Now for Something Completely Different.

Why we lost our Post Offices.

Have you ever heard of the EU Post Office Directive?
No.? Why is it never mentioned in the newspapers? Are you sure it isn’t made it up because we want to blame the EU for everything?
No, it is not made up. It is because of the EU that the Royal Mail has been systematically stripped of all profitable services, which have been privatised and sold to foreign firms, the sad remains have been sold off and The Royal Mail was floated on the Stock Market (the government retained a 30% stake-which it is now in the process of selling)
Well actually you cannot be blamed if you haven’t heard about it, because there was a universal media black-out of all news about it. The whole subject has been treated as untouchable by newspapers, television and radio. After all, when Hermann van Rompuy told the auditors of the EU to stop saying so many horrid things about it, he was clearly not in favour of free speech.
The EU Postal Services Directive does exist, it has been in existence for a long time and this is what it says:-
The objective of the EU postal policy is to accomplish the Single Market for postal services and ensure a high quality universal postal service as part of the Lisbon Agenda. (Agreed to by Tony Blair) It thus focuses on postal customers, both business and consumers. These objectives are pursued by opening up the sector to competition in a gradual and controlled way on the basis of the regulatory framework of the Postal Directive (Directive 97/67/EC as amended by Directive 2002/39/EC) and as amended by Directive 2008/06/EC.                                                   

Once again a huge ‘privatisation’ fraud. Strip out all the liabilities and dump those onto the taxpayer and then flog it off for a fraction of what the taxpayer has invested over the previous couple of decades. With coal, steel, power, water etc, the pension funds, liabilities for industrial disease, site and environmental clean up were dumped on the tax payer. A four year old could work out that if the down sides are taken out of the balance sheet, the residue will be profitable! These industries were then milked, with very little investment, and then either shut down anyway or else, as with water and power, new investment had only to be dragged out of the new (and mostly foreign) owners by heavy regulatory threats.

In 2007, the Blair government gave a £1.7 billion subsidy to Royal Mail Group so that it could turn a profit by 2011. This was to be used to invest across the whole network of Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd and Parcelforce. 85 Crown post offices were closed, 70 of which were sold to WHSmith. This followed a trial of six Post Office outlets in WHSmith stores. WHSmith was expected to make up to £2.5 million extra in annual profit. 2,500 sub-post offices closed between 2008 and 2009.                                                                            Redundancy packages were provided from public funding (subpostmasters were paid over 20 months salary, roughly £65,000 each)

The taxpayer has put around £12 billions into the post office over the past decade, and stands to underwrite another minimum of £10 billion pension liabilities. We stand to get back £2-3 billion.                                                                                                              This is a scandalous fraud.

The closure of local Post Offices affects every community. In some country areas, opening hours are very short – perhaps only four hours per week. In some villages an outreach service is provided in village halls or shops. There are also “mobile post offices” using converted vans which travel between rural areas.                                                            There are post office counter services in convenience stores while more and more traditional post office services have been moved to on-line only.  Not everyone does internet banking and sometimes the Post Office is the only way for some people.        There is also a social impact when a Post Office closes, as they are often congregation points locally for people without cars and those who are less mobile.

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