To all Lothians MP's
As you know the Communication Workers Union [CWU] has arranged to lobby MP’s on Tuesday June 9th over Lord Mandelson’s Bill to privatise the Royal Mail. I am hoping to come down for the lobby and perhaps meet with you in person to chat over the issues involved.
In the meantime I am writing to you today to ask for your own views on the Bill.
The Scottish Socialist Party has been campaigning throughout Edinburgh for several months now to retain the Royal Mail as a wholly owned public service. I am sure you know the Bill is hugely unpopular, the latest poll has 90% of the population simply not persuaded of the government’s case for privatisation.
There is a widespread belief that even ‘part privatisation’ will jeopardise the universal delivery which ensures that all parts of Britain enjoy the same service, pay the same price for stamps and share in the profits.
Much has been made of the impact of electronic communications like email on mail volumes in recent years, which has undoubtedly altered the nature of the industry. However it is also true that the new technologies have generated extra postal demand through online ordering and booking systems and as you know none of the private postal companies have shown any interest in delivering mail that ‘last mile’ to households or businesses in any volume sense.
It is clear to me that voters want the Royal Mail to remain a wholly owned public service whose profits go back into the public purse to build hospitals and schools, not siphoned off into the pockets of private shareholders in private postal companies like TNT. It is a classic case of public interest being threatened by private profit.
If the case for privatisation is actually based on fears over the future sustainability of the Royal Mail pension fund I cannot see how handing over a third of the profits to TNT will help.
I appreciate you will have spoken to enough of your own constituents to realise they expect you to oppose this Bill when it comes in front of the Commons for further consideration and I look forward to your earliest reply.