Captain: [whispers] I don’t like it, Travers…
Travers: Why, si…?
Captain: It’s quiet… too damn quiet…
I have nothing to report. There is no Case Management Conference tomorrow. It has been cancelled. I expect the parties thought it was possible they might have the Horizon judgment by now. The fact they haven’t changes things.
There’s no point in having a case management conference to discuss matters leading up to a third trial which could be changed significantly by a judgment which is due to appear at any moment.
I don’t think the Horizon trial judgment will appear this week. I hope it doesn’t as I’m away all day Friday.
I don’t even know if the judgment is going to be handed down by the judge in court or if it will be circulated to the parties and then posted up online.
I am quite certain the day, when it comes, will have none of the drama of 15 March. What happened earlier this year was historic – not just because of how heavily the judgment favoured the claimants, but also because it was the first time any of the claimants had “won” anything substantive in their long campaign. It blew a hole in the Post Office’s narrative, which it had been successfully spinning for years. The Common Issues judgment was a complete game-changer.
The upcoming Horizon judgment, even if it is another comprehensive victory for the claimants (and I would be mildly surprised if it is) doesn’t have much in the way of news cut-through.
When the date of the judgment is fixed I will alert my fellow journalists, as, I am sure, will the courts news agencies and PA. The TV cameras may choose to come down, they probably won’t (there’s quite a bit going on at the moment). Even though I’ve been following this story for years, if I were a TV editor, I probably wouldn’t bother, even if the claimants win big:
“They won? I thought they already won? They won again? How much money are they getting? Nothing?! It’s not over? There’s another trial? Will they get any money if they win that? No? Sheesh. What’s this all about again?”
[[no editors actually say sheesh, in my experience]]
That doesn’t mean any claimants who were thinking of coming down shouldn’t. If there’s a decent turnout and a banner or two you may get a couple of snappers show up. You never know, you might get in the papers. But I can’t advise on any of that. It’s not my job. Freeths, the claimants’ solicitors, have a PR company working for them called LutherPendragon. If you are thinking of doing anything, liaise with them, and make sure I get any subsequent press release.
Court of Appeal hearing
We are now less than a week away from the first Court of Appeal hearing arising from this litigation. Lord Justice Coulson will field arguments from both parties as to why he should or shouldn’t allow all or elements of the Common Issues tries judgment to go to appeal. It is highly unlikely there will be a “result” on 12 November, but there will be something to report. And it will be nice to be in proper, imposing neo-gothic courthouse rather than the more, er, businesslike Rolls Building.
New subscribers and repeat offenders
Thanks to all the very kind people who must have told their friends about the blog and the secret emails over the past 24 hours. The coffers have received some vital funds and I am very grateful.
Welcome, new subscribers, this is a very select club and you have excellent taste.
To those repeat offenders who keep giving donation after donation: thank you, but please don’t keeping giving me cash if the money can be better spent by you elsewhere. I have always said I will properly tap up everyone who has already donated when the time is right, and whilst that time might be approaching, we’re okay for the time being.
Finally, a blog post I thought would be a ratings disaster with niche appeal has rapidly become one of the most-read posts on postofficetrial.com. In the space 24 hours, The Post Office’s Journey Into Disaster: oversight/accountability pt 1 has established itself as a ratings smash. Who knew there was such an appetite for cross-referenced deep dives into crushingly dry parliamentary positioning documents? A sequel must surely follow. Quite when, I have no idea.
Seriously, I know it has already been read at the very highest levels. You might want to send it to your MP after 12 Dec. Whether it will have any effect is not for me to predict, but again – all credit to Eleanor Shaikh for her staggering work.
Right. Next missive from me will either be about the Court of Appeal, or I’ll have the date of the Horizon trial judgment.
Be good, now, and thanks again for all the cash and correspondence. The former keeps this project above water, the latter makes it feel very worthwhile.