Serial Convictions 91

For the second time in six months Edinburgh City Council has been to court and obtained a summary warrant against me for non-payment of Council Tax. On neither occasion was I given any notice of proceedings or any opportunity to defend myself. On both occasions, I had actually paid the tax before the warrant was issued, but – without telling me – payment had been refused by Edinburgh City Council.

I moved in to my new home in Edinburgh at end November 2014. It was a somewhat tumultuous period in my life and I confess it was after New Year before I got round to sorting out the Council Tax. When I did this, I phoned up and paid by credit card, entering my reference number and the payment amount electronically. There was no warning this had not gone through.

I was therefore astonished to discover that, after I had made this payment, Edinburgh Council went to court and obtained a summary warrant against me. This was because my payment had been refused not by the card but by Edinburgh City Council – unbeknownst to me – as it had been referred to the grandiloquently entitled “Sherriff’s Officers”, Scott & Co. The payment had to be made to them and their exorbitant fees had vastly increased the amount due. The “Sherriff’s Officers” are, of course really bailiffs, or licensed bullies and enforcers.

That was infuriating, but I paid up, even though I am very dubious indeed about the system. It seems to me entirely unethical for the body owed the debt to refuse to accept payment for it, and then go to court for non-payment.

Having eventually paid the Council Tax plus the large fees of Scott & Co, I found myself financially embarrassed just as 2015/16 Council Tax now became due. I therefore delayed until 25 May when I paid this year’s council tax, 50 days late. I am this evening astonished to find that on 28 May Edinburgh City Council again went to court and obtained a judgement against me for non-payment, three days after I paid. Again I had no notice of the court case or that payment had been refused. I today – eight days after I paid – received a letter stating that my payment had been refused because it had not been made through Scott & Co. I had received no letter indicating I had to pay through them. When I paid – online this time – everything seemed to go through and I got a reference number and confirmation.

It is astonishing to me that under two months late is considered a sufficiently late payment for the Council to go to court for summary judgement for debt recovery. I know of no other council, public body or utility that acts in such an ultra-draconian manner. Is that really the norm here in Edinburgh? That seems to me astonishingly harsh in a period of austerity where people are struggling financially.

I confess I am not in a comfortable financial situation, but there are a great many people much worse off than me. Piling extra court and bailiffs’ costs upon them so quickly and brutally seems to me astonishingly lacking in compassion. My personal situation was initially caused more by forgetfulness and pre-occupation than lack of money. But it has made me realise just how, in these times of austerity, the financial pressures on people can snowball out of control so quickly, and how much despair must surround us unseen.

As for the bailiffs of Scott & Co. (in fact a private partnership owned by a husband and wife whose connections to the City Council could well merit close investigation), these parasitic scum disgust me, living high on the misery of the poor.

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91 thoughts on “Serial Convictions

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  • Tony_0pmoc

    Its easy when you start with nothing, and all your family are religious maniacs and geniuses and instead of going to see Oldham Athletic on a Saturday Afternoon when you are 7 years old…you visit them in the local nuthouse right across the road in Boundary Park where you were born…

    And then you get to 15…the youngest of the family..and you make a decision and know you are going to hell cos you really believed the religious shit…you were programmed with since birth..

    But now you have broken Free.

    Yet I was Now Incredibly Alone…still with my Family.but they were all mad…but instead of being trained to be a Roman Catholic Priest..I could do what The Fuck I wanted to do…I had escaped their control..

    I could do (well you know)… Science and Maths Too.

    But Still I didn’t have The Girl…but then I had it all…through sheer Fucking Hard Work and a Lot of Determination And Luck..I got turned down so many times..but I kept coming back…Gissa Job…well a bit more determined that..I can do that…I nagged them to death…Oh O.K. Then..

    Then I get Blasted Away Again…but I already Knew I could come Up From The Ground From Nowt.

    So that’s what life is all about…You ain’t Going To Experience The Complete and Utter Wonder of Climbing Up From The Ground To the Top…If You Start at The Top.

    If You Have All This Money and Power..Born at The Top..well its just Fucking Normal Ain’t It?

    You Think You are Going To Get Higher??..By Impoverishing Us Poor Plebs Even More???

    No You are Going To Take Hookers and Cocaine and Can’t Answer The Most Basic Question.

    “Dear George Osborne (Chancellor)”


  • Adrian Roy


    You might find the following post that I have copied from another blog to be of some use.


    Re: not paying Council Tax and being ‘taken to court’ by local councils – this is what the council want you to think happens.
    What actually happens is – the council hires a room (not a court) in the Magistrate’s Court on a certain date, to ‘hold the Hearing’. You are sent a Summons to say the court hearing is on that day. No court sits and no Magistrates are present.

    On receiving the Summons, many people contact the council and make an arrangement to pay. They still have to pay the costs for the Summons and for the ‘Court Hearing’.

    Other people turn up to the court on the day of ‘the hearing’ hoping that they can persuade the Magistrate to be lenient as they cannot afford the payments. They arrive at the court building and along with many others are crammed into a waiting room outside ‘the court’. They are interviewed by a ‘court officer’ – this is a person who works for the local council. Local councils will usually employ a few (as little as two) people whose job title is ‘Court Officer’. These people have no special qualifications other than what anyone else working for the council will have. On the date of the Summons at the ‘court’, any tom, dick or harry who works in the Council Tax and debt recovery dept. at the council, becomes as ‘Court Officer’. The ‘court officer’ makes an arrangement to pay with the poor person who has turned up. The poor person is told he cannot go before the Magistrates to plead his case – he never gets to know that the ‘court’ room is empty and no hearing is taking place. The poor person is told a Liability Order has been issued and he has to pay the Summons and Court hearing costs.

    Other people do not turn up on the day – some are afraid, some don’t receive the Summons, etc. However, they are informed afterwards ‘the hearing’ took place and a Liability Order was awarded to the council against them. Again they have to pay the Summons and Court Hearing costs and the Liability Order, in addition to what they owe on council tax.

    If the person is on benefits, the council informs the DWP and the money is stopped weekly from their benefits.

    I found all this out last year when I was late paying my council tax due to being away at the time the Council Tax accounts went out. By the time I returned I had missed the payments for April and May. I found the account and a reminder the day after I returned – warning me of a possible court hearing if I didn’t pay the full amount for the whole year (as I had missed two payments) I immediately paid the full amount for the whole year (with fingers crossed they hadn’t sent out the Summons before receiving my payment).

    I never received a Summons so the ‘court hearing’ date came and went and they had my payment for several weeks by that time. Many more weeks passed and I received a letter from the DWP telling me they were stopping money from a benefit to give to the council for non payment of council tax.

    I contacted the council for an explanation and was told ‘my case’ had gone to court and a Liability Order had been issued by the court. I asked to see a copy of the Summons and a copy of the Liability Order. I was told they had both been sent out to me and I was given the ‘dates’ they had been sent. According to the council idiot ‘No copies are available as we sent the only copy of each of these to you.’ REALLY – the council do not keep a copy of a Summons or a Liability Order?

    I phoned the Magistrates Court and asked them to have a look at their records for the hearing for Council Tax on that date. I spoke to a very helpful member of court staff. That is when I found:
    – there are no hearings for council tax
    – the council just rent a room at the Magistrate’s Court building
    – As there is no hearing, and just a room rent, it is nothing to do with the Magistrate’s Court so they keep no records.
    – The Magistrate’s Court have no idea who the Council have sent a Summons to as ‘it is nothing to do with them’.
    – The Magistrate’s Court, therefore, have no list of who has a Liability Order placed against them.

    I worked out it is ONE BIG SCAM.

    I wrote to the Council and told them that as they had received my council tax in full long before any ‘Summons was issued’ and any ‘court hearing’ had taken place, I was not paying the Summons costs, the Court costs and the Liability Order costs. I also demanded my money be refunded that had been stopped to ‘pay for the council tax’.
    I got my money back.

    The councils work on FEAR and people’s lack of knowledge

  • giyane


    Thank you for your concern. Editing out ethnicity is good. It is a universal problem of ethnic prejudice in the UK mosques. I have been a Muslim for 18 years and a truthseeker all my life. The establishment tools have consistently fed the mosque salacious information, twisted and distorted to trigger offence to Muslim sensibilities in order to shut me up. for example they told one mulla that I had had problems with my first wife. Well the mullas would not have put up with what I had to put up with but MI5 didn’t tell them that. The mulla told me he had lived 30 years with his wife without a single argument, what’s to argue with yes boss?

    In addition to MI5 dirty tricks, one Muslim boss also used the Corporate spying and blacklisting facilities to get my name disgraced on the UK corporate system in order to make it impossible for me to find work in English companies. Many Muslims will do anything to feed their narrow ethnic prejudice.

    We are in the wrong thread. We should be in Charlie Kennedy not council tax to discuss the undermining of truthseekers by the disgusting MI5. But since we are here, I have countered the malice and spying of the Mosque over the years by revealing here that they are themselves so far up the government’s ass as to provide 1000s and 10000s of young men to fight the anti-Assad geo-political war of USUKIS in Syria and the MiddleEast.
    They are not radicalised, they are rented boots on the ground for this country and US colonial ambitions for global hegemony.

    Of course the media will always cloud the facts with talk of radicalisation of Muslims. The fact is that MI6 can recruit as many conscripts to its colonial purposes as the Mosque will provide them with. All varnished with the myth of jihad and sweetened with benefits and Qatar cash. Why not tell FIFA to investigate that? I hope the Qatar World Cup is empty when the world realises that they have destroyed their Muslim brothers and sisters in Syria and colluded in Western colonial genocide for the right to be recognised as an oversized desert sports centre of wasted cash.

    Nuff said.

  • craig Post author

    Adrian Roy,

    Thanks. It is still worse than that, in that “Scott & Co.” is a private husband and wife team who I am willing to bet are multi-millionaires from the ludicrous charges they collect from all this.

  • Mary

    Blair has moved seamlessly from his lucrative Quartet sinecure to become chair of the ‘European Council for Tolerance and Extremism’. It is unpaid but a donation will be made to his Faith Foundation so same difference.

    Their website is opaque as to funding and management but it has many links to international Jewish organisations. No mention of Islam anywhere.

    It was founded by Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor of Acron Group.

    ‘Kantor heads the publicly traded Acron Group, one of the leading mineral fertiliser producers and distributors in the world. He purchased the first asset of the Acron Group, a state-owned nitric acid-based fertiliser plant in Russia (formerly named Azot), in 1993.’

  • Techno

    My sympathy is tempered by the fact that Scotland gets free university tuition and free prescriptions whereas the English have to pay for these.

  • Mary

    No sign of ‘tolerance’ or ‘reconciliation’ being shown by the Israeli military here. Note the attacks on the Palestinians’ sources of food.

    IOP newsletter headlines for 01 June 2015:

    Israeli Navy attacks and hijacks Gaza fishing boat

    Israeli Navy abducts 14-year-old crew member on Gaza fishing boat

    Israeli Navy opens fire on more fishing boats

    Israeli Army opens fire on farmers at work on Khan Yunis farmland

    Israeli Army blasts its way into West Bank home and vandalises contents

    Night raid: youngster injured as Israeli Army invades Nablus home

    Night raid: Israeli troops invade Palestinian home and abduct youngster

    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 2 refugee camps and 7 towns and villages

    3 attacks (3 Israeli ceasefire violations)

    17 raids including home invasions – 3 beaten – 7 injured

    3 abducted (aged 14 to 17)

    4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

    22 taken prisoner – 10 detained – 96 restrictions of movement

  • conjunction

    I sympathize.

    I think it is now common practice for large companies to refer people to debt collection agencies without any notification.

    British Gas invented a debt I supposedly owed them and the first I heard of it was from a debt collection agency. I eventually sorted that out after a series of long phone calls.

    DVLA also referred me to a debt collection agency without notifying me regarding money I actually did owe them owing to an oversight on my part, but again I got threatening letters which were the first I was aware of it. I could not get through to the debt collection agency and again eventually after a series of long phone calls to DVLA I sorted it out.

    There is no longer any notion of public service in large companies.

    I am reading Owen Jones’ book on ‘The Establishment’ – it fills in a lot of gaps in my understanding of how the corruption of modern political/business society works these days.

  • Mary

    Last night, the BBC apparently shelved a Panorama entitled NHS A Perfect Storm in favour of a report about alleged drug doping in British athletics.

    The NHS is disintegrating. By design of course in this increasingly fascist state. Three NHS regions have at a stroke been taken into ‘special measures’. Many services are being outsourced to the privateers. Few people notice or even turn a hair.

    When the NHS has gone, then they will notice.

    NHS regulators to take over health services in three English regions
    Unprecedented measure – known as ‘success regime’ – involves takeover of services across multiple trusts spanning whole regions

  • Aggrieved

    The real problem is the politics has become more about bercow and his issues rather than about Joe voters issues. This business of “out of the blue” bailiff demands due to long forgotten cxd direct debits,etc or 7 day notices never sent/received first, should have had an online tech resolution via Parliamentary discourse/legialation A LONG TIME AGO. But the assorted fools are busy attending FoI parties/jinks instead, a bit like the real attention of the kempes of this blog.

  • fedup

    Craig you say:

    I have never raised money from the blog for a number of reasons. The most important of these is that it would make me feel very strongly obliged to produce regular output. ……. I should feel extremely guilty about this if people had contributed money towards the blog.

    Lets look at it from another angle.

    You are a busker standing by the corner of the street playing away and enjoying yourself all the same, and helping to lighten up the misery and the drudgeries of life for those in the earshot. Now there is no obligation for any punter to pay you any money and there is no obligation for you the busker to play or not to play!

    Mate if you are short for money, which these days I know of none who is not (I used to sit in the dark to save money on electricity, thankfully summer is upon us) and every penny counts. The donate button is there; no obligation upon anyone to pay and no obligation for you to produce.

    If it will get you out of a hole then be it mate! Also you should not feel guilty about it the least bit.

    A point to remember; ensure the taxation angle of earnings is attended to, and as and when if you are really solvent and don’t need the donations, then donate it to a charity given the abrogation of the responsibility of the successive UK governments with respect to the vulnerable citizens they are suppose to be in charge of.

    Good luck mate.

  • DoNNyDaRKo

    Life could be worse. Take the homeless on the streets of London.
    They will soon be fined 1000 pounds for sleeping rough.
    Gentrification is just a fancy word for population cleansing and the tax payer funds the machinery behind it.Architects of our own downfall so to speak.
    I slept rough in Munich in the early 80’s for approx. 4 weeks until I found work,but during that time I found out that homelessness is caused by a multitude of factors.An ex -Mayor of Blackpool was sleeping rough at the same time. A huge man,who had lost his wife and lost the plot.He was probably one of the better dressed among the Bahnhof Bums of Munich.
    When a society stops caring then it is no longer civilised.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I agree with Donate Button

    And after you pointing out that it aint a service. Then most us us Know..But would still like to help cos they are targeting you it seems… Come on Craig You Know the Blog… We can see through till you are Good n ready… There are many good folks here, i learned Zillions from ..Cheers. (Brian)

    What he said. This is costing you something, and it’s easy seen you’re no Tony Blair when it comes to monetising comment. “Please Donate to Craig’s Council Tax” – with a line of explanation – might help publicise the present issue, too. Even a little thermometer, like the church roof appeal ones?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    O/T, mea maxima culpa.

    Mary @ 6.43,

    Thanks, I’d missed that completely. And see this week on ‘An Apology’ thread. I knew he was sniffing the butt of the Milken and Wiesenthal Foundations – but didn’t know where he was going with it. That’s where.

  • John Goss

    Adrian Roy

    What a fascinating account of government usury and bully boy tactics. Most people who can afford to pay their council-tax do so. I can understand people getting behind, or missing a payment, with utility bills increasing exponentially every year. So pleased you beat them.

    In fairness to Birmingham City Council I have had no problems in this respect. I would not want to move to Edinburgh and be conned into making Mr & Mrs of Scott & Co even richer.

    I am sure Craig you can fight this nonsense. There should be some obligation by Edinburgh Council to inform new residents of how the system works. It is not as though you have chosen not to pay, in fact quite the opposite. I would argue length of residency is an issue here. Good luck.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “The 58 Edinburgh Councillors represent the following groups
    •20 – Labour Group
    •17 – SNP Group
    •11 – Conservative Group
    •6 – Green Group
    •3 – Liberal Democrat Group
    •1 – Independent”

    The City is run by a Labour-SNP coalition. Instructive.

  • nevermind

    Sorry to hear of your engagement with the Edingburgh City bouncers of Scotty dog and his wife.
    I follow others here and say that your personal circumstances should not stop those who know you to use a donate button.
    Every known NGO uses these means to finance their campaigns, they are like on-line chuggers trying to capitalise on your support for some wretched inhumanity.
    Go ahead and do it, or ask those NGO’s to advertise here. Alternatively you could go commercial and offer your site to adverts from Yes supporting businesses, if they got the guts that is.

    whatever you decide to get you over your temporary slump, I shall support it.

  • Clydebuilt

    Last year Scott and Co. Were handed my council tax case after I was one month late with a payment to Glasgow City Council. The only payment option offered was to pay up the council tax to year end. There was no reminder letter from GCC. Luckily I had the means to cough up.

  • Former Dundee Man

    A lot of things go on that don’t make sense to the average decent person. Like @Conjunction says ‘The Establishment’ by Owen Jones (and ‘Psychopathic Cultures and Toxic Empires’ by Will Black) answer a great many questions. It may not change things but it gets you through the day better. You stop being “shocked” next time some establishment figure lies, cheats and exploits, and concentrate on the systems that permit ordinary people to allow these sociopaths to operate.

    I’d donate. That’s different from paying for something. Don’t donate expecting anything more in return. You donate hoping your contribution will help the cause/program/person continue doing that they do.

  • john young

    Do not refuse to pay Craig but offer in writing to pay £1week they cannot refuse all they can do is take the matter to court to determine if you can afford more,battle them all the way just keep offering to pay as little an amount as you can.I had a long running battle with the VAT but just kept making an offer,they gave up in the end.good luck.

  • Hieroglyph

    I’m about to use bad language.

    “The “Sherriff’s Officers” are, of course really bailiffs, or licensed bullies and enforcers.”

    I well recall living in a dingy bedsit, unemployed due to redundancy, and massively in debt due to student loans. Scott and Co somehow found me, and started charging me per legal letter. A bunch of cunts that’s what they are. It was a definite psychological tactic. So I phoned up my bank, and they were also a bunch of cunts. Bank of Scotland. So, eventually, I just stopped dealing with Scott and Co and the Bank. Didn’t call them, didn’t respond to letters. I paid of by debt at a rate right for me, and copped a few fines. It was rather revealing, and all occured before the financial crisis.

    Interesting question. What are the links between the council, Scott and Co, and the big banks in Scotland? Almost certainly it’s corruption, fraud, and – who knows – maybe even throw in a few paedophile rings (alleged). Well, whatever it is, it’s not doing the people of Scotland much good.

  • Former Dundee Man

    Reading this post alongside the earlier one on Coulson walking on the Sheridan case, it looks like anyone who does not fit in and operate in the right Establishment circles are losing any chance of justice. What will happen in the People vs Carmichael case? I expect it will get lost and thrown out.

    If it was ever proven that someone at Edinburgh Council had identified the chance to get one over on Craig and had bypassed normal procedures, would it make any difference? Would the case be brushed aside because “Council Trying to Ruin Craig Murray is OK by Judge to Maintain UK Establishment”?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Do WRITE to your MP, MSP and possibly MEP, Craig. As opposed to a blether over a pint in the Leith dive you undoubtedly frequent (or would if you knew your pubs) Make it formal – costs nothing.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    So I phoned up my bank, and they were also a bunch of cunts. Bank of Scotland.

    Been there, done that, closed my account as soon as I was earning again, never looked back. The manager who had shat on me was to be seen shambling around town in an alcoholic haze, now unemployed and unemployable, just a few years later. Karma.

  • fred

    “My sympathy is tempered by the fact that Scotland gets free university tuition and free prescriptions whereas the English have to pay for these.”

    They have also had council tax frozen by central government since 2007 which strangely enough is about when councils started getting vicious about arrears and late payments.

    I know someone who was saddled with two years business rates on commercial premises he wasn’t occupying because when he left he had informed the council by phone not in writing. That was in the Highland region and the solicitors were Scott and Co.

  • Julian


    I agree with other posters: a donate button would be a good idea and I would contribute. I think there is a difference between a “donation” – i.e. a gift, and a “subscription” which means you are paying for regular content, whether delivered online or in print. I don’t think that a donate button means you should be too concerned with having to write when you are otherwise occupied, it is more like a token of appreciation.

    best wishes


  • Julian

    BTW – one other important thing, your techies will need to have an automatic email which is sent out saying “Thank you for your donation”, some sites don’t do this and I find it very discourteous.

  • Gribble

    Talk to from Citizens Advice too, it’s pretty certain they’ll know all about this. As long as you’re seen to be doing something about it, if it ever should come to court, that will work in your favour, and lessen the chances of them being granted costs. Ignoring it is the sure way to being their bitch.

    And what others have said about the Donate button. It’s never occurred to me to do anything other than worry for you when there’s a big gap between your posts, and having donated wouldn’t change that for me – wouldn’t think I’m buying anything in the future, more like paying for what you’ve already given me.

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