There is a certain amount of doublethink going on among workers at the Post Office. "Making private profit out of public services is just wrong" says Bill Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU. It now looks at if they will be joining British Airways in a joint Summer of Discontent.
Hang on a minute, Bill. Since when was the Post Office letters division a Public Service? When was the last time anybody received a meaningful communication via the Royal Mail, that could have been done electronically? The last important document to arrive at Weasel Hall was a Passport. And that was by Private Courier. The only thing we get from the postman these days is junk. Day after day after day. These days, posties are in reality, highly paid leaflet distributors, and, forgive me If I am mistaken here, but this aspect of the Post Office is done entirely for commercial reasons and is highly profitable. It benefits nobody but the Post Office and perhaps also the companies who use this method of marketing, which apparently raises £67 billion in sales. Hardly what you could call a "public service", though, is it? Getting details of Twofers at Somerfield? Do me a favour.
I have used one postage stamp this month, and that was to the DVLA, another behemoth that finances itself from, among other things, extorting money- in fines- from people whose paperwork gets lost in their system or the postal system.
Now I know that there are businesses that rely upon the Royal Mail at present, but most of the commercial services, such as direct mail, are done by private firms anyway. I don't buy the argument that if the Royal Mail letters division was sold off, the service would deteriorate or disappear. Even if the cost of sending a letter increased fivefold, it would not be a big deal to most people. Any company that is still sending mass mail-outs by post should take a serious look at its business model and learn about the World Wide Web.
As for parcels, they seem to me to be far more efficiently handled by private couriers. That is my experience. Many small scale firms I deal with have given up on the Royal Mail, simply because they are so unreliable.
Taken in the context of the British Airways dispute, any strike action by Postal Workers looks nothing more than the last gasp attempt of the former and soon to be former publicly owned dinosaurs to hang on to working practices that have no place in today's world. The commercial sector has stripped waste to the bone, so why should taxpayers be conned into supporting an anachronistic throwback to a bygone era?