Speaking in the House of Commons, Cable said privatisation was “an irreversible course” that would secure the future of Royal Mail in the face of rising competition. “The government’s decision on the sale is practical, it is logical, it is a commercial decision designed to put Royal Mail’s future on a long-term sustainable business. It is consistent with developments elsewhere in Europe where privatised operators in Austria, Germany and Belgium produce profit margins far higher than the Royal Mail but have continued to provide high-quality and expanding services,” he said. “Now the time has come for government to step back from Royal Mail, and allow its management to focus wholeheartedly on growing the business.”
Source: the Guardian.
What he won’t tell you, and what the whole of the political class (and the broadcast media) won’t tell you is that this is “irreversible” because it is driven by EU legislation, and therefore out of the hands of our own government.
Labour when it was in power signed us up to full implementation straight away, thus exposing UK postal services to full competition from the continent, while most continental services were still closed to UK companies. Smart move.
Cable Tosser also says “the “overarching objective” of privatisation was to secure the universal service obligation – to deliver mail to all UK homes six days a week, something threatened by a slump in profits in the wake of a 25% decline in letters over the last decade.” That decline in profits probably has something to do with the point just made above.
What he also doesn’t say is that the EU directives only require a minimum of no fewer than 5 days of collection and delivery. So prepare yourselves for precisely that: ordinary post turning up only 5 days a week, especially if you’re in a rural area.
What the unions were doing when all this was being discussed at the EU, I have no idea. They’re certainly not going to bring up the EU angle now, since it would be politically embarrassing for Labour.