Jim Armitage: Privatised Royal Mail must not fall under a train
Outlook So, the privatisation of Royal Mail is to go ahead: the biggest sale of a state asset since Railtrack. And with precedents like that, what could possibly go wrong?
At least it's unlikely that this ideologically driven plan will result in death and injury to the public – although the Mail's red van drivers have caused a few scrapes over the years. But there are serious parallels to be made. The tragedies in our rail industry that peppered Railtrack's existence were the result of inadequate investment in the infrastructure. That was partly because the rules on refurbishment and maintenance expenditure were either not adequately enshrined in legislation or enforced.
In the case of the Mail, it's uniquely critical function – the universal service obligation – must not fall under the same train.
For all the Government's promises that universal service is enshrined in legislation, who can trust that, in future financial crises for the Mail, it won't successfully lobby for an end to that costly rule?
While many of us members of the public (particularly urbanites) may view it as an optional part of our lives, for rural communities and businesses, the Mail's final-mile delivery represents a key communication channel.
If this sounds like the same old lefty scaremongering, take note: the organisation expressing most concern about universal service last night was not the unions or the Labour party, but the British Chambers of Commerce.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...