Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Deliberate Destruction of the Royal Mail

By Martin Meenagh, co-founder of the CPO. The article also appears on his blog.

You don't need conspiracies in England. Things just happen.

So, for instance, a government decides that the Royal Mail needs to be privatised. It's about to leave office, those champagne and guacamole parties have to be paid for, and the economy has been ruined. Things would look better from the seat of a privatised company board after the defeat, and it would serve the country to sell off that postal pension fund and pretend the outcome is revenue too.

It goes without saying that your opponents agree with you, since we all have the same economic ideas, and anyway, we're in a crisis, and, well, you can't treat the taxpayers as though they were bankers and subsidise them. That would suggest that they were, well important. Foolish idea.

But, oh, those foolish lobby fodder in the commons for once represent the views of the people and don't go along with you, so what can you do? Provoke industrial action? Replace large numbers of trained and dedicated staff with new people on shorter contracts and encourage them to lie? Run down the service from an efficient, morning-delivery one to some rubbish parody (which, admittedly, you were doing for ages anyway), and then charge people for a fraction of the old standard? Provoke a strike that wrecks small businesses and damages those stone age people who still pay bills by cheque? Trash major deals?

Yes, that'd work. You wouldn't even have to plot it. Motivated by depression, in some bizarre and counter intuitive way--because they didn't get the sense of satisfaction that comes with trousering other people's money and undermining staff that motivates many British managers when your privatisation bill was withdrawn--the administration of the service will do it automatically.

Then people would be so sick of the Royal Mail no-one would oppose a sale. Champagne all round, I think.

Why do people keep falling for it?

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