I, like Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States of America, have always been amongst those who believe that the greatest freedom of speech [is]the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking". Finding myself silenced by laryngitis for the last few days has provided me with an ideal opportunity to test this theory.
So far I have heard;
· the US Justice Department has struggled to find adequate evidence to press criminal charges against senior executives of major lenders despite a multitude of mortgage documents bearing evidence of recently forged signatures and illegal alterations being made available to them. They remain convinced their hands are tied regardless of the U.S. Treasury’s confirmation that it is conducting a civil investigation into 4,500 illegal foreclosures while attorneys representing service members estimate banks have foreclosed on up to 30,000 military personnel in potential violation of the law.
· Shane O’Riordain (Group Communications Director of the Lloyds banking group) saying on Radio 4, “It’s entirely right for companies, both our company and others, to pay bonuses when performance targets have been met” only a few hours before HBOS whistle blower Paul Moore explained, also on Radio 4, the flip side to this “reward for growth at any cost culture” was a publicly awarded cabbage for those who failed or, in his case, a lunacy label for warning of the economic risks.
· Big banks continue to believe they are not only fair and fit for purpose, but essential for our continued welfare. They insist people should stop complaining and calling for regulatory measures to safeguard our economic future but instead, knuckle down to suffer whatever deprivation is necessary and leave them (in some cases the very same people who caused the economic crisis in the first place) to get on with fixing the economic crisis.
And on the home front:
· Lloyds TSB’s collections department insist, in spite of the CAB’s written confirmation to the contrary, their file notes are evidence that my mature, part-time and voluntary CAB representative rang their Lloyds TSB collections department at 6.42 a.m. on the morning of 11 August 2010 to offer to make a payment arrangement on my behalf.
· the Ombudsman’s adjudicator has explained, yet again that, in spite of originally initiating this particular ombudsman’s compliant on the basis that neither I, nor the CAB, had ever entered into a payment arrangement with Lloyds TSB, it is not her role to uphold my complaint by insisting, (as per my repeated requests) Lloyds communicate directly with me, just because they might have made a mistake about my entering apayment arrangement.
· Faced with figures from Lloyds own housing growth tables for 2006-2008 which support my case for the over-valuation of my property, I have been told my £217,000 mortgage shortfall is too “remote” to provide a causal link to support a loss for which I can sue.It is said each of us are given a little spark of madness at birth and because of this it is important not to lose it. If my own week is anything to go by, there is absolutely no danger of this as I am clearly surrounded by either fools or madmen
In honour of International women’s day, our fair share of mad women too.