One of our regular readers sent this letter to the Prime Minister. Strangely, he did not get a reply
Thanks for your email about the problems of the Royal Mail.
You say we must act, "…now to turn things round and secure the Royal Mail’s future." The problem is that you then go on to say that the solution is to hand a huge chunk of the service to a capitalist "partner". Gordon, these people are just in it for the dough mate. They will rip off the Mail just like they have the NHS. "The liberalised market", "a strategic partner" and "reform regulation" are all weasel words meaning "lets get our hands on the dosh."
Were you not just a bit suspicious when you saw your new buddy "Lord" Mandelson announcing this new scam in the Lords? The dodgy stare, the barely controlled grin. Didn’t that worry you at all? Is it right that TNT are a likely "strategic partner". I remember that in 1986 that company provided the lorries and the scab drivers who helped Thatcher and Murdoch beat the printers. How much tax is it Mr. Murdoch pays in the UK? Remind me is it more than zero? Like that clever crook in the USA, he just Madeoff with the cash!
You see Gordon this will end in tears. Look at the antics of your mates in the City of London. Despite everything you have done for them they still dropped you in it with their huge bonuses. You’ve had to give them billions and they’re still not helping you out. I mean at least Mr Merdle (the fraudster in the Dickens’ ‘Little Dorritt’ recently adapted by the BBC) had the good grace to cut his own throat.
Just for a change, why not try a new idea? Why not ask the workers in Royal Mail how to run things?
Here is Gordon’s letter to Jim…
I am writing to you about today’s announcement of the Hooper Report on the future of the Royal Mail.
The universal service helps to bind us together as a country. It guarantees 28 million homes and businesses across the country mail deliveries six days a week, with one price goes anywhere. The Hooper report warns that the universal service is now under threat. The status quo is untenable. The choice we face is either downgrading the service as we manage decline or acting now to turn things round and secure the Royal Mail’s future.
The threat to the Royal Mail and the universal service comes from the impact of changes in technology and consumer choice. In this country 60 billion text messages were sent last year, while we posted five million fewer letters than two years ago. This shift has cost Royal Mail an estimated £500 million in profits. That is five times the impact of business lost to other postal companies in the liberalised market. Making these other companies go away is not the answer to the Royal Mail succeeding.
We will fufil our manifesto commitment to "a publicly owned Royal Mail fully restored to good health, providing customers with an excellent service and its employees with rewarding employment". Bringing in a partner through a minority stake in the Royal Mail’s postal business will help us to deliver that goal. It will bring the Royal Mail fresh investment, new opportunities to grow in Europe and internationally, and to offer new services. It will provide a fresh impetus to modernising the Royal Mail and securing the universal service.
Alongside a strategic partnership for the Royal Mail we will reform regulation to more effectively support the universal service. And we will help the Royal Mail tackle its ballooning pension fund deficit. This will not impact on Post Office counters in anyway.
I hope you will agree with me that this is the best way to save the Royal Mail and its universal service guarantee.