Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Last Battle of the Seventies

'And the first shall be last'

The Post Office, founded by Cromwell in 1657 is finally coming to an end as a State Monopoly after 352 years. For the History of the failure of both Labour and Tory to privatise the Post Office see here. Hear Ken Clarke say it was inexplicable that Thatcher would not privatise the Post Office, hear the young Alan Johnson, a former postie say that it was inevitable that the last Dinosaur would have to change.

Mandelson has had a dabble this summer, but political considerations of the old guard Labour as the Brown Government became more impotent was far more important.So Peter Poppet has washed his hands of the Royal Mail, and the black hole of the unfunded Post Office pension.

Yesterday I had written communications with Bristol, London, South Africa,Angola and the United States. I also paid my phone bill in France on line. Not one stamp was purchased. Why therefore should I pay one penny in subsidy to this organisation ? Every day I receive more junk mail than post.

I feel genuinely sorry for our local postie whose job is at risk, but even he thinks that the Unions and Management are like children squabbling over a broken toy.

The last dinosaur is about to blow its brains out with this strike, which will not bother me a jot. Communications have changed in the last twenty years, delivering my business post at 4.30pm has happened last week is of no use to me, therefore I rarely use the post.

Degrading the service even further, and asking for more public money is not going to wash this time. I did like the Leader of the CWU calling Mandelson the Minister for no resposibility. It looks like the Labour Party and friends still do not love Peter Poppet.


Sarkozy calls for a special summit to crown King Tony FFS


Roger Dodger said...


Is there any correlation between the requirement to amalgamate our state with the EU apparatus and the privatisation of the Royal Mail?

I mean how would the RM be expected to function when we are one European State?

This feels like ground work to me.
Or perhaps I am paranoid.

Guthrum said...

You are being paranoid

There will be a privatised mail service, probably run by DHL which runs Deutches Post

Postman Twat said...

I wonder how much The Huns will charge for a first class letter?

Anyone have an idea of how much a letter REALLY costs, once you take into account subsidies?

If anything, it will mean more companies send their invoices and bills via the intraweb.

Guthrum said...

No bad thing

Phil Free said...

Old Holborn,

From looking into this so-called libertarianism you speak of often (it's no such thing, it's a free sounding term for undiluted 100% no fucking hold barred capitalism), your post really doesnt surprise. It's more or less a long winded way of saying "i'm alright jack, so fuck you".

Good for you that you haven't had to use postage stamps lately. Don't be so presumptious that no-one else does either. And don't start whinging when it costs you 'x' times much more to have your latest masturbation aid delivered to your door. With the extra 'x' amount going straight into some fuckwit privateer's bank account.

Also, have you asked yourself why your business post has been delivered at 4.30pm? Perhaps it's because RM has been allowing the numbers of postmen & women to dwindle through natural wastage. Less people = longer time to cover same amount of ground = less customer satisfaction and therefore easier to argue for private takeover. Simples.

I for one am right behind the postal workers. On the grand scale, they & we are being fucked over, yet again, by EU directives and any challenge to that is a good thing. On a day-to-day, I fully support every single workers right to withdraw their labour in defence of their jobs, terms, contracts and conditions. But then, the little people & their poxy little jobs don't mean much to libertarian/capitalists.


Roger Dodger said...

I may well be paranoid Guthrum.

I think however you misunderstood me in this instance.

I know the end result will be a private company, I was not suggesting the EU would erect its own state run mail service.

It is more that individual state monopolies have to be broken as part of the EU dream. A private solution solves this dilemma.

Either way, shop-floor oligarchs, Spanish practices etc, have reeked their havoc once again.

libertyscott said...

Having some experience elsewhere of the postal sector, the Royal Mail is stuffed because of union intransigence and state ownership.

Why shouldn't postal services be competitive? They are in several countries, and it has been a roaring success, such as in Sweden, Finland and New Zealand. All countries with universal service.

Royal Mail COULD have been Deutsche Post had it been privatised and allowed to be commercially vigorous, it might have gone to other countries and bought privatised postal operators or set up competition.

No. Labour didn't have the foresight and the union has the business acumen of a flea.

The Royal Mail is a government owned former monopoly, proving how incapable it has been to restructure to take into account the changing world.

Phil Free said...


Who gave you those meaningless 'lines to take'?.

I recommend you sack them.


libertyscott said...

Phil Free: How about four years working in the postal sector, involved in deregulating it in a country that still has a state owned operator, which thrives in a fully competitive market, is profitable and delivers mail similar distances at far lower volumes, cheaper than the Royal Mail?

Postal services are just another form of goods transport, involving small items.

So while the strike is on, let competition flourish. If the Royal Mail wont work, and its employees wont work, others will.

Road_Hog said...


You are spot on, read this.

Phil Free said...

Liberty Scott,

Can you guarantee your competitive free market dealing in small goods, can send my letter, anywhere in the uk, for 39p?


Roger Dodger said...

Wow thanks Road Hog.

It felt and smelled like it.
Would like to hear more from Guthrum as to why I am wrong.
I guess I need to read more about it.

Scary shit though.

Phil Free said...

Also, Liberty Scott, can I ask why you are so bothered about the UK's postal service and its industrial relations? Can I, genuinely, ask that you shut the fuck up and concern yourself with whatever system exists in NZ? Since that is your home?

AntiCitizenOne said...

The postal service cannot send a letter for 39p, that's why they want to bill taxpayers.

Phil Free said...


Really? RM is non-profit making? Facts please.


libertyscott said...

Phil Free: Well the current system can't. However, in NZ universal postal service happens for the equivalent of 23p, with a far far smaller user base to support overheads. Much competition has been in smaller towns for cross town delivery, one island has its own competitive service as well. Jobs created by this, it's amazing what ingenuity and entrepreneurship will do.

Oh and NZ Post makes a profit, advises other postal operators in different countries how to improve operations, and has no pension deficit.

Finally Phil Free, you shut the fuck up, I live in London.

libertyscott said...

The free market guarantees nothing, other than nobody is prohibited from setting up a competing service.

Can you guarantee that everywhere in the UK people can access food and clothing?

No, but funnily enough it seems to happen - all through the free market.

Phil Free said...


Good for NZ, i'm well pleased. Sounds like you have something of a utopian mail service.

However, 'advising other mail operators' aside, I have no idea if they do but RM doesnt make a profit?

Oh and i'll shut the fuck up just as soon as you amend your misleading profile.


libertyscott said...

Phil: Fair call on profile, I had no idea. Amended and thanks.

NZ's approach was initially harsh, government said one year of subsidy then stand on your own feet. A third of post offices closed, but easily as many shops and other outlets starting selling all stamps, and some shops aligned with new operators when competition was introduced. Some towns have parallel mailboxes

The management and staff made it work, and management welcomed competition. It inspired NZ Post to seriously focus on customer service and keeping prices low.

It's not perfect, but I think we got the model right. Didn't even need to be privatised, as the unions did seem to see sense.

Anonymous said...

You can either have a Universal Service that's run as part of the national infrastructure (like the road network) and in the public interest, or you can have a private company.
You want the free market to run its course then fine, but don't expect the old lady who lives in a hamlet in the country to get post delivered to her door. Expect to see post to non-urban areas charged at prices similar to that which courier companies charge (say, £6-£10 per item).
What we have at the minute is a government who has sucked up to EU regulations and allowed private companies to presort mail and deliver between regional hubs (the bit that makes money), and left the Royal Mail with the unique obligation to deliver this mail, for peanuts, to every house in Britain.
Basically, Labour want to have their cake and eat it. And in order to bend the laws of physics, the little people are being kicked ever harder.
By the way. If the free market solution was a viable one, wouldn't the Americans have done it by now?

AntiCitizenOne said...

Ah, the LoL (Little Old Lady) again. The last (and only) desperate bid of the subsidy mongers.

If she really needs daily post, maybe she should move somewhere where it's available? Should we build motorways to everyone's doorsteps? No, the Royal Mail is as daft as the rural internet subsidy (and the TV-Tax).

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