Wednesday 13th May – Furlough Fraud: The employers ripping off their staff.

Hot off the press.

And continuing the theme of questionable pandemic business practices I raised a few days ago.

 Skulduggery appears to be more afoot than I’d originally thought.

It’s alive, well and successfully feasting on the plump, juicy opportunities afforded by The-Virus. It’s veritably banqueting amongst the fear, slash economic uncertainty, currently faced by many households across the globe.

Today’s Scumbag-Spotlight falls in an area of the UK called Milton Keynes.

Here we find a charming little man, let’s call him Jim-Tea-Leaf-Swindley, who is claiming the furlough money for his employees but omitting to actually pass any percent, never mind all eighty-five of the legally required per-cents, to his loyal team.

And it gets worse.

Jim-Tea-Leaf-Swindley is the MD of a company that, quite stunningly, handles the financial matters of his clients. 

Yes, this piece of work runs an accounting firm.

Unfortunately his company tag-line appears to be ‘Swipe it and Scarper’ which, needless to say, has been left off of his company blurb and so, his clients were probably unaware that, in addition to fleecing his employees, he has no moral objection to stitching them up too.

Old Jimbo doesn’t pay his rent, dodges emails from his clients and routinely ignores their calls. To be fair, and in his defence, the reason that he’s never able to ring his customers back could possibly be that his internal, swanky, telephone system was repossessed earlier this year.

He sends fake emails to clients from his employees, you know, pretending to be them.

And if said employee catches him out and complains?

Well, Tea-Leaf-Swindley simply back-doors his email system again and goes fishing for another employee to impersonate.

He’s literally one of the most colossal douche-bags I have ever had the sorry task of discussing and, bear in mind, I was writing about Prince Andrew a few months ago.

So that should tell you something.

Jim Swindley is being chased for money by pretty much everyone he has ever shaken hands with, he’s been sued for fraud by a former client, and a winding-up order is currently in process.

So my question is this:

Why has he been entrusted with the statutory benefits owed to his employees?

Y’know, those solid, hard-working folk whose dreams extend to things like being able to buy food, electricity and water. 

A winding-up order in The Gazette should surely have been a red flag?

Now, I have to stress here that I’m quite certain the majority of employers are passing on furlough payments to their teams.

I’m equally sure that these business leaders are genuinely concerned about their staff and want to make sure the business is fit and ready to go when the pandemic passes.

And fair play to them.

But before money started being handed out, shouldn’t No10 have run some very basic checks to assess the stability of the business they were showering the free dosh onto?

It’s not exactly rocket surgery to envisage the possibility that a pumping vein of cash might attract some sharks (or accountants apparently) into the waters.

Swindler-Jim meanwhile, is not worrying about his utilities or his supermarket bill. Nope, he is joyously lavishing his Ferrety-Funds on private education for his brood, and private villas in the mediterranean. 

All while his employees are suffering.

Now.

Today.

And because of pick-pockets like Jim-Swindley, action on behalf of the Government is needed.

Now.

Today.

And really, that’s all I have to say about that.

Well.

For now.

For today at least.

But who knows what I might say tomorrow.

<she added menacingly>

NB: All claims made in this blog post can be evidenced should any of the 5-0 be reading on their lunch-break.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent. 
And by innocent, I mean me of course. 
Not the sleazy, thieving, slime-sucker who’s pocketing people’s cash.
Nope.
That Payroll-Pirate can go and duck himself.

Tuesday 14th April – Which came first, the chicken or the total lack of pandemic planning?

It’s 2am and I’m so incensed that sleep eludes me.

What, you may wonder, has gotten my unmentionables so furiously wadded and bunched?

Well, it’s The-Virus daily briefing.

Again.

It is starting to become apparent that, no matter which question is levelled at the Government representative de jour, or Frick and Frack The Science Quacks, they’ve only got the one answer and spoiler alert, it’s:

Stay home. Save lives. Protect the NHS.

When asked if they think they might bear some responsibility for the fact that there’s still not enough PPE, the response is:

“Well, as long as everyone stays home and protects our wonderful NHS, it’ll all be fine” <insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicised adjective(s)>. 

When asked if the country could be given a glimpse into the ‘lockdown exit strategy’ they have, in their infinite wisdom, settled on for the future.

“Well, we are where we are and we aren’t there, so we think it might be great if everyone just stays home and saves lives by not putting any pressure on our superbly awesome NHS”<insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicised adjectives(s)>.

When asked if it would be fair for the Government to accept some responsibility for the medical staff who have died, the response (I bet you’ve already guessed) is:

“Well, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and we aren’t rolling stones so we’ve had a brainstorming sesh and we reckon that if y’all just stay barricaded in your hovels and simply avoid getting ill, well it won’t cause our underfunded, under resourced but nevertheless smashingly super NHS to become overwhelmed”<insert appropriately gushing tone of voice on the italicized adjectives(s)>.

Marvellous.

At this point, I am just itching for some journo to ask the following question:

“Sir, without using the phrases: 

Social-distancing, community response or measures currently in place.

Can you explain why, with eleven years notice since the last viral pandemic in this country, you failed to put together a strategy for when your indeterminate number of stockpiled PPE ran out?” 

I am literally on the edge of my DFS sofa, gagging for this question, or a version of it, to be asked.

I’m now going to paint you a little picture, so settle back and enjoy.

My friend, she likes eggs.

She bakes quite a bit and stuff like that, maybe she likes a boiled egg in the mornings, I don’t exactly know but for whatever reason, she likes to have eggs available should she need them.

So she went and got herself three chickens. 

Now, If a wily fox happened to be imported from China and despite sixteen weeks clear notice of its intention to start the slaughter, was completely ignored while my cousin spent her days congratulating herself on her huge stockpile of chickens and trying to figure out how to get her constituents to pay for her second home, and said fox did go ahead and kill one of her chickens.

Well, she’s still got two more chickens and thusly an uninterrupted supply of eggs giving her the breathing room to replace the original, murdered chicken.

And that my friends is what you call a frigging strategy.

Realizing you have run out of PPE, running around with your hair on fire and begging Jaguar Land Rover to stop with the car shit and start producing surgical gowns is not.

The strategy would have been to have already scoped out manufacturers to step in and underpin the stockpiles before they ran out.

Am I completely insane?

Am I the only one who thinks that a Government whose sole solution to The-Virus is for us to try and ‘avoid getting it’ is in any way acceptable.

That they’ve got their fingers crossed for us?

Contact tracing? Nope.

Testing? Nope.

Enough protective equipment? Uh uh.

But they sure are rooting for us.

Jeez.

Who ever thought the day would come when I’d be jealous of South Korea.

Sunday 12th April – Priti Patel: I’m out

Well Priti Patel didn’t exactly win my heart last night.

I watched the daily briefing and was a bit stunned at her smirky, smug, snappiness.

When asked about protective equipment for medical staff and why there still isn’t enough, she, frankly, got a bit salty.

The journo was querying how the Government feel about doctors and nurses dying because they’re expected to forge into a WWI style battle with The-Virus, protected only by the medical equivalent of a bikini and a smile.

And her response was “Well, I’m sorry people feel that way”.

Are you?

Are you really sorry?

Or are you simply under-loving the temerity of being asked an uncomfortable question?

And yes love, we do freaking feel that way.

Furthermore, yes, we can look with much suspicion in the direction of China and no doubt accountability will, quite rightly, be demanded at some stage but, lest we forget, China did actually report the existence of The-Virus to the WHO as early as December 31, 2019. 

So why was our Government still standing around with its dick in its hands until the middle of March?

‘Scuse my foul language, I’m normally such a sweet, endearing individual.

But seriously.

It’s all very well for Lady-Priti to bemoan the many challenges ‘her Government’ are facing in terms of responding to this crisis, but there was a good sixteen weeks there where action could have been taken to prepare.

So to stand up and basically imply we should stop giving her shit because they’re doing the best they can now, to finally get around to padlocking the stable-door of the well-bolted horse, isn’t really an answer that soothes.

She was super quick to gigglingly explain how often she does important stuff. 

That she sees important reports and dials-in to lots of important calls.

And she clearly was utterly enchanted with the whole idea of being front and centre at a big press conference.

Good for her.

Finally, some attention.

No need for clickbait here, The-Virus took care of that for her.

Lights. Camera. Action.

But if I may, Lady-Priti, it might serve you to remember two important points.

You’re only getting this limelight because British people are out there fighting, and dying.

And also, you actually work for us.

So wipe that smirk off your face sweetheart.