Keep the Post Public!

This week I spoke at the Commercial Workers Union rally alongside CWU General Secretary, Bill Hayes.

The Lib Dems were unable to attend and activists were disappointed as they’d hoped to persuade Mike Crockart MP (Edinburgh West) to vote against the privatization of the Royal Mail.

Assuring the meeting that the Scottish Green Party has long campaigned against transferring essential public services into private hands, I offered our support to the campaign and pledged to oppose any privatization of Royal Mail.

It’s clear that private companies will cherry- pick the most profitable parts of the organization, the parts that currently enable the Royal Mail to fund essential but unprofitable services like rural deliveries. Universal pricing would become a thing of the past as far flung corners of Scotland would attract premium charges. The guarantee of a daily service is a cornerstone of life in rural communities. The loss of such a service would leave them isolated.

The Royal Mail has announced an impressive new environmentally responsible method of business mail. This is a great example of what a public service provides and I’m concerned that a privatized postal service, all about shareholder profits, wouldn’t come up with such innovative ideas.

To call for the part privatization of a major British institution at a time when the dangers of ‘the market’ have been so clearly exposed is simply madness.

Privatisation benefits big business interests, not consumers, though even Margaret Thatcher thought the Royal Mail should remain publicly owned!

Postwatch, the consumer watchdog, has failed to find any significant benefits to individual users from the ‘liberalisation’ of the postal service.

I was pleased to inform the meeting that Green MP Caroline Lucas has signed an amendment to the Bill in Parliament opposing privatization.

Working conditions for posties have become progressively worse in recent years. Privatisation would see cost-cutting managers force fewer employees to deliver more post, more quickly.

I reminded the meeting that the Royal Mail must be one of the most universally used services we have and that, if aware and galvanized, the public will fight tooth and nail to Keep the Post Public. Write to your MP, especially if they’re a Lib Dem!