Bob Varney

26 Jun 2018
Bob Varney’s family buried him today and a large number of friends and admirers came to bear witness.

From a single, brilliant address no one could have been left in any doubt about the many faces of Bob that people loved. I came to the funeral because there was one face which I loved about Bob: the power that he put into trying to ensure that the truth that underpinned the case for the group that I call ‘the whistle-blowers’ should be made known.

There is this small group of whistle-blowers who were concerned over the Colas highways contract in Wirral. Wrongdoings were alleged by the whistle-blowers and their case resulted in a clutch of cheating officers leaving the council. Cleverly drawn contracts and powerful legal representation resulted in Wirral having to pay compensation monies to these individuals over the contract – tens of thousands of pounds or more that each of them have had to walk the plank.

What an injustice that Wirral ratepayers had to pay these sums by law to people whose position was untenable in the council once the whistle-blowers had completed their work.

Contrast that with the treatment of the whistle-blowers. These were the agents by which less than proper doing was unmasked. The package of compensation for them, of their careers being blighted, and one of their names being published “by accident” on the council website, was around £5,000.

The injustice to these noble citizens has still to be countered. Bob died before that day arrived but that day assuredly will come as truth is on their side.

It often takes so long in this country which I love to get this elemental truth established. The inquiry, for example, to establish full the truth about BHS goes on and on, and Parliament won’t give up until it has that truth.

Likewise in the Wirral. Now diminished by Bob’s death, the whistle-blowers will go on and on, with my support, until truth is established.

The next stage in establishing that truth will come, I guess, with the publication of the Nick Warren report. The whistle-blowers agreed with the council that this stunning lawyer should carry out an inquiry into their case. The report will be made public, I’m sure, as a freedom of information claim has been lodged.

Slowly but surely the truth will out. The citizens of Wirral owe the whistle-blowers, including Bob, such a debt for shifting officers that were found wanting in respect of the public good.

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