Discover more from Future of Communications
Accountability: weakness of the corrupt
Fight unlawful behaviour from the "back end" towards the "front end"
I am slowly learning a key life lesson by observing the behaviour of the criminally corrupt, as well as the ordinarily self-centred. What they really hate is being held to account, especially to their own standards. The narcissists and manipulators are brilliant at drawing people into their controlling schemes, and have endless ways in which to deny their dark intent. But if you “hold the line” on accountability they inevitably expose themselves and implode.
As I wrote yesterday, I am fighting Durham County Council to make them prove that they are lawfully recovering Council Tax debt. They have asserted there is a valid Liability Order against me from a court, but cannot and will not show it to me. That is because there isn’t one, and they have been caught out; the process is known to be unlawful, yet they do it anyway, believing that the interests of the institution (raising revenue) override the legality of their actions.
Having disputed their debt collections process I have received a letter that is unsigned. This is a serious matter, as it lacks the necessary legal weight and accountability. The “aha!” is realising their weakness. They think I am fighting on the “front end” of the lawfulness of Council Tax in general, the existence of an obligation to pay, or their adherence to regulations.
But I am fighting them on the “back end” of who is accountable for their debt collections process, having let it slide right to the final stage, where they assume they have “got you” already. This seems to be the opposite of what they anticipate, and bypasses their maze of objections and diversions to wear you out. All I want to know is the individual who will stand up and be legally accountable for the lawfulness of the process. There being none… we can reasonably presume they are up to no good.
Here is the email I have just sent to the Chief Executive of Durham County Council on the subject “Misconduct in public office by Durham County Council officials”:
Dear Mr Hewitt,
I am currently in dispute with Durham County Council over the lawfulness of your Council Tax debt collections process. However, I wish to draw your attention to one aspect of your process that raises questions over the integrity of the conduct of your staff in respect to correspondence with the public.
I received an unsigned letter with no name on it — "Collections Team" — in response to my request for due process (namely to see the Liability Order issued so I may validate it as being lawful). We are engaged in contract law here between legal personas, and failure to sign a legal notice in wet ink makes it invalid; it is just printed paper in the post of no value or force.
A signature is a basic requirement of legal correspondence for good reason. It ensures authenticity, non-repudiation, and accountability. The sender cannot, for example, later say it was a prank by a staff member, sent by computer error, or was outside of delegated authority. Sending unsigned correspondence in this context is like putting an anonymous note through my letter box with "we know where you live so pay up".
More seriously, if the debt recovery process that Durham County Council is operating is unlawful, and the indications I see suggest it is, then knowingly operating such a process is misconduct in public office. Doing so for gain is criminal fraud, which is why nobody wants to sign the letter and be held to account. These are serious matters, and relate to testable facts of legal due process, not contested policy on tax matters. The previous widespread tacit acceptance of unlawful conduct does not make it lawful.
The deliberate failure to properly sign legal correspondence raises legitimate concerns over lawful intent. The ignoring of my request for evidence of due process, the switching of the framing (from personal process to unrelated "vexatious" legalisms), the intimidatory language (we will collect regardless of what is lawful in my case), and the refusal of any officer to be accountable by name are prima facie evidence of unlawful acts in progress.
Correspondence with the public on matters relating to debt and due process deserves the respect of full legality. I want to know why you are sending out unsigned legal documents. As such, I have a question for you: does Durham County Council have a policy on legal document signing, and if so, what is it?
You may wish to reflect upon whether failure to act on this matter makes you complicit in unlawful activity, and potentially acting ultra vires, hence personally liable for any losses to the public.
They were stupid and doubled down on refusal to be accountable. They say how confident they are (indicating how nervous they are) and then mail me a letter that has no name or signature on it. Now I have them… it is an accountability process compliance issue, rather than a tax issue, and I can legitimately raise a complaint and use freedom of information requests to hold them to account. It doesn’t matter whether I have to pay them or not any more, as I have exposed the cover-up of the fraud.
The bonus is that failure to be accountable in this way means you are acting outside of your authority, and no longer have the liability umbrella of the institution you purport to be acting on behalf of. I can sue the person who sent me that letter in their personal capacity for harassment. I am also now able to collect money from them because they have formed a contract with me for “useless letter writing services”. I am sure you will agree that my prices for correspondence are very reasonable, given my educational background and level of professional experience. 😎🤪🥳
So fooked, and all because they won’t be accountable.
Future of Communications is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.