Council Fascist collides with angry Council Tax Payer

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Iolis, Jan 8, 2011.

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  1. In August 2005 Jane Clift, a Council Taxpayer complained to her Local Authority, Slough Borough Council about Yobs who damaged a flowerbed. She became angry at the treatment she received from a Local Authority Employee. She was then placed on the Council’s Violent Person’s Register. Mrs Clift’s name was circulated to over 150 people by Slough Borough Council Council. Mrs Clift claimed that the circulation of her name was defamatory of her.

    In October 2010, She brought an action in defamation in the High Court against the Slough Borough Council and Mr Patrick Kelleher, the Council's Head of ‘Public Protection’. The Council claimed justification and that the words used were covered by qualified privilege. This ground was rejected by the court. The jury (defamation actions are the only civil cases in which juries still exist) awarded Mrs Clift compensation of £12,000. The estimated cost to Slough Council Tax payers was in the region of £500,000 in costs and damages.

    The Council, with deep pockets filled with Council Taxpayers money appealed to the Court of Appeal in in Clift v Slough Borough Council [2010] EWCA Civ 171. On 21 December 2010, the Court of Appeal found that Mrs Clift’s reputation was protected under Article 8 of the European Convention (right to respect for privacy..) which both the Council and indeed the court were bound to respect under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998. Accordingly, the appeal by Slough Borough Council was rejected. The total cost to Council Tax payers is not known.

    One could imagine what the effect would have been had the judgement gone the other way. A Council Tax payer with a well-founded complaint capable of resulting in financial loss or political embarrassment to a local authority could be neutralised very quickly by any Council Official willing to artificially elevate the anger and frustration of any Council Tax payer (provoked or otherwise) to the level of hostile animus possessed of an axe murderer! It would effectively denigrate the character, and by extension, the evidential reliability of anyone foolish enough to pursue a complaint against the Local Authority by more orthodox means. Certainly, when one looks at the evidence upon which Slough Council arrived at their finding, one immediately notices that Mrs Clift was condemned for what she thought rather more than for what she said during the angry exchange to the local authority official at whom she directed her complaint.

    The case illustrates how a local authority can abuse the quasi-judicial powers devolved to it by central government, invariably exercised by low-grade employees in the highly paid ‘non-jobs’ that proliferated under New Labour!

    Edited to add correct case to hyperlink
  2. No chance of course that the people who squandered public money in such a way will be called to account for their actions.
  3. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    I have always tended to lean towards devolvment of central authority to as low a level as possible, on principle. If this kind of batshit craziness is the typical result however, I wonder how sound that principle is. I know Slough fairly well and while I wouldn't describe it as a rotten borough, there is a taint of cronyistic 'machine politics' (to borrow an Americanism) in the local Labour party, who have run that borough for many years.
  4. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Corrupt, useless Labour Governments. Is there a pattern there?
  5. I would'nt just say it was labour councils and you have to ask if they are so hopeless why do they keep being voted in no alternative or the alternative even more hopeless:(
    the electoral refrom society reckon on 382 seats in parliment are never really likley to change party hands:(
    get one of those seats short of committing live human sacrifice on tv your not likely to get voted out of power:(.
    having a violent persons register is a good idea as long as its not abused as in this case what hope would somebody with out access to a lawyer of getting any redress from this council those that put her on the registrar and those that continued to fight should be sacked
  6. Tories are corrupt to. Remember the Tory sleaze scandals? Like cash for questions?

  7. Just made my day did that.
  8. I am not a resident of Slough, but if I were I would be demanding many, many sackings over this travesty.
  9. My rather simplistic view is that there should be no need for such "registers" containing information about people not prosecuted for some offence created by the incident?

    Surely if the council are claiming "threatening behavoiour" there were totally at liberty to approach the police for an arrest, investigation and decision by the CPS as to whether this was the case? From what is published here they would not have had a cat's chance of it proceeding.

    Still, only half a million, and Local Authorities clearly have money to burn!
  10. Thank you Iolis. Excellent tread and I have nothing to add to it except that it confirms my view of the 'Establishment' at large and at lower levels in particular.
  11. Situations like this just confirm to me that the country is not run for the benefit of you,me and common values....we are the cash cows that are required to fund the " public servants " agenda and are required to do so unquestioning.

    Woe betide those who complain or put their heads above the parapet.
  12. Local government types are almost invariably petty-minded individuals who have failed to excel in any other area and - being the sort who were bullied at school - become instantly erect at the thought of any sort of power. To hand them any sort of meaningful power over individuals is frightening.
  13. In the 1990s, Labour created a narrative of “Tory sleaze”, of endemic government corruption. In truth, there was little basis to this narrative, which was mainly based on ghastly sexual prurience about people’s private lives – their marital infidelity, their homosexuality. But the image stuck in the popular imagination, of a sleaze-ridden Conservative Party in power.

    New Labour was, in fact, far more corrupt, and Chaytor’s conviction is part of that wider phenomenon. Under Tony Blair, we witnessed the sale of peerages, the sale of government policies to rich businessmen, and systematic deception as a tool of government. Yet the media gave far less attention to this endemic corruption than it did to “Tory sleaze” – and that remains the case even today.

    David Chaytor debased British democracy – Telegraph Blogs