Socialist Worker

Farepak rip off continues a decade after firm’s collapse

Issue No. 2534

Victims of Farepaks collapse protest in 2006

Victims of Farepak's collapse protest in 2006 (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Ten years on from the scandalous collapse of Christmas hamper firm Farepak, its victims are still out of pocket.

Some 116,000 people lost a total of £37 million that they had saved up.

Five years ago they had been told they would receive just 15p for every pound saved—and it had yet to be refunded.

The Farepak Victims Committee said the average person lost £400.

Since then the amount victims should receive rose to £32 out of every £100 saved—still a disgraceful amount. But even that hasn’t been paid out.

The government’s insolvency service has £1.1 million earmarked for former Farepak savers. It’s estimated that 11,163 people have yet to claim. The numbers are unchanged since November last year.

Campaigners say that because legal proceedings took so long, many people gave up. Others may have moved house or died.

Louise McDaid is chair of the Farepak Victims Committee. “They have a list of names,” she said. “Why don’t they publish it so at least people can check whether they’re on it?”

But officials and bosses have never rushed to help the victims of Farepak.

Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) financed Farepak’s parent company European Home Retail.

It snatc-hed £28 million from the firm before it went bust—then put just £2 million into a fund for the victims.

Sir Clive Thompson was chair of European Home Retail.

As low-paid workers found out that Farepak had collapsed, he was on holiday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Louise said, “We’ve still got big supermarkets running the same sort of schemes without protections in place.”

Not only have Farepak victims been denied justice, but bosses remain free to trash more low-paid workers’ lives today.


Bank of England boss Mark Carney has attacked the elites in a speech criticising the “staggering wealth inequalities” that exist in society.

Carney is well qualified to understand staggering wealth inequality.

His annual package is worth £879,773.


Please don’t let the royals be common

Royal scrounger Prince Andrew is demanding more.

His daughters Beatrice and Eugenie have the HRH title as they are children of a son of the queen.

Andrew wants the queen to change the rules so their husbands can be given earldoms.

One source explained the terrifying future if the queen refuses, “His daughters’ children will be commoners, defined as one of the ordinary or common people.”


Armed police in Newcastle city centre

Armed police in Newcastle city centre (Pic: Northumbria Police)


Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said the presence of armed cops in Newcastle acts as a deterrent to criminals, including shoplifters and pick pockets.

“Our armed officers are there to reassure members of the public that we are in a position to respond to any incident that does occur,” he added.

Reassuring.


Be upstanding for the national anthem

A Police Chief Inspector shared “explicitly racist” Facebook posts and liked groups calling for Islam to be banned.

Steven Drew of Avon and Somerset Constabulary shared posts telling people who don’t stand for the national anthem to “go back to the country you came from”.

Drew also liked a page for Nazis Britain First.

He said he is “really against people who can’t stand for the national anthem”.

Drew admitted to the panel he held some prejudices. Surprisingly he was sacked.


The TImes reported how Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told a Freedom Association quiz, “I hate having to stand to attention for God Save the Queen while in the bath.”

Except they ran the story the day before the quiz took place.

Which means the comedy toff is leaking his bad jokes.


Tory brings relief for game in Somerset

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian

Liddell-Grainger has voiced his dismay at having to miss out on the shooting this winter.

The MP, a descendent of Queen Victoria, has had to hand in his weapons after forgetting to renew his firearms licence. Liddell-Grainger accused Avon and Somerset police of “utter incompetence” after being told it will take no less than 16 weeks to issue a new one.

Not to leap to the plods’ defence, but the incompetence is surely Liddell-Grainger’s.


Foetuses sue woman in US court case

A court case in the US has laid bare the reality of the anti-abortion, so-called “pro-life” lobby.

TV actor Sofia Vergara is being sued by two fertilised eggs.

The embryos, “named” Emma and Isabella, are plaintiffs in the case and are apparently demanding the “right to live”.

The actual living person bringing the case is Vergara’s ex partner Nick Loeb.

The two agreed when creating the embroys that they would only be brought to term if both agreed.


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 13 Dec 2016, 18:09 GMT
Issue No. 2534
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