HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU MAKE?1st December 2001
Nick Green Heart of Cumbria
With monotonous and eerie synchronicity, more leaked "Memo's" have invaded my "In-Tray". I use the term "Memo" very loosely as in one such case, its arrival was more akin to a complete dossier. Is it that at last the many rural dwellers in our country have at last woken up to the scandalous, sometimes illegal and downright barbaric policy imposed on us during the last 9 months. Of course, with hard evidence now available, FMD was well under way as early as October 2000. However to maintain a simplistic approach, please forgive me if I refer to the last "nine months". Yes Mr Blair, Mrs Beckett, Mr Morley et. al. we have woken up. We have had enough. We will no longer stand for your downright evil methods, the arrogance and most importantly we will no longer tolerate the lies.
In what I am about to convey to the people of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland has been described by the provider as:-
"DIABOLICAL & FRAUDULENT MIS-MANAGEMENT"
You will note that I have refrained from calling our once great country "Great Britain". I am now, very sadly, in a position whereby I find it impossible to refer to this country as "Great". We are not; in fact I believe we are down alongside the deepest recesses of the smallest Banana Republic. Perhaps not that good. An open and transparent government? No chance. Living in a democracy? Never.
Yesterday evening I spoke to an ex. employee of a major contractor whose responsibility was to arrange for the construction of Funeral Pyres, the subsequent burning of the stock and the Cleaning & Disinfecting of Infected Premises (I/P`s. )
The person in question was, prior to the FMD crisis, employed in the agricultural industry. Like many thousands of others, they lost their job soon after FMD was officially recognised as being present in the country. The person has immense integrity, is clearly very intelligent and has an overwhelming desire to "Tell the truth". I immediately warmed to this person. They were speaking from the heart, had seen many of his friends and acquaintances ravished by the effects of FMD and simply had to "settle some scores."
We spoke for over 2 hours on the telephone. Within 10 minutes of us putting down our phones I had received more data by E-mail. They "were prepared to be questioned under oath" and clearly had the guts to "go through with it."
I will now record here, in abbreviated form, the salient points of our conversation.
FRAUD, FRAUD & MORE FRAUD???
The person was employed by a local contractor to construct funeral pyres to burn stock culled during the FMD crisis. After 10 days constructing the pyres he was asked to become a supervisor as, in his own words "I was the only one who could read." The contractor employing him is now a Limited Company and made approximately between £150,000 and £200,000 per week profit during the FMD crisis. Prior to FMD, the contractor, who we are prepared to name, employed six people, but as the crisis deepened was employing an extra 20-30 staff a day up to around 200-300 personnel. My source told me, " This firm took the tax payer for a ride."
The day he started work as a supervisor he was told by the Director of the firm "This is not an Invoice Book ******* (His name), it's a cheque book." My informant was about to be introduced to fraud on a massive scale. "The firm had a license to print money, they were able to name their price; organisation was out of control, and it was easy."
Employees referred to the Invoice book as "Tickets". Basically, all work conducted by the firm was recorded in the ticket book. You would expect these to be over signed. Of course they were, MAFF weren't that daft were they? Well, actually they were. These tickets could be signed by ANYONE. Contract workers, farmers, MAFF, Army personnel were all authorised to confirm payments. "The Army would sign anything." However it is worth noting here that many, many farmers refused to sign the "tickets". The supervisor was encouraged to sign his own "tickets" and was allowed, nay ordered, to falsify hours worked, sometimes recording more than 20 hours a day. Now remember, between 200-300 personnel were being employed by the contractor. MAFF paid the contractor for the hours worked by the men. In the case of the supervisor, this was £22.00 per hour. However, the contractor was only paying £7.00 per. Hour. So, you can see that it was in the interests of the contractor to insist the men recorded as many hours as possible. The contractor would therefore make, in the case of the supervisor, £10.00 per hour for doing nothing. Multiply that by 20 hours a day claimed, and that amount by 300 staff and you have a nice tidy daily income based on your pyre construction teams ONLY. There is MUCH MORE.
Before our informant was promoted, his predecessor was sacked for "subbing" out the work to other teams. Allegedly fraudulent procedures were rife everywhere as people scrambled to make as much money as they could.
Although all personnel were made to sign a form stating that they would not go near Livestock within 72 hours of leaving work, my informant told me "Bio security was non-existent. It was diabolical." Bio. Suits were removed on departing from the site, feet were dipped and then all personnel returned to their homes or other accommodation where some mixed freely with other MAFF personnel including "clean" vets. There was virtually no Bio-Security at all. On one site, the farmer who had been culled out contiguously was asked if he would take dead stock, pigs, from a neighbouring farm to burn on his pyre. He was to be paid £10.00 per linear metre. The pyre was 280 metres. The first delivery involved a leaking "sealed" lorry and the delivery of the pigs was delayed. Then, eventually, 4 loads were delivered, but in the last load there were 5 infected ewes remaining from an earlier cull. This farm was now made an I/P. Naturally at more expense to the taxpayer. The team sat there for three days, on full pay naturally, and no permission was received to light the pyre. The fire was never lit and all the stock was removed for disposal elsewhere. The pyre was dismantled and its contents were removed to be burnt in one of the incinerators that were especially imported from the USA. Imagine how much that cost the tax payer. Many of the pyres were not built correctly, the ashes were not buried correctly and on one site, the supervisor could have collected enough wool, bones and un-burnt remains to construct a full sheep.
APPALLING SUPPLY PROBLEMS.
The delivery of materials by MAFF to the pyre construction teams was appalling. This material included, straw, coal, sleepers', fuel and other equipment. The teams could not work without these items. On one site the team, consisting of nine workers sat around doing nothing for three days. They were, naturally, paid for 20 hours work a day. This could not go on, dead animals littered the farms degrading even further the virtually non-existent bio-security. Our informant kept phoning MAFF HQ but got nowhere. Eventually, with typically glacial reactions, MAFF conceded things may need to change. There answer was to set up a centrally located warehouse where all supplies required by the pyre teams would be delivered. The teams would draw items as and when required. Seems logical. However, and there is always a HOWEVER when we are dealing with MAFF, our major contractor was licking his lips again. Why? Well simply because he would now be paid by MAFF for STORAGE and DELIVERY to the pyres. All at grossly exaggerated rates and hours of course. The contractor was again acting in a potentially fraudulent manner to his great advantage, and of course, who paid for the gross stupidity being exercised by MAFF? US, THE TAX PAYER.
Once pyres were lit, a team would have to remain to monitor progress. Not only would this involve personnel, mobile accommodation would have to be provided, food and drinks and naturally vehicles, including low-loaders hydraulic swing shovel etc. The teams supervisors were always told to record the largest vehicles i.e. 45ton. This was because there was a £300.00 difference in delivery charges invoked by the contractor between the 15 Ton vehicle and the 45 Ton.
APPALLING ANIMAL WELFARE.
Witnesses saw a live lamb (which had supposedly been culled) being scraped up in a hydraulic bucket to be dumped on the pyres. Our informant is unsure what happened to the lamb. Two Army personnel admitted to seeing two ewes drag themselves off a pyre as it was being lit. At another farm, the removal of 7-800 dead lambs was too much for two hardened Glaswegians working in the clean up process. They were both reduced to tears. At no time was any worker offered any form of counselling and has not been offered any help to this day. One horrific site met our team when removing stock from a farm. 8 ewes in a lambing quadrangle had been shot where they stood, looking at each other, presumably with lambs at their sides. They stood, dead for 3 weeks prior to the team being called in to remove them. The stench was gut wrenching.
CLEANING & DISINFECTING
As the pyres died away, literally, the teams were told to ask the farmers if they wanted the teams to carry out their C+D. This met with little success as the farmers decided they may as well do it as they had plenty of spare time. The contractors were then asked to tender for the work. They did and won the contract. Quantity surveyors were employed by MAFF to oversee the assessment of the cleaning requirements of individual farms. They were " Gullible and did not have a clue." our informant tells us. If they assessed the work to take 1 day and the contractors said no 5 days, the MAFF employees always "Bowed to their superior knowledge." On many occasions work that should have taken 2 days actually took 2 weeks.
The contractors continued to rake in money after the pyres. Pressure washers and trucks were charged to MAFF at £600.00 per day. See attachment. The actual cost of hire to the contractor was £90.00, Add to this £60.00 a day in wages and you can see there was HUGE profiteering going on.
Take the case of 15 off site secretaries at £250.00 per day. These people were actually paid £6.00 per hour; lets say 8 hours making £48.00 per day. That means £202.00 a day profit for our contractors.
Remember also that the weight of respective plant was never recorded. Consider that a 30 Ton swing shovel cost £52.00 per hour to MAFF and a mini digger was £20.00 per hour. A lot of 30 Ton swing shovels were being used. On one farm our contractors quoted £180,000 to clean up, it was however cleaned for £14,000. On another farm the contractor quoted £7,000 to clean ONE shed. Our informer calculated £800.00. In the end MAFF Techs. did the job in their spare time.
At one point 3 scientists came along with a jet engine to attempt to make the burn more efficient. This apparently was a joke and never worked correctly. The pressure on the gas bottles was so great that they simply froze. A disaster. The scrapie infected sheep to be disposed after the mass cull planned by MAFF was simply going to bring all resources to a standstill. They dug, instead holes in the ground. They remain there to this day.
As the cleaning slowed all the teams had to do was to clean all the gear.very slowly. Our informer had worked many hours, genuinely, during the crisis. The second week he worked108hrs., then 121, 90 and averaged between 90-120 hours per week. Good money for the contractors.
So there we are. Another massive scandal. I have removed names and precise farms etc. but I do have them. There is much more to tell and I will. This information has yet reinforced our DEMAND for an OPEN & PUBLIC ENQUIRY. What exactly is Blair scared of? Well, we are beginning to find out now. More people, some in quite senior positions within MAFF/DEFRA are talking to us daily. The noose is tightening on this corrupt administration. My advice to you Mr Blair is for you and your "team" to admit cognitive dissonance. You may just get away with it. Before I finish I will quote some words from Mr Rex Toft, Conservative Council leader: -
"I believe the Government does not understand even now the depth of the anger and bitterness felt by so many people. Not to hold a public enquiry is reinforcing their worst suspicions. They will regard the Government decision not to have a public enquiry as a cover-up to protect the Government from criticism."
NICK GREEN HEART of CUMBRIA