Silencing the cold call claim sharks



22:44 GMT, 28 November 2012

Finally! Fines were given to two businessmen who bombarded people with nuisance text messages

Finally! Fines were given to two businessmen who bombarded people with nuisance text messages

At last! Yesterday the Information Commissioner struck a significant blow for a British public sick and tired of being endlessly bombarded by automated phone calls promising compensation for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance.

Fines worth 440,000 were levied on two unscrupulous businessman who had been text messaging people at random, saying without any justification that the recipient was entitled to a four-figure sum from their bank.

The personal details of those who replied were then illegally sold on to claims management firms, who besieged them with calls touting for business.

To protect individuals’ privacy, the Commissioner is promising that, having dealt with the text message senders, he will start fining the claims managers who were involved next.

We hope this tactic will stop the maddening, invasive cold calls which have left millions – particularly the elderly, and those who live alone – feeling persecuted in their homes.

The mis-selling of PPI to those who did not need it was an appalling act of greed by the banks. But the willingness of the claims sharks to exploit this sorry episode has been every bit as shameful.

Man without a plan

Nick Boles, the supposedly ‘radical’ thinker behind the Tory ‘modernisation’ project (for which he now shamelessly criticises Mr Cameron), says he has a solution to Britain’s housing crisis.

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‘In the UK and England at the moment we’ve got about nine per cent of land developed. All we need to do is build on another two to three per cent’, the planning minister insouciantly remarks.

Really Another three per cent is the equivalent of concreting over an area twice the size of Greater London.

Does it not occur to Mr Boles that the country would need fewer houses if the Government finally got a grip on immigration, which currently requires 700 new homes every day

Has he not considered that – instead of destroying the countryside in the south east – ministers might produce an economic strategy which encourages people to work in those parts of northern Britain which remain largely empty

Does he not recognise that – if the Tories did away with national wage structures and encouraged local pay bargaining – the wealth creators would be able to break the State stranglehold on employment and create countless jobs in the regions

The country needs genuinely radical thinkers. Not a planning minister who acts like a lobbyist for his party’s friends in the property business.

BBC’s Savile secrets

When the BBC – funded entirely by the taxpayer – established its internal inquiry into the Jimmy Savile Newsnight scandal, it promised to be open and transparent.

Yet it now emerges that, when the final report is published, licence fee payers will not be allowed to see thousands of pages of emails and interview transcripts linked to the terrible decision to cancel its Savile paedophile investigation.

What a contrast this is with the Leveson inquiry, which has already published mountains of emails.

Meanwhile, at a Parliamentary hearing, Lord Patten arrogantly swatted aside MPs’ concerns over his inept handling of the farrago, accusing one Tory member of ‘impertinence’ when he legitimately asked the Trust chairman how much time he commits to BBC matters.

The Mail warned from the outset that the BBC’s internal investigations would prove an inadequate response to one of the worst crises in its history. Sadly, we have already been proved right.