5th April 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

MP’s reassurances over Royal Mail ‘scare stories’

, by , in News, Public Affairs

MP Alistair Carmichael has again moved to reassure concerned islanders that the rural postal service will be protected following the partial sell-off of Royal Mail.

The coalition government last week unveiled plans for a £3 billion privatisation in the next six weeks. In response, it is expected Royal Mail staff will launch a rolling programme of strike action.

At least half of the 497-year-old state-run service is to be sold off in the face of widespread public opposition. Several national polls suggest around two-thirds of UK voters are against privatisation, with discontent strongest in the countryside.

Alistair Carmichael insists the daily delivery service will be preserved.

Alistair Carmichael insists the daily delivery service will be preserved.

Ministers insist that the universal, six-day service to every letterbox in the country is protected until at least 2021.

Any change before then requires a resolution in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. But trade unions fear that, post-privatisation, shareholders will push for the requirement to be watered down.

Last month the CWU union said communities such as Shetland would be “the ones hurt hardest” by privatisation of one of the UK’s last remaining public utilities.

CWU Grampian and Shetland representative Alan Robertson said: “The privateers are not interested in the workforce. They’d come in and cherry-pick. They don’t want to go to Shetland or the Outer Hebrides six days a week.”

Mr Carmichael acknowledged he had received “a fair amount” of correspondence from Shetlanders worried about the future of the rural post.

But he believes a lot of that emanates from people reading “scare stories”, suggesting some political interests “invent difficulties for the sake of causing anxiety”.

He said he had received a “fair amount” of constituents’ letters, “because people pick up papers and see this will be the end of this, that and the other,” Mr Carmichael told The Shetland Times.

“I’ve been engaged in this issue for the last 12 years and if I thought that the model that’s being provided was one that was going to be a threat to the service, there’s no way I’d support it.

“The important thing is that you preserve the universal service, which is the daily delivery to every door in the country, and the safeguards that have been put into the last postal services act do exactly that.

“I’m more concerned about the quality of the service that is provided rather than who owns it or is provider of the service.”

Mr Carmichael said he understood the appeal of finding “some other way” to modernise Royal Mail within public ownership.

But he said an “enormous” pension fund deficit and the need for Royal Mail to compete for contracts against big Dutch and German postal companies made privatisation unavoidable.

“What doesn’t seem to be understood, deliberately or other­wise, is that just leaving things as they are brings enormous risks both to the pensions of postal workers and to the universal service as well,” he said.

“If you’re going to be serious about it, given that you’ve opened up your market completely, which was something I opposed quite vigorously, then I think this just becomes inevitable.”

About Neil Riddell

View other stories by »


  1. Stewart Mac

    Well tahts reassuring then, the Universal service is protected until 2021 or just 8 short years after which, in private hands there can only be cuts in services and increases in prices. But thats fine Mr Carmichael MP, if still in parliament will no doubt be able to blame someone else for the changes then taking place. 8 years is not a long time, it will be upon us before we know it

  2. Your article “MP’s reassurances over Royal Mail ” demonstrates the complacency that Coalition Government politicians are displaying towards the future of postal services by supporting the privatisation of Royal Mail.

    The postal regulator Ofcom has confirmed that the cost of postal services to rural and remote places is greater than that to urban areas. A privately owned Royal Mail,with a legal obligation to maximise shareholder return, will not want to maintain services that lose money. Scotland in particular stands to suffer as a consequence.

    The legal protections that Alistair Carmichael refers to are not enough to protect postal services in Scotland. It will only be a matter of time before Royal Mail and the regulator start to put pressure on Ministers to allow it to compete on a “level playing field”. This can only be achieved through a regional pricing system which would see the Scots pay more than the rest of the UK for its post, or cut backs to the number of deliveries it makes to rural areas in Scotland.

    Opinion polls have consistently shown that the people of Scotland overwhelmingly oppose this sell off. For good reason too. Mr Carmichael feels it necessary to defend something that neither in the interests of his constituents nor the people of Scotland as a whole.

  3. Ali Inkster

    And what sort of postal service would we have if there were no 50+ million English to subsidise it?

  4. David Spence

    The whole agenda of this vile Tory Government is to totally privatised everything that is state run.

    It is also their agenda to make sure that they, the vile Tory Party, benefit by the sell-off of state run services to the private sector by themselves either being in the main board of directors or being major shareholders where they will benefit immensely as a consequence of it.

    It will also mean, as a backhand gift to the private companies once the privatisation of the Postal Services is completed, the Tax Payer giving away millions of pounds to help the private companies takeover and restructuring of the service for the benefit of them and not the people

    Remember, most Tories only think of themselves and what they can gain rather than representing the people of the country…..a typical trait of capitalism……instead of the selfish gene…….we have the selfish political party.

  5. Gordon Harmer

    Stewart and Mario, what are you two pleepsin about, have you not heard Scotland’s savior has vowed to re-nationalise the Royal Mail if we all vote yes next year.

    He has vowed to spend more than £300 million of your hard earned income tax to compensate investors and buy back this loss making section of the Royal Mail.

    This being what Salmond believes to be a popular announcement after a string of bad poll results on independence.

    This is a double bonus for Salmond, as instead of the nationalised loss making Scottish Mail being a burden on the Scottish tax payer and this being his fault.

    He can now trumpet his favorite mantra and blame Cameron and Westminster for the burden to us as Scottish tax payers.

    Unless of course he has found another couple of million barrels of oil out there in the North Sea to pay for it.

  6. David Spence

    Example of the Private Sector taking over the Postal Services:

    I phoned up a company in Birmingham inquiring about some art software that was advertised on their website as £14.99, on getting further information about it, it was to my horror that they, even although there was no proper packaging or book, and the cd could have been put into a small jiffy bag, were going to charge me £26.99 for posting using a private courier.

    I asked why they could not just put the cd into a small jiffy bag and posted it via the Post Office (which I enquire at the post office here regarding the package and cost, where they said to post it from Birmingham to Shetland first class would cost £2.76)? They said, which I think was utter lies, they had a contract with the private courier and could not post software via the Post Office.

    Needless to say after the companies terrible service in prepared to reduce the cost of the postage, I declined to by the software and hung up.

    This is just a small example of what is to come when you put a very good run service, as it is now, and totally ruin it and be forced to pay extortionate charges thereafter…….that is the private sector for you with them taking over a state run services…..self, self, self, profit, profit, profit, greed, greed and greed.

  7. Ali Inkster

    You should of just downloaded it David if not from that particular company then from another source. Maybe even for free from a file sharing site, then you could of sent the creature of the software a payment by PayPal to their email address just to salve your unquestionable conscience.

  8. ian tinkler

    Never mind David, outside the private sector, no company in Birmingham, no software, no advertisement, no postal problem. Rejoice in socialism, the salvation of your problem.

  9. David Spence

    I see your point Ali, but at the time I could not download the software as it quite a large program, and I wasn’t using peer-to-peer software.

    What annoyed me and therefore forced my decision not to purchase the software was the company’s inability to use an alternative, cheaper postal service……..which made me think, later, that the company may have had an invested interest in this courier company, hence themselves not prepared to use other postal services or give the customer any other postal options?

    As it is now, in some cases, where as soon as you mention you reside in Shetland, companies are using this to increase their charges, I fear this will be even more so if the service is privatised.

    I can see Shetland and the other of the islands around the UK being worse off and companies using this to charge significantly more than is at present, especially if the private sector is in total control of such a service.

    Nothing good comes from privatising state run services as the trains, water and sewerage, housing etc etc is proving.

  10. Ali Inkster

    And no good came from them being state controlled as the trains, water, coal, steel, electricity etc proved. Nationalised industry in the UK was a disaster losing money hand over fist, with unions calling the shots and spending more time on strike than actually working.

  11. James Hemmings

    As a member of staff for the Royal Mail, I suppose I have a vested interest so this is a little coloured and if you wish to call what I say into question, that is your right.

    The Universal Service Obligation is to be held until 2021 at which point I think you can guarantee that if it’s too expensive to carry, a private company will not shift it from the mainland to the inner or outer islands without charging full carriage for it. No private company will do it at a loss, they can’t afford to, they have shareholders to look after. Anyone who says different is lying, pure and simple. For what ends, I wouldn’t like to say but seeing as the MP in question is a member of the coalition, his neutrality is at least a little suspect.

    David Spence’s experience will no doubt be had by many islanders when we get sold off and I’d recommend you save up because it’s not going to improve.

    The MP in question is paid out of your pocket, plus expenses which will no doubt best be described as ‘generous’ so he can probably afford it, plus he may claim postage back so doesn’t care anyway.

    What is interesting is that he obviously thinks it’s a good idea to sell off the Royal Mail by the tone of his replies but the majority of his constituents don’t. Seeing as he’s been elected to represent them, not dictate to them, I’d have thought that even if he likes the idea, if his constituents don’t, he should be against it… I thought that was the idea of MPs…

    Maybe I’m living in the past but if an MP doesn’t represent the people, maybe those people need another MP.

    We do a good service for a good price and still make money for the UK. All we want to do is carry on doing that for the people of the UK, not for private profit.

    The pension deficit is down the the last Labour Gov’t (Gordon Brown raided it and many others when he was chancellor) and the previous Tory Gov’t who allowed the Royal Mail to take a ‘holiday’ from paying their part of the contributions while the staff still paid their bit so for ANY Gov’t to whine about being able to afford to cover the deficit is at best misdirection and at worst a bold faced lie.

    If we were allowed to compete for the very lucrative business post contracts we could afford to keep the USO, keep paying into the pension AND keep paying upwards of £600million/year into the treasury as we always did before the disastrous management changes made sure that we were unprofitable for a few years.

    As I said, I’m just a common postie. All we want to do is carry on doing the job we’ve been doing for EVERYONE in the UK, not the privileged few or big business.

  12. David Spence

    Ali, do you have anything negative to say about private enterprise or is it always profit, greed and look after number 1 mentality your main reason for supporting such a business ethic?

    Time and time again, it has be proven without any doubt, as soon as you put into the hands of the private sector any nationally run service, it is always 100% worse off for the people of this country, and not only do they received a half baked service or product, the cost of providing it has gone up considerably due to, in most cases, greed, profit (and the scourge of society) the dreaded shareholder.

    Yes, I am very criticizing them for the mess this country is in due to their own agenda of profit and greed dictating by themselves and not for the greater good of the country or the people.

    As a consequence of the private sector (mainly large corporate companies) running the business, short term thinking, quick buck mentality, cutting corners in service or manufacturing, not improving the service (as it cuts into profits) and generally providing a much worse service……..but who cares as long as the vile shareholders are happy.

    So Ali, are we, as a country, better off with the private sector taking over state run services? Well, based on their performance so far, most definitely not!!!!! Will we be better off with the private sector taking over existing state run services, a most definite and resounding No!!!!

  13. Ali Inkster

    Man that is some scratch in your record David it keeps skipping to the same bit over and over and over……..

  14. John Inkster

    Private enterprise is not about greed, but most closely reflects human nature and how people behave. It is not perfect.

    In the distant past when humans first roamed this planet, if you were hungry you had to chase prey for days on end. If you had to share this hunt with those that could not be bothered to run, why bother to hunt. Everyone goes hungry! That is why socialism will always fail in the end.

    Those who were prepared to run and hunt grew stronger than those who did not. And when they caught more than they required they preserved it for leaner times. They fed themselves and their family not every Tom, Dick and Harry who moaned about how “greedy” the successful hunters were.

  15. David Spence

    ‘ Private enterprise is not about greed, but most closely reflects human nature ‘

    In todays world John, if you look at the figures, it is very much to do with greed….greed of a commercial value rather than this of food.

    As a survival technique John, humans did co-operate with each other as a means of protection as well as increasing the odds of survival……even if it meant certain numbers of the community not hunting……their task was defending the young and the territory they may have occupied…….as chimpanzee’s do today.

    So, it was not a case of survival of the fittest and strongest, but one of mutual co-operation amongst the group……as a collective.

    In todays so-called Jungle Law, it is very much, from a commercial point of view, look after yourself and to hell with everybody else…….a most profound trait of a capitalist based system where it is the survival of the minority at the cost of the majority.

    Socialism, in its true definition, has never been properly practiced. As said previously, the concept of socialism, as promoted by US propaganda, was totally false compared to what was actually being practiced in Russia before perestroika happened.

    All societies, today, incorporate (even in the US) elements of capitalism and socialism……….the main difference from the US and the rest of the world, is the US puts private business and concerns in charge of the basic structures of our society (housing, education, health, defense etc etc) where their priority is based on profit rather than providing an adequate service……….if you want to compare the US with the rest of the world in regards to the basic structures which keeps society together, the US, in every category, is well behind many, many countries ……this is the true face of capitalism Ali and John.

  16. Brian Smith

    When did you starting chasing prey for days on end, John?

  17. Ali Inkster

    Maybe not chasing down prey Brian but definitely a damn site more worthwhile than someone who thinks our ancestors were so stupid they would spend years of effort building lookout towers nearly in da ebb when there is a nice handy hill a couple of hundred yards away. You see Brian they understood what was needed for surviving in this world, food and the ability to defend that food source from those that would try and take it from them. The reason they were built in sight of each other was for mutual defence, ie if you attack me my neighbours will see and come to my aid and vice versa.

  18. Brian Smith

    I am getting a bit worried about Ali.

  19. James Hemmings

    Ali, political leanings aside, simple fact is a private company will not move a letter from London up to the Orkneys for the price of a packet of crisps.

    As soon as the USO is scrapped, the further you are from any large city, the more you will pay for moving something. The only thing that’s keeping the private firms prices so low now is the competition the Royal Mail provides. Once that competition is taken away what’s going to happen??

    If you can afford it, good for you but try and think of those that can’t.

  20. Kevin C Ryback

    What sort of postal service would we have if there were no 50+ million English to subsidise it?

    Well, Ali, it may come as a surprise to your limited comprehension, but there are more than a few European nations with about the same population as Scotland, which manage to run proper postal services even better than Royal Mail. Of course, those countries aren’t afflicted with Tories or the sort of “useful idiots” who are deluded enough to vote for them, which may help a lot.

  21. Ali Inkster

    Those European countries you mention are not hamstrung by unions who will strike at the drop of a hat every time Labour are not in power Kevin, and James why pay any heed to anything you say as you are under the illusion that we are in the “ORKNEYS”

  22. Gordon Harmer

    Wise up Kevin what countries are you talking about and what size are they in comparison to Scotland. How much does it cost to post a letter or a parcel there how long does it take for a letter to be delivered. Come on give us the facts instead of empty statements.

    Any body with any kind of comprehension knows that the Scottish part of the Royal Mail is subsidised by and carried by the bulk of its operation south of the border.

  23. Gordon Harmer

    James what planet do you live on “the only thing that’s keeping the private firms prices so low now is the competition the Royal Mail provides”.

    You have obviously not sent a parcel to the Shetlands from the UK mainland by a private parcel company, anyone who live here will tell you they will charge anything up to ten times the cost of using the Royal Mail.

    For some reason there are more and more companies using private parcel firms now and we in the Shetland Isles are bearing the brunt of high postage prices.

    Its the same old story, the unions will not allow the Royal Mail to modernise because it means the loss of a few jobs so now the Government is dumping it while it is worth something and there is something left for the private sector to put right.

  24. David Spence

    Capitalism (big corporate companies, banks etc etc) by its very nature, is a totally selfish, highly corrupt, highly damaging to society as a whole and where it only benefits the minority at the cost the majority.

    You only have to look at the US (which this vile Tory Government would love the UK to emulate) to see how divisive, corrupt and where it is money which rules the roost. Even their legal and political system is based on commercial greed rather than justice itself, and where in every aspect in regards to the structure of society, in the US you have a two tier system……….one for the rich and one for everybody else who cannot afford the unjustified, extortionate charges private (greedy) companies charge.

    You only have to look again, where private enterprise (the *rooked banks) has benefitted from the Tax Payer unjustly because of their greed and where society, regretfully, has been structured where they, the banks, are in a win-win situation….as the 2008 so-called bank crisis proved……and to whom we in the UK are paying the banks (aka largest *rooks in society) £150 million a day in interest to our so-called £1.2 trillion debt…….and before anybody says it ……71% of our debt is due to the banks and not the previous Government, as we are being spoon fed by this vile Tory Government for them to justify all the cuts to Local Authorities and state run services (basically, it is the Tories reason to prepared for the state run services to be privatised and where it will be the Tax Payer who will be giving financial help to the companies (but this vile Tory Government will keep quiet about it) to takeover and setup after the privatisation)

  25. David Spence

    Ali, here is a little fact.

    The USA is approx. 4.5% of the worlds population, it, the USA, consumes 31% of all global resources, consumes 34% of all fossil fuels and produces 25% of all global pollution, and yet it is less that 5% of the worlds population.

    Now, if that is not a good example of what I am saying about Capitalism being selfish, then please explain to me why it is these figures for 1 country are so high compared to the rest of the population (humans) on this planet, and, more importantly, do you think such greed and selfishness is justified?????

  26. Brian Smith

    How little you know, Ali. There are far, far fewer strike days per year in Britain than in almost any European country: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lab_str-labor-strikes

  27. Ali Inkster

    Only because Maggie sorted the unions Brian, but given half a chance you and yours would have us all back to the good old days of the three day week.

  28. John Tulloch

    Whom should we thank for that, Brian, surely not Mrs Thatcher?

  29. David Spence

    Brian, don’t be surprised if this vile Tory Government pushes forward and legislates for companies or any employer to have ‘ zero hour contracts ‘, where, in affect, it will be total exploitation of the highest order (except for those western companies (predominantly US) exploiting the poorest of the poor (third world countries) and only paying workers 1 dollar for a 16 hour day) and where employee’s will have next to no rights at all.

  30. Brian Smith

    Make your mind up, Ali.

  31. Gordon Harmer

    David, tell how you think there are so many jobs in shetland at the moment?
    I will tell you why I think this is so; because of capitalism.

    Oil companies investing in Shetland allowing local businesses to grow and compete for contracts they otherwise could not look at.

    Engineering companies local to Shetland big enough now so that our fleet of larger fishing vessels don’t have to go to Norway to modernise and refit putting hundreds of thousands of pounds in to the local economy.

    Haulage and bus companies doubling and trebling there fleets and workforce, all having a massive knock on effect to the Shetland economy.

    All these folk in full time employment spending their hard earned cash in local shops, buying new cars in local garages who in turn are taking on more staff to cope.

    Massive developments in the local harbours making them suitable to berth four accommodating barges which in turn bring hundreds of thousands of pounds into the local economy.

    All the above brings money and jobs and security to Shetland and Shetlanders and it is all capitalism, in your book vile, vile capitalism.

    David what is the alternative? Instead of constantly slagging of capitalism tell us of another way we could be so successful up here in our little far off group of islands.

  32. rosa steppanova

    Perhaps Gordon would care to complete his list of capilist successes in Shetland. Could he let us have the figures for child poverty, fuel poverty and those living below the breadline because of benefit cuts in general and for those who happen to have a spare bedroom?

  33. Johan Adamson

    I agree with James that it will be disastrous for rural economies when the USO has gone, and its not like our local MP will listen to us any better then. We have local councillors here too who are more interested in their political careers than the people they are supposed to represent.

    Gordon, I wish it were true that the increased money here is spent here. I doubt it very much. Most of them will be taking their money home or going on line with it to spend £30 on delivery charges to couriers along with their purchases. Maybe we need to up our game and open more shops and cafes etc late at night when they can actually go to them?

  34. Ali Inkster

    Trust a historian to come up with historical statistics, from the first years of the Blair Brown government, but since the last election Brian you and yours have been itching for a fight with the government, thankfully though most sensible folks have been ignoring your call.

  35. Ali Inkster

    And David the terms vile and evil I would reserve for the likes of Hitler and Stalin or for perverts than hang around school gates.

  36. Stewart Mac

    Gordon, What am i pleepsin about? Seriously?

    I’m “pleepsin” about our elected MP deciding to forego his elected duty to represent the people in order to tow the party line. He has “a fair amount” of mail from his constituents about this, how many do you suppose are in support of the privatisation? There is absolutely no comfort in his assurances, none whatsoever and come 2021 its his sort of attitude, and i regret to say yours, that is going to see Shetland (and of course the other remote area’s) cut off from the normal postal service in a few short years. But thats fine, you managed to get a dig in about the SNP so presumably you will be happy?

    Its pretty boring to see everything turned round to attempts at political point scoring on these pages by the same few individuals when the point is often being spectacularly missed in order to keep their one-up-manship. Never mind though when theres no attempts at point scoring we can all rely on it all being the the fault of the vile greedy capitalists :-).

    Indeed Mr Salmond esquire may well wish to re-nationalise the Post office but that can only happen in an independant Scotland because if they lose next years election they wont be able to do it so presumably you are entirely safe because that will never happen, or will it?

    Rather than the “he says she says” that goes on all to often, why not deal with the here and now. The sell off of the Royal Mail will only guarantee the USO until 2021 which, as i have said is only a few years away, so perhaps you can tell me, other than all paying £20 or £30 to get small items, what do you plan to do in 2022 to get post and parcels up and down to the mainland? Or maybe you think that in 8 short years the private sector running royal mail will be able to continue the USO and the outer isles will just be their version of a normal “loss leader” service. If the USO was in place for a significantly longer period of time then the sell off is something i could perhaps support. Until then the words of our illustrious MP ring hollow, like most of his utterings

  37. Ali Inkster

    Ps the cost of posting a second class letter in Denmark 80 krone or roughly £1.00

  38. James Hemmings

    And how much would they be charging if there was no Royal Mail Ali?? If it goes, as you want it to be, no-one will be able to get that cheaper service and shareholders and the rich and shameless will cream off the profits and leave the public to pay the price. They’ll sit there doing nothing and getting paid for it. Like the power companies, like the water companies, like the train companies… ALl private, all profiteers.

    We have modernised, a lot more than you would prefer the rest of the readers here to believe. The workforce has been halved, machinery bought so we can still get a letter from Cornwall to you for the price of a bag of crisps. Will one of your wonderful private companies do that?? For that price?? Six days a week??

    If you can answer yes to all of those questions then I’d be more than happy to work for a company run for profit that has the interests of the public at heart…

    I can quite easily use the words vile and evil for anyone that will see someone else suffer or pay what they can’t afford for their own enrichment.

    I haven’t got a problem with rich people. As long as they work for it. I work to support my family, I work to provide a quality public service for EVERYONE.

    Not the privileged few.

  39. David Spence

    As said previously, this vile Tory Government does not really care about what the electorate may say in regards to their agenda on privatising everything which is state run as long as they, the Tories, benefit (which I can guarantee they will) from such a sale by being major shareholders or Board Members in the private companies taking over state run services (as the privatisation of the Railways proved (9 of the major companies taking over the railways had Tory representatives/MPs on the management board prior to the sell off))

    This is the true agenda of this vile Tory Government, for themselves to prosper at the cost of privatising state run services and lying to the public about the facts and costs of state run services to justify their own agenda.

    As said previously, Capitalism is a most selfish ideology, and the vile Tories exemplify this to a T………..Look after your own before anybody else.

  40. Harry Dent

    Of course Mr Carmichael supports the Tory plan to give away the Royal Mail; the Liberal Party is now conservative in all but name, and Jo Grimond must be spinning in his grave.

    It’s nonsense to claim the unions have prevented Royal Mail “modernising”.

    Workers and unions have bent over backwards to accommodate change and their reward for it is to see thousands of jobs lost and offices closed as management home in on their goal of grabbing a share of the privatised company.

    Holland was the first European country to privatise its own royal mail. A few years on and 90% of its post offices have closed, wages have been slashed, workers are on casual contracts, and the service offered to the public is getting worse by the day. TNT, which owns it, is coining in the profit.

    As for private “enterprise” doing a better job than publicly-owned companies, take a look at the railways – the privately-owned Railtrack made an absolute hash of looking after the infrastructure and collapsed less than a decade after its foundation. Its publicy-run successor Network Rail has managed, despite cuts imposed by Mr Carmichael’s government, to get the rail network into its best condition for a generation.

    Meanwhile, East Coast, which runs trains on the Aberdeen-London route, is also state-run and is the only major franchise making money for the public purse instead of sucking it out as subsidy and handing it over to the private shareholders.

    Which model do you prefer? East Coast making millions for the exchequer; or West Coast, taking millions in subsidy to hand over to Richard Branson?

  41. David Spence

    and Ali and Gordon, my views towards capitalism is based on this Government’s performance and their agenda to privatise all state run services………not to improve it under the guise of so called market forces (the banking system being a good example of market forces gone drastically wrong) and this of competition, but the very obvious fact that this Government’s agenda is centred upon themselves and not for the greater good of the country.

    We are talking about the basic structures which keeps our society together and not the odd shop on the street corner as Ali may interpret wrongly. This Government’s insatiable appetite to better itself (their party) by transferring their responsibility to the people of the country to this of a very few minority companies whose agenda and principles (no morality whatsoever) are based on profit and greed.

    This is the picture the majority of people of the country get from this Government, and quite rightly invokes a lot of anger and questions the role and justification of our political system and what it means to the people (as you may know, people are very despondent about what our so called political representatives are doing, and whether or not their actions is for the greater good of their constituents or just for themselves?)

    As said, and is very much being demonstrated by this Government, Capitalism is very much a selfish political ideology, where (very similar to the structure of years gone by where it was the rich and the church ruling the roost) it is the few dominating the majority under the guise, this present time, of market forces and competition.

  42. Mike Grant

    The best example of how the current privatisation of the Royal Mail may turn out is the Netherlands, whose postal service was privatised in 1989. Since then 90% of post offices have been closed, Dutch post boxes are emptied only once a day, and everybody is complaining about the service, with items taking longer to arrive, completely failing to arrive, and being misdelivered. And as an additional bonus, the private Dutch service goes to extreme lengths to avoid paying any compensation for lost or damaged items, unlike the old postal service.

  43. Ali Inkster

    Where have I said I want the post office privatised I have pointed out the the UKs nationalised industries were a disaster but that’s it apart from countering red Dave rants and comrade Brians self righteous raving.
    And correct me if I’m wrong but these modernisations you mentioned were fought at every stage by the postal union.
    Posties were nipping home for a snooze while out on rounds, stopping off for a dram or two a certain houses on route and still managing to knock off hours before their shift ended. So don’t preach about efficiency when that was a regular occurrence. I know plenty off postures who still reckon the job is a doddle after all the “draconian measures forced on them”

  44. John Tulloch

    Nivver you leet, boys, Ed Milliebaand’ll freeze da prices whin eence at Labour wins back in!

  45. David Spence

    I think Mike description of the Dutch Post Service is an accurate account of how a company puts greed and profit ahead of anything else, and what we in Britain should be expecting if this vile (the only good Tory is a ******* ) Government gets its way.

    Cut the service to the bare bones (close everything, lay off thousands of people (- afterall this costs more money and eats into the profits)) provide a highly inefficient service, especially if the company has the monopoly (once again, providing an efficient service would eat into profits) change legislation (bribe politicians – most likely they will be Conservatives) so that you pay out the minimum of compensation if you have done wrong (lost or damaged letters, parcels, goods etc etc) and basically cater for the minority needs of the equally distasteful shareholder (it is because of these people, who only think of themselves, who are indirectly responsible for this Government agenda of privatising everything) where, ultimately, society as a whole will be considerably worse off with a considerably worse service than what was before…………….but who cares as long as the selfish shareholders and their company make profits.