I read on the UK subReddit that the software captured all the keystrokes entering the data so theoretically it was possible to recreate a day’s records to determine how a “shortfall” happened.

And, as always, Fujitsu declined to answer the BBC's specific questions but said it offered "its deepest apologies" to sub-postmasters and their families.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:46 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]

The moral arc of the universe is taking too damn long
posted by bunderful at 6:01 PM on May 3

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