A Right Royal Fail

Posted: July 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I don’t normally watch television, as my bedroom TV conked out after the digital switchover, but I was away for a couple of days when I caught Channel 5 in my hotel room. They had a news bulletin discussing the impending privatisation of Royal Mail, featuring Vince Cable, some kind of Union rep, and a Tory representative MP.

Cable was actually flustered as the female news presenter fired some difficult public concerns at him, and it made me think: isn’t that what the BBC is supposed to do? Does it take a maligned advertisement-funded trash station to actually question the Establishment in any meaningful way?

Anyway, she did a fine job, and Cable’s answers, despite his qualifications and position, were wafer-thin rubbish. One of his justifications particularly: “We need to unlock private capital”. Excuse me Vince, but governments used to have a different way of doing that. It was called adequate corporate taxation. The best thing about this was you didn’t have to flog off the public’s assets to them to use their money. Surely anyone hearing these kinds of phrases needs to question just why it is that there is so much ‘untapped private capital’ just lying around, when the State does not have the proverbial pot to piss in. Any kind of scrutiny of his justification leaves Cable open to ridicule. He is suggesting that a private company, which will not invest unless they can guarantee making more money back, will be better placed to fund Royal Mail than the State, which does not even need to turn a profit, though they turned a stonking one this year, presumably because the cost of stamps was hiked to make the company more appealing for private vultures.

The Tory representative then outrageously began to mock the Union rep over his vested interests and funding sources: you couldn’t make it up. Say what you like about the Right, but they have no shame in hypocrisy, and lie a lot better than the Left. He began to talk of a ‘fantastic opportunity’ when the shares are offered to the public, after previously slating Royal Mail for being so unprofitable before this year. The public will, I’m sure, once again be excited by the prospect of being offered a chance to buy a share in something they already own. Who wants affordable postal charges and Six-Day universal service when you could make a few pounds on the stock market!

Of course, Tory MP then reeled off the two big reasons why postage charges would not be hiked, and the 6-day universal nationwide service would definitely remain intact: the regulator Ofcom ensuring they would play by the rules, and the fact that these rules could only be changed by Parliament. So, after that I was reassured. Because we are lucky to live in a country where energy giants never consider colluding in price fixing as our privatised energy prices remain affordable to all, our financial regulator’s stringent application of checks and balances helped avert an impending financial meltdown a few years back, and MPs recently refused an opportunity to privatise the NHS through a proposed Health and Social Care Bill, despite being able to profit through interests in private healthcare companies should they have given it the green light.

No wonder they’re worth an 11% pay rise.


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