Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's a service...

We heard some company director on the radio this evening talking about the impending privatisation of the post office and opening of the market for postal deliveries. He described "this dynamic new postal market", frankly he made me want to throw. Babbling out his Thatcherite management-speak and stating that the public "want" (note the lack of grammar as well, it's "the public wants", the public is a single entity, not a plural) "choice" in all things. No, No and No again!
What I think that most members of the public want is a reliable, inexpensive and easy to use service. That's true of the postal service, the railways, bus services, utilities and on and on...
What "choice" means is that a perfectly serviceable organisation is split up; lower quality and inexperienced managers and staff are brought in to keep costs down in the new lean and mean private companies and as long as we, the "customer" can tick all the right boxes at all the right times, we'll get whatever service they care to give us.
What sort of postal service might a relatively out-of-the-way place like Millbrook be given by a "choice" of profit driven private companies? Do I hear any advance on every other day deliveries? How about weekly, after all it's not economically viable to expect shareholders to do without an extra dividend so that we can all enjoy the normally excellent level of service that we now take for granted. For heaven's sake, which utter prat thought that privatising the post office is a good idea? Have they seen the railways? Have they tried travelling by bus into or from a rural area where vast profits can't be made from providing a public service?
Am I alone in thinking that, surely, the postal service is just that - a service. Not a business, not a licence to print money and cherry pick the best areas. It is a public service and should be a publicly owned one. Allowing competition onto this area and opening up the market so that we will supposedly have "choice" is frankly imbecilic.
What was wrong with the GPO anyway?

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