Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Royal Mail Ructions

This is one of those weeks if we find out if there's anything at all left worth preserving in the Labour Party.

The Royal Mail pension fund is in danger of collapse if ministers do not press ahead with plans to sell a stake to a private company, trustees say.

In a letter seen by BBC News, Jane Newell, the chair of trustees, warns its deficit is "significantly larger" than the £5.9bn in the Hooper Review.

The Pension Protection Fund would struggle to support it, she adds.

Government plans, based on the Hooper Review, are due to be introduced in Parliament on Thursday.
The Royal Mail is one of those organisations that was set up in Victorian times as an instrument of what would now be called social cohesion, with the same cost for a letter between two London addresses or between London and Scotland. It's been whittled back over the last 30 years, mainly by the Tories - but New Labour seem as keen on trashing it as any Tory. After so long in power, the private companies who want the business are closer to Nu Lab than even their traditional Tory mates.

Martin Kelly, you won't be too shocked to learn, don't like it :

This is a disgusting tactic intended to get what you want by putting those more vulnerable than yourself into what one might a call a state of fear and alarm and distress; the precise moral equivalent of a protection racket telling an elderly shopkeeper that their business might suffer fire damage unless they pay up. Pay up or burn down - go private or lose your income.

But neither do the arch-capitalists at City Unslicker. It's worse than a crime, it's a blunder !

Regardless of whether the privatisation of the mail is *ahem* the right thing to do, it seems an unbelievably bad political strategy.

What kind of strategy is this?
At a time when banks are being given billions every day, and bailouts for companies in the red is the new black, a few billion to clear the deficit would go almost unnoticed. Dressed up as "British jobs for ..." or "Keeping employees in work is our main aim during this.. etc."

To pick a fight with your core voters {public sector posties}, your backbench MPs, former and current cabinet ministers{Peter Hain is absolubtely against and BBC reporting a split in the cabinet and Daily Mail running the story too} is bizarre.

Harriet Harman, one of the PM's frontrunner replacements, apparently involved in the row, so Gordon is giving her more room to position to oust him.
Upsetting the CWU, a £1 million+ backer, who may just decide to give the money to the Lib Dems, further angering the rest of the Union bank rollers, splitting the public on an issue, privatising a company that is Labour to its core? When its likely that the Tories would do it for you after 2010, driving voters towards, rather than away from Labour.

At a time when the polls are showing a collapse in support and a party clinging to just its core heartlands with just 28-30% rating, having to beg the opposition to bail you out of a vote, that your own supporters are against. The outcome will almost certainly be strikes. Timed to coincide with the June euro / local elections no doubt. Postal votes..forget them. DHL can't deliver the voting forms as Royal Mail deliver the final mile.

What kind of political strategy is this?
Is TNT or DHL giving a bung {er..I think you mean donation} to the party?
Have the printing presses jammed and there really is no more cash?
Is Mr Brown having an Iraq moment where its become a leadership decision and can't be altered?

They're both right. How much more disgusting can this government get ? What depths remain to be plumbed ?


Anonymous said...

How much more disgusting can this government get ? What depths remain to be plumbed ?

Given that our real government says we must do it, the local council, run by Gordon, has a choice of like it or lump it. Since egos are involved the local council has to pretend that it's all its own idea.

Anonymous said...

And I see that Richard has a new post on the same subject

rugfish said...

Kenneth Clarke put down a motion in the commons to offer support for Peter Mandelson, minister for trade, in his blatant selling off ( part privatisation ), of Royal Mail. Mandelson ( Lord of all hope ) not, is throwing away the profitable Royal Mail and lumbering the British Taxpayers with a £6 Billion pension bill. TNT, the Dutch firm being the only prospect to soak up yet more income from our industries in a bid to turn on Royal Mail with investment which can apparently come from no other place. I mean it's not that the government are printing money or anything or have pledged a few billion to car manufacturers and a few billion to this and that and the other. Not likely that the government would actually look to do something similar in the way of investing in a profitable firm instead as that would be surely a mistaken policy if you happen to be a pathetically incompetent and useless government like Labour. I mean why change course now on that one and give the game away that they might have a clue?

Not only that, but this is making me wonder if any British politician actually bothers to read world news to learn there's a financial crisis across Europe with mass demonstrations, smashed cars and windows, police in battles with rioters and riot shields everywhere as if it's Boom Town?

Not to mention there's some "Wildcat" strikes afoot and others which the media is keeping under wraps for good health, it appears many bloggers know more of what is occurring than the people who are making these crass idiotic decisions which will lumber us with another £6 billion from the taxpayers money tree in addition to the Olympic size swimming pool of government debt they've given us. Yet they appear to not only be the slightest bit perturbed by it, but in fact INVITING nuclear disturbance from the public.

IF there was ever a case to sell our country to foreigners, I think now is not the time. But more importantly, this will only lead to less jobs and more angry victims of their lunatic policies which are going to be supported by another set of lunatics wearing blue rosettes come the election.

That's if they bother reading about the election or maybe they just want us to tell them the result when we're all done!

I think there's still a lack of realization that capitalism has failed.

It has failed because it has created an elite rich and divided society.

That elite rich is given taxpayers money to HELP it buy up our national assets, our industries and commercial activities and utilities.

This is in addition to their 'profits'.

As I say capitalism has failed. The penny hasn't dropped yet that's all.

We need to have essential services in public ownership to reboot the system and gear it toward people.

We need to kick out all wankers and hang all the bankers and filthy money grabbers.

It matters not what levels of growth we're at, what matters is the kind of lives we live.

My government should work for me.

I'm not fooled by these messages from those who say the mail service is "inefficient".

What they simply mean is "we can do it cheaper" and we can make people work harder and longer because we'll drive them into temporary positions and agency work, not pay pension, not give rights, ( 750,000 are currently on 1 week notice in UK under agencies ), and "WE" will make a profit which we'll "re-invest" - "But you will have to take on the pensions"........ The same people who they employ ( on no pensions ) will then meet the bill of their own pensions through tax whilst working like slaves and feeling "grateful".

There are two kinds of capitalism.
One for them and another for us.
I want ( and have always wanted ), capitalism to work for the people.

That is the only subject in discussion amongst world leaders and both Russia and Obama are agreed. It is only the UK who is different as Germany and France want this too. All other economies have collapsed already and they will do whatever is decided by the big economies.

Brown is on a limb and he'll fail to achieve anything if he maintains the current posture of his lunatic free market piracy.

Current pension liabilities should be taken on by government because it was government who fucked them up with competition which left the Royal Mail unable to meet the bill whilst private firms hired temps and rolling contractors. People being rolled over more like!

Royal Mail should draw up NEW pension contracts and all employees should have new pension arrangements and a second 'government' pension.

All taxpayers should bear the burden simply because our government cocked it up by not ensuring Royal Mail paid it's pension contributions correctly.

Less competition would also have helped them to get the money to have done it, so Royal Mail was up against a brick wall because their competitors were competing at an advantage using "agency staff" and "temps".......there's your "cheap Labour" in both senses of the word. The cheap fucking Labour Party, full of scroungers, and Private firm full of cheap Labour which is us people.

Anonymous said...

Does the EU Postal Services Directive (which our elite seem not to want to mention at the moment)actually stipulate that 'competition' is to be achieved by the state 'part privatising' the assets while retaining 100% control of the liabilities ?
If it does no wonder they are so coy about it, as this would confirm that the much vaunted 'social model' of the EU is simply a variant of 'privatise the profits, socialise the losses'.

Anonymous said...

Laban: great blogging as normal, BUT you really 'can't' do this story without sohwing the EU angle.
Check out what EURef has to say.
This is not Labour sleaze or Tory, its about the political elites betrayal over the EU.

Rugfish you are wrong capitalism hasn't failed, we don't have capitalism what we have is as Mark mentioned a system of:
'privatise the profits, socialise the losses'.
This is why its often cheaper to employ illegal immigrants because the businesses don't have all the associated costs.

In a proper capitalist system failed businesses must be allowed to fail, once you start propping them up its not capitalism.

Which isn't to say I think the Royal Mail should be privatised. Absolutely not, the problem is with Europe the other countries protect their industries but Britain does not so its not a level playing field.

Homophobic Horse said...

I can report that within hours of your post, the government plumbed new depths.

rugfish said...


Okay I'm with you on that.
So it's OUR capitalism that's failed as in not mine or yours but the twat in Number 10 !!

Sitting on your arse all day think life is wonderful for 10 yr, cos it's great this new fangled free market shit, is not really my idea of what capitalism is. Would you agree?

Lord of no fucking hope Mandelson has only gone and shoved the bill thru today when there's not an opposition member in sight hasn't he. ( 1 day early ) - The scheming twat!

Anonymous said...

It's the Elephant In The Room.

Lord Mandelbum has no choice, our real government requires this.

I can only suppose that the reason "they" are not mentioning this is that they're afraid to admit how little real power they have left.

And so they should be.

To the Tower with the lot of them.

Let's hear, in a paraphrased echo of Henry, that "The Emperor of Europe hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England".

Out now!

Anonymous said...

I found this about the EU Postal Services Directive:

>>The parliament excluded a number of areas, including broadcasting, postal services, audiovisual services, temporary employment agencies, social services, public transport and gambling - and also healthcare. >>

Anonymous said...

The crunch was predicted years previously:
Ron Paul and Peter Schiff were Right

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not convinced by the so-called business reasons.

Anonymous said...

"This is a disgusting tactic intended to get what you want by putting those more vulnerable than yourself into what one might a call a state of fear and alarm and distress; the precise moral equivalent of a protection racket"

Or, perhaps, a public sector strike. I wonder if Martin Kelly would condemn in the same way people who hold vulnerable people to ransom in order to screw a higher wage rise out of the government. I don't think so.