Here's another case that goes on the shitlist I'm calling "How depraved is out ruling elite?"
You'd think, wouldn't you, that in these times of austerity, cuts and sharing the pain in our Big Society, that anyone who helped stem the flow of wealth away from the public purse and into greedy corporate maws would be held up as an example to us all. Maybe even a sign that the government is getting something right. But, no. Perverse and self-serving, the system is rigged so that the more outrageous your economic misdemeanour, the more you are rewarded.
Osita Mba is a name that should go down in history as a rare outbreak of courage and integrity in these brutish times. He is the solicitor at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs department (HMRC) who blew the whistle on tax supremo David Hartnett's curious habit of letting corporations off of their huge tax bills: Goldman Sachs £10mn interest and an eye-watering and possibly illegal £1bn for Vodafone. Denying for ages that dinners with corporate bigwigs had greased his podgy palms, Hartnett has finally decided to bugger off but not without a £1.7 million pension fund of our money, and not without setting off a spite-bomb with a slow fuse for the heroic lawyer without whom Hartnett would have still been indulging his generosity for the rich.
When you hear Frances Maude (pension £42,000 pa) and others complaining about Public sector pensions (average: £7,000 pa), just remember this:
Hartnett's package will anger critics. At the most recent valuation, in March 2011, his pension pot was worth £1.7m. He is expected to receive an annual payout of up to £80,000 and a lump sum on retirement of one year's salary, which is recorded as £160-165,000.
In an act that some might suspect of malice, Hartnett has set in motion a prosecution of Osita which may result in his sacking or, worse, his prosecution.
Personally, I'd rather see this fate directed at the hospitality-loving Hartnett rather than Osita, who should be garlanded with flowers and have rose petals strewn at his feet by dancing girls.
If Osita is punished I am personally going to riot.
You can sign a petition here.
UK Uncut's response to resignation of "Whitehall's most 'wined and dined' civil servant" here.