In October 2013 this pathetic excuse for a government sold off the Royal Mail to big business, like some down-at-heel aristocrat with a heroin habit flogging off the last of the family silver for his next fix. The hit it gave was fleeting, and the sale ultimately benefited the great British public not one jot. The £3.3billion it made disappeared straight into the black hole of government debt, waste and economic mis-management. Actually, it was worse than that. Because the government can’t even add up, they sold the Royal Mail at a vastly undervalued price, which by April 2014 had already COST British taxpayers £2.3billion. That’s what city investors and friends of this bunch of Eton toffs made out of their nice little earner. Thanks, Dave. Or perhaps we should call you Maggie Thatcher 2.0. The man without a soul, or principles.
The lie that’s always trotted out by apologists of privatisation is that private capital is needed to keep improving the service. But anyone who’s watched their gas and electricity bills soar into outer space in the decades since privatisation, increasing by literally thousands of percent, or seen their rail service get worse while the price of a ticket could feed a family of four for a week, will know that privatisation is all about lining the pockets of big business, plain and simple. So let’s not dress it up with all this privatisation means investment means progress bullshit. A state-owned industry can invest and develop just as well as a privately owned one. It’s just the same money slushing around in different pockets.
The true cost to the British people of a once loved and valued mail service being sold down the river is now becoming clearer, as the picture above shows. Less than a year after the Royal Mail was privatised, notices have begun appearing on post-boxes in villages like the one where I live in Forncett, Norfolk, giving notice that the level of service we have enjoyed for years is about to be consigned to history.
If you can’t read it from the picture, here is what the notice says:
“CHANGE TO FINAL COLLECTION TIMES FROM THIS POSTBOX
In order to provide our customers with the best possible service we are continually reviewing our mail collection service. Part of this on going activity involves occasionally revising collection times from Postboxes.
From Monday 4th August the final collection time from this Postbox will be 12:00 on a Monday to Friday and 10:30 on Saturday.
After this date, should you require a later collection in the area, later collections are available from the following
Norwich Road, Tacolneston at 17:00
A later collection facility is also available from the following location:
Wymondham Delivery Office, 18 Middleton Street at 18:00
If you have any concerns you should contact our Customer Services Team on 08457 740740.
Wymondham Delivery Office
18 Middleton Street
Tel: 01953 617854”
Now, anyone who looks at the picture will notice that since time immemorial the last collection from my local postbox has always been at 4:30pm. And at the risk of sounding pedantic, I’m really struggling to work out exactly how cutting the number of daily collections in half, and bringing the last collection time forward four and a half hours to midday, equates to providing me and the other residents of Forncett with “the best possible service”. Or am I just being dumb?
As if that wasn’t annoying enough, the badly-worded letter (someone at Royal Mail should inform its copywriters that ‘on going’ is all one word, not even privatisation can change that) then goes on to tell us that later collections will take place at other postboxes at Tacolneston and Wymondham, miles from here. Great, thanks. Well woo fucking hoo for Tacolneston and Wymondham. What good is that to an old age pensioner or someone without a car or other means of transport in Forncett? What about the village’s self-employed small traders who used to depend on that last post? Do they take us for imbeciles, these con-men? Are they stupid, or is it that they just don’t care, because they know we can’t do a damn thing about it?
So thanks, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, for helping destroy our postal service. Just pray that you never grow old or fall on hard times. Or have to live in a rural village when you’ve no longer got your tax-payer funded servants and armour-plated jags to pop your letters to the next village for you. Dear god, what a bunch of crooks and charlatans our politicians have become. When they’re not fiddling expenses they’re lining their own pockets by looking after their friends in the city, on whose boards they’ll no doubt pop up one day. We expect it of big business. We know they don’t give a damn for anyone except themselves and their greedy lust for ever greater profits. Just so many fat pigs with their snouts in the trough. But our politicians? The people we elected to office to serve us? We expected better from them of all people. If they won’t look out for us, who will?
Bring on the revolution, I say. I’ve had it with this lot. Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, you can’t put a cigarette paper between them these days. Just a bunch of centre-ground carpet-baggers who’d sell their souls to stay in power. Not a conviction politician in sight. They make Dennis Skinner look like Gladstone. All they’re good for is soundbites and spin, and empty posturing on the world stage, trying to get us into foreign wars that are no business of ours, at great cost in money and lives. Not one of the whole sorry bunch represent me anymore, or the things I really care about. The once-great NHS has been almost destroyed, as has the Education system, once the envy of the western world, which teachers are now deserting in their droves, over-worked, underpaid and under-valued. No wonder voters are increasingly turning to parties like UKIP, whose leader Nick Farage resembles the nearest thing we have to a ‘conviction’ party leader these days. At least you get the impression that he actually means what he says, even if you don’t agree with it. As for the mainstream parties, you wouldn’t trust them as far as you could spit them. Soon as they get into power they renege on all their promises. Well, they try to belittle UKIP as a mere protest vote. My answer to that is, you bet your ass it’s a protest vote. And until you get the message that if you keep doing shit to people that the people don’t like, eventually you’re going to get some shit coming back the other way. Give me back my Post Office, you thieving shits, or you’re toast at the next election.by