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Scotland descends into a land of fraud and contempt for social values

04 Oct

Looking through the papers or watching the news today, one could be forgiven for thinking out country has changed into a land of criminals and those who have contempt for social justice and respect for the common man. If you came to such a conclusion, you would be correct

Here in Scotland, when referring to ourselves, or how business is doing – we are told by our once great and impartial newspapers, that everything is fine .. the outside world admires us for our accomplishments … justice and law are uppermost in the minds of people, trade is great … everyone is wealthy, house prices are booming and everyone can afford what they want.

How very far from the truth that is.

Scotland has become a land enslaved to the professions who are only out for one thing – profit – at any expense. Social values – do they exist these days ?

Certainly not in the minds of those who are in business, that’s for sure … Banks encouraging people to take out huge mortgages & loans they know will never be repaid … hoping of course to get their properties as quickly as the bank can to sell on .. lawyers and accountants ripping off their clients – from the individual to companies, without fear of any retribution, local authorities giving out Common Good land owned by communities, to favoured individuals as backhanders for political and business support, politicians taking that wee bit on the side … which has now become a BIG big on the side … you name it .. it happens here in Scotland.

To see some of the news of the rising levels of fraud by professionals in Scotland, read this item from BBC News :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/5240646.stm ..

Levels of fraud ‘reach new high’

Fraud in Scotland has reached record levels, figures have shown.

Accountants KPMG said the value of frauds committed between January and June had topped £47m, almost double the total for the whole of 2005.

It is the highest level in 19 years and has been increased by major cases such as that of an Edinburgh bank manager convicted of a £21m loans scam in June.

Donald Mackenzie was jailed for 10 years after he swindled the money from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Twelve major fraud cases went to court between January and June, compared to 15 in the whole of last year.

Fraudsters are characterised by greed, determination and ingenuityKen MillikenKPMG

Ken Milliken, head of KPMG Scotland’s forensic team, said: “Alarmingly, there was more than twice the level of fraud committed in the last six months than we saw throughout the whole of the 2005, although we can take some comfort from the fact that more cases are being successfully brought to court.”

The KPMG “fraud barometer” records cases of more than £100,000 being heard in UK courts.

A total of £653m has come under prosecution since January, with Scotland outdone only by the London area for large-scale frauds.

The research found that managers were the biggest perpetrators.Insider fraud
Cases included a Perthshire hotel manager who was convicted in March of stealing more than £200,000 from his employees by writing himself cheques.

Insider fraud within banks accounted for a large proportion of the record fraud figures.

The biggest victims were investors, followed by the government, which lost out through tax evasion, VAT and benefit fraud.

Mr Milliken said: “Fraudsters are characterised by greed, determination and ingenuity.

“It is not easy to stop them which is why companies need to keep on reviewing and refining their systems of controls.

“As individuals we all need to take care in making sure that we know who we are dealing with when asked for personal information and data.”He added that the true cost of fraud was “borne by us all”.

We then get window dressing programs from the Executive .. one of thefavourite jokes recently is the ‘attracting people to Scotland’ drive .. trying to get foreign students and workers to come to Scotland … while families and their children, some as young as 5 are being woken up in the early morning, handcuffed, and led away to detention centres awaiting deportation … what kind of an advert is that for such a policy ? ..

Here are two stories which show the arguement well … and the first – where a housing landlord ran a sick advertisement in the Scottish Borders, looking for someone with “the guts to kick someone between the legs as we evict them and their two-year-old child onto the street” … is but a testimonial to how things have slipped in our once great country.

Mr Kennedy Stewart regarded his actions as a sick joke. I say he should be investigated by the Police and charges brought for his conduct.

Certainly the Advertising Standards Authority should investigate his advertisement too .. and housing organisations which campaign for the rights of tenants brought the country should make this case and his business practices well known … if his attitude to advertising is such as this … perhaps tenants of his properties should beware of dealing with such a business.

Scottish Borders Council should get of it’s fat behind and do something about it too .. but let’s face it, SBC aren’t the most honest of organisations either, when it comes to dealing with local housing issues .. just look at the questionable behaviour which surrounded the sell off of local housing stocks by SBC to the Scottish Borders Housing Association – an organisation formed from Scottish Borders Council’s own Housing Department … what a crooked deal that was .. just need to go to the local papers such as the “Southern Reporter” of the Scottish Borders, and some articles in “The Scotsman” to see some of that.

Should such attitudes be present in areas of housing ? something everyone needs – and something which has become increasing out-of-reach for lots of local people, being priced out of the market in their own towns by the antics of lawyers, real estate agents, and the banks in their neat creation of extortionate prices for properties, which frankly, aren’t worth even a quarter of the asking price … but since the banks and the lawyers say so .. it must be right .. mustn’t it ? … banks and lawyers are such honourable professions .. have to trust them … to rip us off .

If I were to draw up an advertisement – seeking that those who disrespect the public, by embezzling their money, stealing their properties, driving them out of their communities, and being generally, corrupt … should be fed to the lions … what would people think of me ?

Well, perhaps, I might get a medal, considering some of the emails I get telling me about what lawyers, banks and the like have done to people …. ruining lives and creating false markets .. for personal greed.

Of course, I would never condone feeding people to lions … but are there enough hungry lions ?

Read the article, from BBC News, … where you can also see a picture of Mr Kennedy Stewart,

link at : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/5241970.stm

‘Sick’ joke job advert defended

A housing landlord has been criticised over the wording of a job advert for a part-time manager in Hawick.

Caduceus Investments Ltd wanted someone with “the guts to kick someone between the legs as we evict them and their two-year-old child onto the street”.

The candidate requirement was on the website of the Falkirk-based firm.

The company said it was trying to inject some humour into the advert but a leading official on Scottish Borders Council described it as “despicable”.

The firm was seeking a part-time manager, with a £12,500 pro-rata salary, to handle a proposed expansion looking after 200 properties in Hawick.

The fact of the matter is that there are sides to the business which can be unpleasant and we often deal with people at the lower end of the social spectrum

Mark Kennedy-StewartCaduceus Investment Ltd

Mark Kennedy-Stewart, who runs the company, defended the use of the phrase in the job advert which has now been removed from the website.

“I do not regret this at all,” he said.

“The wording was in italics which I believe makes it clear that the reference to violent eviction was humorous but this has been misinterpreted.”

Mr Kennedy-Stewart said he has a “sarcastic sense of humour”.

“But the fact of the matter is that there are sides to the business which can be unpleasant and we often deal with people at the lower end of the social spectrum,” he said.

“I, myself, have been assaulted on three occasions by tenants.

“The advert was designed to humorously convey that a wide range of people skills are required and that, yes, the successful candidate could be sworn at and abused and to infer otherwise could be misleading.”

The advert would appear to betray an utter contempt for tenants and if this is indeed a joke, it is a very sick one

Lesley CrozierScottish Borders Council

Mr Kennedy-Stewart, who founded the firm in 2002, added: “The vacancy has been filled, that is why the advert is no longer on the website.”

Speaking from their Edinburgh home, his Russian-born wife Anna, who is a partner in the business, said: “The problem here is that some people in this country do not have a sense of humour.”

Lesley Crozier, the senior officer for social justice, equality and diversity with SBC, described the advert as “despicable”.

She said the wording of the advert cast serious doubts on the firm as a “fit and proper” landlord.

Police role

“The advert would appear to betray an utter contempt for tenants and if this is indeed a joke, it is a very sick one,” she said.

Under new anti-social behaviour legislation all private landlords and properties must be registered with the council.

“Part of that process involves determining if a landlord is a fit and proper person and our partners in the police have a role to play in that assessment,” said Mrs Crozier.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said they were aware of the situation.

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Posted by on October 4, 2007 in Law

 

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