Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Going Postal

That's a fair old image, that one at the top, isn't it? Been used on leaflets with great success by the East Sussex Branch.

For of course we know that the problems we're all suffering with post office closures are indeed as a result of the EU insisting that we cannot any longer do things as we would wish, only as they insist.

But things get better. Kris, of that same East Sussex branch, has been adding that image to those handy shopping bags you can see in the second photo. You can contact her here to purchase one.

Not just to carry the shopping home in of course (and without having to use those plastic bags to boot!) but a great way of campaigning while out and about. You will get people asking "what's that all about then" and what better way to bring someone into the fold?


tamora said...

I asked my MP (a Tory in a very safe seat) about the EU's role. He replied ...

"It has been suggested that the EU - and not the government - is responsible for the closure programme, as a result of Directives requiring liberalisation of the postal market. I have looked into this carefully and it is not the case.

"These directives relate to the Royal Mail and its postal collection and delivery services rather than the wholly owned subsidiary Post Office Limited (POL), which is not subject to competition. Despite this, POL remains loss-making. The Government decided last year that 2,500 Post Offices must close. However, the real problem is that the Government has failed to explore other ways to bring new business in post offices, for example by freeing them up to offer new services (including more financial services); to work with carriers other than the Royal Mail; and to be a hub forcentral and local Government services. This would have enabled many more post offices to survive on business rather than subsidy, but instead the Government seems happy simply to manage the decline of the Post Office. So, sad to say, it is our own Government which has decided how many should close, what the funding package should be and what the access criteria should be to decide which ones will close.

"I hope this answers your query about the EU's role in postal affairs."

I'd be interested in your thoughts on his reply.

Tim Worstall said...

Your (Tory) MP is correct as far as he goes. Which isn't far enough.

The directives state that competition must be allowed to liberalise the postal market. That much is indeed true. But the same directives, plus the basic rules about state subsidy, mean that we cannot subsidise (whether we wish to or not)the post offices.

If it were just the UK govt stating that we weren't going to subsidise the rural post offices, that would be one thing. But we aren't allowed to, because that would be state subsidy in what the EU has now declared must be a competitive market.

Your Tory MP has, I fear, swallowed the lie. These rural post offiecs are closing because the EU has said we are not allowed to do anything about them closing.