No simply answers in a corrupt system

On 23rd Oct last I received an email from the Ombudsman informing me that she had received a copy of a letter sent to me by Dublin City Council finally answering a simple question I had asked of them the previous April. The Ombudsman ends her letter as follows.

“As the Council has replied to your correspondence, there appears to be no further role for this Office in this matter and we will now close your

This brings to an end a tough campaign to extract an answer to a simple question from Dublin City Council. The following is a chronological account of events with my comments.

April 16th 2007: Irish Times reports that Fianna Fail TD for Donegal South West and Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher had illegally erected a number of posters around Croke Park in Dublin. His actions were in contravention of the 1997 Litter Pollution Act.

April 18th: I phoned Dublin City Council and asked the simple question: “Was Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher, fined for illegally erecting posters in Dublin city”?

Bernie Lillis, of Dublin City Council Litter Office told me that it was her personal office policy not to reveal such information about fines. The incident and its consequences were confidential, a personal matter between her office and the minister.

Ms. Lillis further informed me that she had spoken with the Minister and had accepted his plea that he wasn’t aware his actions were against the law. Ms. Lillis and the minister are, apparently, unaware of the public policy; “Ignorantia legis neminem excusat” (Ignorance of the law excuses no one).

Ms. Lillis is also obviously gullible enough to believe that a Government minister and politician of long standing would be unaware of a major piece of legislation like the 1997 Litter Pollution Act.

April 20th: I spoke with Pat Cronin head of waste management at Dublin City Council. Initially, Mr. Cronin refused point blank to answer my question. He seemed genuinely astonished that a man in his position was actually being challenged by a mere citizen.

When I persisted he eventually said that if I wanted an answer I would have to put it in writing. When I asked by what law/regulation he was basing his demand that I put my question in writing on, he just kept repeating; put it in writing, put it in writing…

This is, in my experience, a standard bureaucratic strategy based on the (correct) assumption that most people will drop their queries rather than go to the bother of putting them in writing.

April 23rd: Posted registered letter personally addressed to Mr. Cronin (Copy One below).

April 25th – 22nd May: Made numerous attempts to confirm that Mr. Cronin had received my registered letter. I met with a brick wall on every attempt.

April 23rd: Irish Independent reports that Minister Gallagher had again illegally erected a number of posters in his Donegal South West constituency.

Despite his conversation with Bernie Lillis the week before, Gallagher admitted that he hadn’t checked whether he was breaching any regulations in Donegal. Again, Gallagher is claiming ignorance of the law and, more unbelievably, ignorance of the 1997 Litter Pollution Act.

April 23 – May 23rd: Made numerous attempts to find out from Donegal County Council what action they proposed to take against Gallagher. I met with a brick wall at every attempt.

I was eventually advised that I should put my complaint in writing (All bureaucrats are, apparently, aware of the ‘make them put it in writing’ strategy).

May 23rd: Posted official complaint about Gallagher’s illegal activities to Donegal County Council (Copy Two below).

May 24th: Submitted formal complaint by email to the Standards in Public Office Commission regarding Gallagher’s illegal activities (Copy Three below)

May 30th: Posted official complaint on Gallagher to Dublin City Council.

June 27th: Posted official complaint to the Ombudsman on the refusal of Dublin City Council staff to answer my question.

July 3rd: Received email from the Standards in Public Office Commission rejecting my complaint on the basis that Gallagher’s illegal activities were not of sufficient gravity to warrant an investigation.

A Government minister openly breaks the law on two occasions and a Government agency charged with upholding standards in public office concludes that such illegal activities are not of sufficient gravity.

In a perverse way, they have a point. Irish politicians regularly commit much more serious crimes without ever being brought to account.

July 19th: Received reply to my official complaint from Donegal County Council stating that because they had received no complaint about Gallagher they had no cause to investigate the matter.

This deserves repeating – Donegal County Council rejected my complaint about Gallagher on the grounds that they had received no complaint.

July 31st: Received letter from Dublin City Council finally answering the simple question I asked on April 18th – Gallagher was not fined for his illegal activities. (Copy Four below)

I believe the only reason Dublin City Council bothered to finally answer my question was because of my complaint to the Ombudsman.

October 23rd: Received email from the Ombudsman informing me that they had received a copy of the letter sent to me by Dublin City Council in which my question was answered and were therefore closing my file.

The question can reasonably be asked: Why bother? Why go to all that trouble to force a civil/public servant to answer a simple question?

The core principle of this blog is that Ireland, unique among all other Western democracies, is a corrupt state. While all other Western countries suffer to some degree from the disease of corruption, Ireland is, as a country, a totally corrupt entity.

One of the strategies of this blog is to prove this point by asking questions of politicians and Government agencies and judge by their responses whether they have the best interests of the Irish people at heart or whether they are perhaps serving another agenda.

I want to make absolutely clear that I am not accusing any of those involved in this episode of being corrupt, what I am claiming is that they have to live, work and continuously deal with an intrinsically corrupt system.

Every other resident of this state must do the same, everybody is forced to adapt to the rotten system whether they like it or not.

Everybody has to adapt to a culture where tax evasion is endemic, where financial institutions are allowed to regularly rob their customers, where politicians are permitted to live out lucrative careers of corruption without being made accountable.

Where white collar crime is barely recognised as a crime, where nobody is ever, ever held accountable, even when people die because of gross incompetence or negligence.

Where everybody knows that arrogance, incompetence and corruption have become as much a part of our culture as St. Patrick’s Day and Guinness.

That’s why, I believe, the public/civil servants involved in this case have acted as they have. They have acted in a manner that is largely consistent with how the bureaucracy of any third rate banana republic would act when faced with the choice of enforcing the law against a law breaking Government minister or cowering in fear behind a wall of bureaucratic arrogance and officialdom.

If a politician deliberately set out to break the law in any other Western democracy there would have been widespread public anger, there would have been immediate and effective action by the authorities and that politician’s career would have been terminated on the insistence of his colleagues in the body politic.

As for Gallagher himself, he’s practically an irrelevance. A member of the most corrupt political party in Ireland, a typical backwoodsman politician who will do anything to get and hold power, including breaking the law.

A low pedigree politician following in the footsteps of a long line of low pedigree politicians who’s only distinguishing legacy will be the enormous damage they have done to the quality of Irish democracy.

Copy of this post to:

Dublin City Council
Standards in Office Commission
Donegal County Council
Mr. Gallagher, Minister of State with special responsibility for Health Promotions and Food Safety at the Department of Health and Children.

(Previous posts on this matter – Here, here, here here, here, here, here


(Copy One)

Letter to Mr. Cronin head of waste management at Dublin City Council.

23rd April 2007

Dear Mr. Cronin,

On Monday 16th April it was reported in the Irish Times that Minister for State, Pat the Cope Gallagher, had illegally erected a number of posters around Dublin.

On Wednesday 18th April I rang Dublin City Council to find out what action had been taken in response to this incident. I was informed by Bernie Lillis of the Litter Office that it was the policy of her office to keep such matters confidential.

When I asked Ms Lillis what legislation/regulation she was basing her decision on she referred me to your office.

On Friday 20th April I spoke with you on the phone and asked the same question. You refused to answer any questions on the phone and insisted I write to you on the matter. Here are my questions:

What action did Dublin City Council take in response to the illegal erection of posters around Dublin by Minister of State Pat the Cope Gallagher as reported in the Irish Times on the 16th April 2007?

If fines were imposed, what was the sum total of those fines?

Regarding the authority of public/civil servants to make personal decisions on what information will or will not be allowed into the public arena.

Does Ms. Lillis of the Litter Office have the authority to form a personal office confidentiality policy which results in information being denied to the public? If she has this authority, on what regulatory basis does her power rest?

Do you, Mr. Cronin, have the authority to refuse to answer my specific questions regarding the specific events surrounding the illegal erection of posters by Minister of State, Pat Gallagher? If you do have that authority, by what regulatory basis are you acting?

Do you have the authority to refuse to answer my questions on the phone and insist that the matter can only be dealt with in writing? If you do have that authority, by what regulatory basis are you acting?

In today’s Irish Independent (23rd April) it is reported that Minister Gallagher has again erected illegal posters in Donegal. From the report it seems that they are the same posters that were illegally erected in Dublin and which, according to Ms. Lillis, were returned to Minister Gallagher.

Does Dublin City Council have a policy of rendering posters unusable before returning them to lawbreakers? (A quick daub of paint is all that would be required to protect other jurisdictions from rogue politicians like Minister Gallagher).

My motive for requesting this information is simple. I am an anti-corruption campaigner. I do not belong to any political party but act out of anger at the enormous damage being done to Ireland by the disease of rampant corruption.

As part of my campaigning I write a blog at where Irish corruption is reported and analysed.

Obviously, the irresponsible and illegal activities of a Government Minister and the apparent inability/unwillingness of any state authority to bring him to justice are reported on the blog.

Yours in anger

Anthony Sheridan

(Copy Two)

Official complaint to Donegal County Council.

23rd May 2007

To Whom It May Concern,

Subsequent to several phone calls and on the advice of Donegal County Council staff I hereby submit this official complaint regarding a breach of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997.

On Monday April 23rd 2007 it was reported in the Irish Independent that Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher, had mounted posters on poles on routes out of his Donegal South West constituency. It is further reported in the same newspaper that the said minister admitted that he had not checked whether he was in any breach of regulations.

I can confirm that when the minister erected illegal posters in Dublin city a number of days before his actions in Donegal he was informed by Dublin City Council that the erection of such posters was an illegal act.

In other word, when the minister erected the posters in Donegal he was aware that he was committing an illegal act. This information can be independently confirmed by contacting Ms. Bernie Lillis at Dublin City Council litter office (01/2224243).

I request an acknowledgment of this official complaint and I would be grateful to be informed of the outcome of any investigation.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Sheridan

(Copy Three)

Formal complaint to Standards in Office Commission

24th May 2007

To Whom It May Concern,

I wish to formally lodge a complaint under the Ethics in Public Office, Acts 1995 and/or the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001.
The complaint concerns the illegal erection of posters by Minister of State Pat the Cope Gallagher in Dublin and Donegal.

The first incident, as reported in the Irish Times on April 16th, involved the illegal erection of posters around Croke Park in Dublin. According to the report, Minister Gallagher openly admits that he organised and participated in this illegal act.

The second incident, as reported in the Irish Independent on April 23rd, involved the illegal erection of posters on poles on routes out of the ministers Donegal South West constituency.

In respect of the first incident in Dublin, I have been informed by Ms. Bernie Lillis of Dublin City Council Litter Office (01/2224243), that she informed the minister that his actions were illegal. According to Ms. Lillis, the minister apologised for his actions but claimed he did not realise he was breaking the law.

By claiming ignorance of the law the minister is asserting that, as a citizen, an elected representative and a government minister, he was unaware of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997, a piece of legislation that attracted widespread comment and analysis by the general public, the body politic and the media.

He is also asking the nation to accept that claimed ignorance of the law is a justified and reasonable defence.

It is reasonable to assume that minister Gallagher knew or should have known that he was in breach of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997 when he erected the posters in Dublin and was therefore acting in an irresponsible and unethical manner.

Because of the information he received from Bernie Lillis, it is an absolute certainty that minister Gallagher knew he was breaking the law when he illegally erected posters in Donegal some days after the Dublin incident.

By deliberately setting out to break the law of the land, it is clear that the minister is in serious breach of the Code of Conduct for Office Holders as outlined by the Standards in Office Commission (Office Holders), sections 1.3 Requirement to observe the Code of Conduct, 1.4 Principles of Ethical Conduct and 1.5 Highest ethical standards to be applied at all times.

Yours sincerely
Anthony Sheridan

(Copy Four)

From Dublin City Council

Dear Mr. Sheridan

I refer to your letter of 23/04/2007 and apologise for the delay in replying, which was due to oversight.

On 15/04/2007 Dublin City Council staff removed posters carrying the name, “Pat the Cope Gallagher” which had been erected on it’s (sic) property, (public lighting poles).

Subject to stringent conditions, Dublin City Council occasionally gives permission for the erection of posters on it’s (sic) property, but no application was received in respect of these posters. They were removed for disposal but Mr. Gallagher claimed not to have known of Dublin City Council’s policy and the posters were returned on the understanding that there would be no further breach of that policy. In the circumstances no further action was taken.

Where fines are issued under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, Dublin City Council will disclose general details, but not personal information, pending possible prosecution and court hearing. This is in line with the principle of presumed innocence until proven guilty. In this instance no fine was issued and details of discussions held with Mr. Gallagher were regarded as confidential and not disclosed. This policy applies equally across the board.

Mr. Cronin requested that you put your various questions in writing. This was to enable a reasoned and accurate reply to issue, which he felt he wasn’t in a position to do in a phone conversation. In the circumstances the request was reasonable.

Again I would like to apologise for the delay in replaying to your queries, but if there are any issues you would like to discuss further please contact me as above.

Niall O’Keeffe
A/Senior Executive Officer

Protecting the vultures

On July 13th last I wrote about the many excuses given by the Financial Services Ombudsman, Joe Meade, to avoid identifying the greedy vultures that infest the Irish financial sector. Joe added one more excuse today on RTEs News at One (5th item).

The latest case involved an 86 year old farmer. The man had just sold his farm for €1.4 million and was advised by his bank to invest in two long term insurance bonds. The capital was guaranteed provided they were kept in for four and six years.

The man died seven months later by which time the bonds had dropped by €50,000. Joe told the bank that it was inappropriate to sell these bonds and directed that the €50,000 be refunded.

Hilariously, Joe appealed to the banks to look into their hearts and review all accounts to see if they are appropriate.

When asked why he won’t name the low life bank, Joe said he didn’t have legal coverage.

Let’s remind ourselves of the extensive legal powers that Joe does have. He has the power of entry and seizure, he can require employees to provide information under oath, he can enter premises and demand documents and the High Court is the only external party that can overturn his decisions – but yet, according to Joe, he doesn’t have the simple legal power to name the vultures. The obvious question is – Was this a deliberate omission when the legislation was being drawn up?

Bizarrely, Joe justified his stance by reference to a recent High Court decision that went against him on a matter completely unrelated to the ripping off of the elderly.

So what hope does Joe offer the many vulnerable customers out there that his office is allegedly protecting?

Well, he wants to start a public debate on the matter. Just think about that suggestion, a public debate on whether the financial vultures that prey on the elderly should be named and shamed.

Joe then suggests that perhaps the Minister for Finance and the Dail could pass legislation on the matter. Let’s see; public debate and then action by a Government minister and the Dail, give it about ten maybe fifteen years. Meanwhile, the greedy vultures continue to enjoy the great benefits of state protection.

The reality is that, from a consumer point of view, the Financial Services Ombudsman is a useless organisation. It operates on the same basis as the equally useless Financial Regulator.

When the financial vultures are caught picking over the bones of a customer’s account they are merely required to pay back their ill gotten gains. No police, no fines, no names.

Death bus letter

I received a very nice letter from Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority today in response to a recent post (The post was emailed to the RSA).

The letter outlined how the RSA responded to the complaint of a bus driver recklessly driving his vehicle with his elbows as he counted his takings. The complainant, Mr. Murphy, was also (rightly) commended for his actions but there was no hint that the RSA would be taking any follow up action to ensure that the driver is made accountable.

What are the chances that the safety of passengers will be protected by making this dangerous driver accountable? About the same, I would say, as getting a straight answer from Bertie Ahern.

Death bus

“Would you be happy to have your spouse, mother, father, children or constituent travel on an expressway bus being driven by someone who counts his cash takings with both hands as the bus speeds through the countryside at 80kph?”

This was the question a Mr. Bill Murphy asked every TD in the country after he witnessed a bus driver steering his vehicle at speed with his elbows. (Today with Pat Kenny, Thursday)

Mr. Murphy put the question to TDs after heroically trying every other avenue in an attempt to have this bus driver brought to account. Here’s a brief outline of his efforts.

7TH June: (Date of incident) Sent comment form to Bus Eireann. No reply.

End of June: Sent copy to Road Safety Authority. Received letter from Noel Brett, CEO of RSA indicating that he had written to Bus Eireann asking them to deal with Mr. Murphy’s complaint.

6TH July: Received letter from Marketing, Sales and External Communications Department (Phew!) saying that comments were sent to Cork and they would be in touch.

Received letter from Cork saying that their chief inspector would interview the driver. A month has passed and the driver hasn’t even been interviewed? (How many people could have died in that month due to this dangerous practice?)

7TH August: (Two months after the incident). Sent copy of all correspondence to Mr. Tim Hayes, CEO Bus Eireann and Noel Brett of RSA. Received acknowledgement from RSA – Silence from Bus Eireann.

Travelled personally to Dail Eireann to deliver the above question to TDs.

Let’s deal with the bus driver first. There is no way to be nice about this dangerous idiot. He should be fired immediately, charged with dangerous driving and banned for life from being in charge of a vehicle where he would be responsible for the lives of dozens of people.

The management personnel in Bus Eireann should also be fired for failing to protect the safety of commuters.

A bit harsh? Bring to mind television pictures of mangled bodies being removed from wrecked buses.

Amazingly, Pat Kenny expressed sympathy for the driver claiming that perhaps all Bus Eireann drivers drive with their elbows and this man was ‘unfortunate’ in being singled out.

Mr. Murphy is to be congratulated, not just for his efforts to save lives, but also for his persistence against a wall of uncaring bureaucracy.

Never ending quangos

For decades Irish consumers have been ripped off by rogue businesses because of inadequate protection from the State.

In 2005, in an alleged effort to protect consumers, the National Consumer Agency was set up. Unfortunately, its powers were limited to issuing press releases and highlighting rip offs.

This situation could only have arisen through gross incompetence on the part of civil servants responsible for its establishment, or, it was a deliberate policy to create a toothless tiger.

Two years later, after ‘rip off Ireland’ had become part of our culture, the NCA was (apparently) given;

“Real teeth allowing it to go after the bad guys, investigate suspected offences and refer cases to the DPP.”

(Prime Time).

It was made clear on the same programme that tackling sharp practices in the construction industry would be top of the agenda for the newly empowered NCA. Acting executive chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald, made her position crystal clear.

“We are been given huge powers and we as a board are not afraid to use them and we will use them.” “Businesses who treat consumers unfairly will be brought to court.”

So called management companies represent one of the greatest rip offs for Irish consumers. Many of these companies are nothing less than ruthless mafia style operations preying on (mostly young) struggling home owners (See analysis here).

When asked about this situation Ms. Fitzgerald said;

“We have set up a forum to address all these issues without needing legislation because the legislation is going to take two or three years and I don’t want to see the half a million people involved left hanging for two or three years.”

Well, here’s news for that half a million people that Ms. Fitzgerald doesn’t want to see left hanging’.

‘Get used to being a victim of these vultures because protection is further away than ever.’

Last Sunday’s Irish Independent reports that yet another quango is being set up with the alleged aim of ‘protecting’ property owners.

So, just when it seemed, after years of waiting; that property owners might get real protection by a regulatory body backed up by tough legislation, the Government decides to start the whole process again.

At this point we can dismiss the NCA as a serious organisation. It’s just the latest in a long line of useless organisation that cannot or will not take real action to protect consumers.

But what about this new government quango with the clumsy title; National Property Services Regulatory Authority (NPSRA)

The first thing that can be said with absolute certainty is that it too will be a completely useless organisation. After all, its principal mission will be to regulate a business closely associated with the government favoured construction industry.

But as an exercise in observing how things are done in our Republic it will be interesting to monitor its progress.

The report tells us that the Law Reform Commission, the Office of the Director for Corporate Enforcement and our old friend the National Consumer Agency have all delivered reports on the property services sector.

Last December the Government approved the drafting of legislation to establish the new regulator. We can safely say, therefore, that it will be many years before the new quango has any real power.

But let’s be generous and predict that NPSRA will be in a position to act in the interest of property owners in, say, five years time. What will happen then? Yes, you’ve guessed. Another quango will be initiated and the whole process will begin again.

In the meantime the NCA has established a “multi-unit development stakeholder forum” (Where do they get these titles). Hilariously, they believe that the ruthless sharks in the management companies sector will actually agree to a voluntary code of practice.

Decade after decade, quango after quango, report after report; promise after promise. There is only one consistent reality – Consumers are still being ripped off.

Ms. Fitzgerald should take herself back on Prime Time, apologise to Irish consumers for giving them false hope and, with her entire board, resign forthwith.

A corrupt and secretive financial market

According to the Irish Financial Regulator one of its main tasks is to –

Help consumers to make informed decisions on their financial affairs in a safe and fair market.

This promise has a hollow ring to it in light of the latest rip off by an Irish bank.

Rip offs by Irish financial institutions have become so common now that when news of the latest ‘overcharging’ by Ulster Bank (2nd item) was reported yesterday, the regulator didn’t even bother to make comment.

Over the last 15/20 years Irish banks have ‘overcharged’ their customers (victims) by a massive €167 million. Only a fool would believe that these activities are all down to ‘error’ rather than deliberate and well organised scams.

Despite this, not a single bank has ever been punished by the Financial Regulator. Not a single bank official has ever been questioned by the police never mind actually charged with criminal behaviour.

Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumers Association of Ireland suggested that there should be a fine of several million Euro imposed on these organisations. (RTE News, 3rd item) He is obviously unaware that the regulator already has the power to impose a fine of up to €5 million on errant financial institutions. But even this pathetic fine, which equates to about two days profits for the larger banks, has never been imposed by the regulator.

Not only does the regulator refuse to punish banks, it also affords them valuable protection through a policy of total secrecy regarding their many dodgy activities.

Consumers rely solely on the media or whistleblowers for information to help them make informed decisions on their financial affairs in a corrupt and secretive financial market.

Hiding out in Bertie's bunker

There was a long line of angry people on Liveline (Wed/Thu) complaining about being ripped off by a company called New Look Windows. Many of the callers desperately wondered what they could do, who they could turn to for help.

Well, if they’re really optimistic they could try the National Consumer Agency. Speaking on Time Prime last March its executive chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald said (in a Clint Eastwood, make my day punk, tone).

“We are been given huge powers and we as a board are not afraid to use them and we will use them.” “Business’ who treat consumers unfairly will be brought to court.”

I say optimistically, because when the NCA was faced with its first challenge, the Barbra Streisand concert debacle, it promptly handed over investigation of the disaster to the organisers of the concert, to investigate themselves.

So where is the NCA when these desperate Liveline callers need help? Probably snowed under reading those promised weekly reports from the Streisand investigation committee or perhaps they’re hiding out in that reinforced bombproof bunker with Bertie.

Feck off

It’s interesting to compare the different responses to water shortages in Galway and

In the UK, where the water shortage was caused by natural events, citizens have been supplied with free bottled water backed up with bulk water tankers.

In Galway, where the water shortage was caused by political incompetence, citizens have to pay for their bottled water and when they demanded bulk water tankers, the politicians told them to feck off – and they did.

(Un)rattled cages

The very serious problems that arose at the Barbra Streisand concert last Saturday night were, according to the promoters MCD, caused by the weather, traffic and the fans themselves. No blame whatsoever, it would seem, lies with MCD.

Consumers, many of whom paid up to €500 for a seat, think otherwise. They believe they have been ripped off big time by the debacle.

Initially, MCD just ignored all the complaints but as consumer anger turned up the heat MCD opted for the ultimate cop out, they formed a committee.

Led by former Garda commissioner Pat Byrne, this committee is expected to deal with the issue ‘effectively and efficiently’ and report – next September – when the heat is off.

Dermot Jewell of the Consumers Association said this committee will take so long it is a further insult to fans (Irish Independent).

But there is an even more serious question here. Why is MCD allowed to set up its own committee to investigate complaints against itself? Where is the National Consumer Agency?

Last March the NCA was given wide ranging powers, with real teeth to go after the bad guys, investigate suspected offences and refer cases to the DPP (Prime Time). Speaking on the same Prime Time programme, the NCAs executive chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald pulled no punches in her determination to protect the consumer.

“Now there is a recognition that the consumers time has come.” We are been given huge powers and we as a board are not afraid to use them and we will use them.” “Business’ who treat consumers unfairly will be brought to court.”

In the Irish Times (Sub. required) she is quoted as saying “We’re direct and we’re prepared to rattle cages.”

Sadly, like the Financial Regulator, the Financial Ombudsman and the multitude of other so called regulatory/enforcement agencies in Ireland, the NCA is totally ineffective when it comes to protecting consumers interests.

Unlike the Consumers Association who rightly see this self appointed committee as an insult to consumers the NCA has actually welcomed its formation and are happy with a mere once a week update on its progress.

In a further abdication of its duty to protect consumers the NCA has advised complainants to contact MCD first before (bothering) NCA.

“Consumers time has come?” “Rogue businesses brought to court?” Cages rattled? – I don’t think so.