Royal Mail: Not just for Christmas
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m sure most readers of this blog will trusting the good men and women of Royal Mail to get our Christmas cards safely to friends and family, and to make sure all that on-line shopping turns up on time. But while Royal Mail gets ready for its busiest period of the year, a battle is being fought over its future.
In the blue/yellow corner are Vince Cable and Ed Davey, intent on privatising and fragmenting Royal Mail. In what I suppose you would call the ‘red’ corner are Billy Hayes, Dave Ward, the CWU…oh, and the overwhelming majority of the British public – only 15% of whom believe in wholesale privatisation (with even less – 13% – keen on the government selling a minority stake to a private investor).
As Billy Hayes recently told the Postal Services Bill Committee, the government’s determination to privatise Royal Mail would appear to be rooted in ideology, not practicality. Of course, the Royal Mail needs capital investment; of course its pensions deficit needs to be addressed; and of course the service needs to be modernised (the CWU and its members have in fact helped lead this process of modernisation). But none of this requires privatisation and fragmentation (under the government’s plans the Post Office could be split off from the rest of Royal Mail).
You can read more about the CWU’s campaign to ‘Keep the Post Public’ here.