Outlook: Post secrets

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FOR AS long as anyone can remember, the Post Office has banged on about the need to be treated like any other commercial organisation. Sadly, when it came to what was breathlessly described as its biggest announcement in 30 years, it fell lamentably short of the standards of disclosure such status requires.

We are not allowed to know how much the Post Office has paid for German Parcel, what its profits and debts are, how the deal has been financed, or the effect on Post Office's balance sheet. Commercial in confidence, old boy. No wonder its private sector competitors fear the worst, and no wonder, with such a culture of secrecy, the Post Office is destined to stay forever in the public sector.

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