On a day when stout blades are adding the finishing touches to their bonfires and supplies of lager and tricolours are being checked, it seems perverse to raise one’s eyes and look beyond. But the clips of Vince Cable talking yesterday have driven me to it. If anyone can think of a bigger rip-off than his proposed privatization of the Royal Mail, I’d like to hear about it.
Despite the dumb title (what has QE2 have to do with letter-delivery - does she get a temporary job each Christmas?), the Royal Mail is a magical system. Agreed it’s been run down - I now get my letters around noon, whereas in former years they’d be here around 8.00 a.m. or earlier - but it still delivers throughout the United Kingdom (yes I know, I know, but let it go for now) with everything at a standard rate. That is, a letter sent to Cornwall will cost the same (and should be delivered in a similar time-scale) as one to Coleraine. And that’s where the privatising bastards come in.
Once privatized, three things will happen: the work-force will be slashed, the pay of workers cut and it’ll cost you more to send a letter to Hull than it will to Fintona. In case they’d have any difficulty getting this iniquitous bill passed, Vince Cable, that fine liberal, will arrange a £2,000 pay-off to postal workers. It’s like giving the condemned man a slap-up feed while the firing squad oil their guns and practice aiming.
Granted, the destruction of the system as we know it doesn’t affect us as much now, since the internet and texting and mobile phones carry a lot of our communication with each other. But there are still occasions when we all rely on the Post Office to deliver something for us - a precious parcel, a special letter. What Cable is planning is symptomatic of the thinking of the present ghastly British government: destroy anything that involves people working together, give a leg-up to anything that’ll produce competition red in tooth and claw.
But it hasn’t happened yet, so I’ll expect the usual vanful of pressies and fancy cards on my birthday tomorrow. Let me thank you in anticipation - go raibh cead maith agaibh.