Mr E Cairns
6 April 2011
Ms Lindsey McNeill
Head of Corporate Services
Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland
PO Box 26300
HAMILTON ML3 3AR
Dear Ms McNeill,
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
I refer to your response of 5 April 2011 to my request for a review of information provided under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
The following statements in your letter, reproduced here in italics, merit consideration as detailed in my accompanying comments:
1. ‘I have now had the opportunity to undertake a full review of your FOI request dated 26 March 2011.’
My request for a review referred to points 1, 3 and 4 of the original PCCS response to my request for information. I also pointed out the PCCS’s premature direction for me to approach the Scottish Information Commissioner.
You have failed to address every one of these specific points therefore you have not undertaken a full review at all.
2. ‘I am satisfied that Ms Brodie has given you as full information as possible in relation to your request, and there is nothing further that I can add to that. Indeed, Ms Brodie has endeavoured to be as helpful as possible in terms of attempting to explain in quite a great deal of detail as to how the PCCS dealt with your original complaint case.’
How the PCCS dealt with my original complaint case is entirely irrelevant to my request for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
In any event I originally submitted two police complaints for review by the PCCS, not one, and very many of the issues I raised in respect of these complaints have never been addressed, contrary to your angle.
Most importantly however, you have completely failed to address my fundamental point about the PCCS misrepresenting as letters of complaint 82 of my letters to Strathclyde Police when in fact only 8 of these were letters of complaint and of those 2 were soon withdrawn in any event. You have done so in the full knowledge that this position was based on a pack of lies that was very damaging to my professional reputation.
3. ‘You continue to dispute the number of complaint letters which you had sent to Strathclyde Police, and you refuse to acknowledge the explanation previously given. To this end, I am unable to comment any further.’
And you are unreasonably persisting in the falsehood that I wrote 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police, upon which supposedly a substantial amount of public money was wasted. Why should I not dispute this pathetic fabrication?
And why should I acknowledge the paltry explanation provided by the PCCS for doing so? Does the PCCS routinely count or even just occasionally count every letter that a complainant has sent to the police and falsely promulgate that these were all letters of complaint? Undoubtedly the PCCS’s explanation provided on this point under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is utter nonsense.
This is an issue that can easily be settled with reference to the 82 letters in question. I have copies and so do you. The explanation provided by the PCCS that this number of letters of complaint was computed by counting the letters that I had sent to Strathclyde Police is erroneous and unacceptable for the rather obvious reason explained in the following terms in my letter to the PCCS dated 26 March 2011:
‘But clearly, just counting the letters I had sent to Strathclyde Police would not provide the true number of letters of complaint I had sent to Strathclyde Police unless the letters that you counted were all letters of complaint. You know that they were not all letters of complaint. Less than a tenth were letters of complaint.’
Your statement about being unable to comment further is therefore just another blatant lie. Of course you could comment further. You could be honest and admit that this calculation of the number of letters of complaint I had supposedly sent to Strathclyde Police was simply very wrong.
The intransigence displayed by everyone involved in perpetrating this falsehood puts the matter well beyond the realms of inadvertent mistakes. It appears to be a deliberate policy decision by the Commissioner and his cronies, which is absolutely disgraceful. All the persons who have conspired to concoct and persist in this calumnious fabrication deserve to be sacked for gross misconduct.
4. ‘It is my view that the Commissioner and his staff have strived to respond to various comments, complaints, data protection subject access requests and freedom of information requests which you have submitted, but which ultimately do not satisfy you as they do not provide the particular answer that you are looking for.’
Your reference to ‘various comments, complaints and data protection subject access requests’ is entirely irrelevant in the context of responding to my request for a review of the PCCS’s response to this FOI request. Anyway the Commissioner and his staff have persisted in very many other lies about me and about the matters that were under review in addition to the 82 letters of complaint lie. The Commissioner and his staff have not striven to respond to my valid concerns at all. The vast majority of my concerns have actually been completely ignored.
Since you have taken it upon yourself to raise these matters, thereby giving me your unashamedly biased and unjustified view, I will provide a few comments of my own.
Firstly, your assertion that I should effectively just accept the PCCS’s despicable lies and disregard my rights to accuracy in personal information reveals your own perverse character. You plainly have no regard whatsoever for truth or justice and no intention to provide a reliable, honest service upon which the general public can properly rely.
Secondly, your portrayal of me as an insatiable fanatic has no reasonable basis that accords with the facts as truly stated. I have a legal right to reputation and I insist upon protecting it whether or not that meets with your approval. I am a qualified accountant whose professional reputation has been roundly destroyed without justification by a succession of highly paid crooks and liars, now including you.
Thirdly, would the particular answer that you think I am looking for be, by any chance, an admission by the PCCS that I did not sent 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police after all? That admission would appear to be anathema to you, one ‘helpful’ step too far. In reality the PCCS has done absolutely nothing to help me and has repeatedly lied about me and my 2 complaints submitted for review.
A reasonable suspicion could arise in the mind of an independent observer that the PCCS is afraid to admit this big lie because that could lead to the exposure of the long string of other significant lies that would render your whole sorry organisation totally discredited in the view of the general public. Of course that is what the PCCS fully deserves and what it inevitably has coming to it in the fullness of time.
In particular, the Commissioner appears to have developed and presided over a fundamentally dishonest corporate culture that has corrupted all the staff under his direction. This is nothing short of scandalous and appalling.
Why should public money continue to be wasted on funding such unexpurgated drivel from the PCCS as has been spewed out in response to my requests for reviews of how Strathclyde Police handled only 2 formal complaints? Information is already in the public domain showing that I have yet to encounter an honest person in your organisation. You should not feel in any way isolated in your crookedness as an employee of the PCCS.
In due course I intend following up on all the PCCS’s outrageous and damaging falsehoods with appropriate actions.
Separately, since you have put defamatory statements to me in writing knowing that they were false statements, or recklessly not caring whether the statements were true or false, you have acted maliciously.
Any defence of qualified privilege in a defamation action against you personally would therefore be nullified.
According to Kenneth McK Norrie’s book, Defamation and Related Actions in Scots Law, Butterworths, (1995), at page 74:
‘An individual is liable for his or her own delicts, committed either personally or through the medium of another. To instruct one’s employee to defame another is to commit the wrong oneself (though the employee will be personally liable too). If more than one person joins in the defamation each is personally liable for the whole loss to the pursuer, for, notwithstanding that the defamation is committed by more than one person, liability is individual and not joint and several.’
In these circumstances I have copied this letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and to Mr Bob Doris MSP.
This is clearly a matter of public interest that would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, justice not having been seen to be done.
This letter has therefore been put into the public domain as is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.