Mr Bates Vs The Post Office Complete S01 480p WEBRip x264

tvseriesMay 8, 2024
One of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history where hundreds of innocent sub-postmasters and postmistresses were wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to a defective IT system.
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This four-part ITV series appears to have really captured the British public imagination, the furious reaction to it has seen the show's cause taken up in the national press, highlighted in the nightly television news, seen questions asked of the P. M. and indeed filtered directly through to the mood of the people on the street. The crux of the matter was the appalling mistreatment of sub-postmasters up and down the country following the enforced imposition of the new Horizon computer system on them by the State-owned General Post Office. In a significant number of cases, the system threw up financial irregularities for no good reason, implicitly stating that when the business owner did their daily cash-balance they were now mysteriously in debt to the GPO and were contractually obliged to make good the shortfall, out of their own pockets. These sums, although they started relatively low, soon grew exponentially to significant levels often into 5-figure amounts leaving the postmasters, after exhausting the almost non-existent and unsympathetic help-line assistance of the I. T. company responsible for the system's installation, Fujitsu, found themselves taken to court to repay their so-called debt. For pretty much all of them, this meant not only financial stress and indeed ruin, with many remortgaging their houses or putting in their own and even their families' life-savings to meet the "debt", but of course as respected members of the community often at the social hub of the towns and villages they served, their good names were dragged through the dirt with their families suffering alongside them. Sadly, for some, the strain understandably proved too much with a number suffering mental health issues, as we see one poor man commit suicide and another woman enter a state of chronic depression which saw her too attempt suicide and require ECGT to assist her recovery. It took one of the middle-aged victims who with his wife lost his own post office and, now relocated to the scenic backdrop of the Carnarvon Hills, to decide to fight back, specifically by trying to find out if he was the only one afflicted by the malfunctioning computer system, as he'd been officially told there had been no other complaints registered. By getting an article published in a national computer magazine - these were obviously the days before social networking - he learns of others like him who've suffered a similar fate and so starts to organise a protest group to take their collective complaints up the ladder. Helped in this by a sympathetic M. P., they gradually make headway but not before the establishment tries to block them, using some distinctly unsavoury, indeed sometimes sinister tactics to try to make the issue go away. But thankfully, for once, truth will out and with the help of an initially reluctant and nervous whistle-blower at Fujitsu testifying to their ability to remotely access the owners' accounts, the group finally won their case and accepted a multi-milllion pound settlement, without admitted liability naturally, although sadly about 80% of this was eaten up by the all-too-familiar "legal-costs". Still, the judgement did mean that all their false convictions were cancelled on appeal, thus restoring their good names and clearing the criminal records of those who'd fought and lost their earlier cases but even so, this was still a shocking indictment of the abuse carried out in the name of the state by faceless, uncaring, some of them even ennobled executives who couldn't be bothered to examine these low-level complaints and check if their "foolproof" system could somehow be at fault. It must have seemed a bit of a tough proposition bringing what on paper seems such a dry subject to life on the small-screen, but by focusing on the different human-interest angles and contrasting these with the uncaring response of the empowered civil-servants, it made for gripping television. Helped by a sympathetic ensemble cast, headed by the redoubtable Toby Jones being ideally cast in the title role as the little David who decided to take on the national Goliath, it certainly stirred the blood of my wife and I who are both now pleased to see the issue back in the public eye. We too now hope for further restitution for the affected parties, even as we're told over the end credits that four of the victims committed suicide and many others have died in the over twenty intervening years. Almost as importantly we hope too that those who in their jobs-worth way inhumanely stopped the truth coming out and yet have escaped any public censure far less conviction for their part in the scandalous cover-up, get their individual come-uppance.

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Cast Overview
  • Toby Jones
  • Monica Dolan
  • Julie Hesmondhalgh
File Size
183.0 - 211.0 MB
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