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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Honest Jim Stafford

Those of you who are unemployed, on low income, frightened, still paying or have cleared the mortgage, have a beat-up car, are low or middle working-class, non-professional and believe we are all still equal, please read on:
Honest Jim on the right (perception?)

If you thought that Jim Stafford, a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP), was talking from an elitist point of view when he said professionals were cases that should be accorded a special place in society when it comes to insolvency and may need bigger houses than PAYE workers, this was no self-delusion. Apart from being on the chartered accountants' 'ethics' committee, he wrote the syllabus for the diploma for the insolvency course itself. He once said all of this on RTE radio to Mary Wilson a couple of years ago. Afterwards, he tried to distance himself from those comments.
"It was not my intention to offend," he said. The usual apology followed. 
The 'professional' government agency involved said: "The professional standing of a borrower is not expected to be a factor in this assessment." 

Of course it is, and it will continue to be. Harry Slowey, a former director of the long-departed Bank of Scotland and now a PIP adviser above all things, said this: "The ability to generate work is all about perception, profile and confidence. If a partner in a top law firm is suddenly driving around in a Fiat Bambino, that will affect their work – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Anyone who still believes there is equal law for professionals and non-professionals should note that Stafford, finding his voice when he should have stayed quiet, said: "Personal insolvency laws do not work for people with low or no incomes."
He added that his firm turns away four out of five people hoping to settle their debts under the state system because "these people can't afford to deal with the banks" or indeed him. He also reserved a comment for those out of work who certainly could not afford to consult him: "People on welfare have only one option – borrow €15,000 from family and friends and try to do a deal with a lender."He leaves out any mention how the borrower can afford to pay back family or 'friends' that soon would become enemies.
Apart from the fact that most honest working class people can't afford Stafford or Slowey in the first place, how can any professional people afford them? After all, they're supposed to be insolvent. 

Slowey had got it right for the con-men are still busily conning. It was never ever about real work in the end and always and only about that fragile and false perception, profile and confidence – and at least looking professional. All the hallmarks for deception you could ask for and is the core reason why the citizens of Ireland are floundering in debt and will continue to do so for they have doing little or nothing about the conmen so far.

Barry Clifford