The Tories started the Post Office privatisation, but got shit scared of the public reaction and gave up. Now, New Labour are boldly going ahead. It seems they have learned nothing from the tragic results of rail privatisation, with profiteering leading to killing. Blind to logic and reason, driven by Thatcherite dogma, they are pushing on regardless.
New Labour make promises they can't or won't ever keep. Tory slogan? Alas yes but (also alas) it is true. Since New Labour came to power, they have presided over a Post Office preparing for privatisation. With the recent announcement that the Post office is to become a public limited company on March 26th, this is now a step closer.
To underline the seriousness of their intent, The Post Office Group will be known as ‘Consignia' – which means “left luggage” in Spanish…! Nearly two million pounds of the wealth we have created has been blown on coming up with a new name which can be found in no dictionary and a new logo which would look better on a toilet cleaning product. Quite simply, it is money down the pan.
Apparently “This is an important opportunity for us all - and one which we must grasp”. Two million quid would have presented many smaller delivery offices with an opportunity to upgrade catering facilities beyond sweet machines and enable hot food to be offered to staff. It might have been used to provide waterproof coats which actually keep the rain out. It could have given everyone a few extra pounds in our wage packets, or it could have gone towards the long promised five day week for those staff who still do not have one.
In any event, when the news broke, it must have brought a sigh of relief from the bosses of the privatised railway network. At least briefly, the focus of public ridicule was no longer them. That the Post Office chose to engage in the ‘re-branding' of the name, shows how out of date those in authority are. Re-branding is a legacy of 1980's Thatcherite yuppie culture and is seen by the public as such. It has become a byword in ‘tarting up' asset stripped, failing public utilities such as the Gas Board, the Railway, the bus companies, none of which has exactly gone up in public esteem as a result of the name change. The Post Office Group no doubt imagine the name change somehow brings them into the present century. The very fact that thousands of us are still working over forty hours a week and six days a week should bring that idea crashing to the ground.
Whatever name the Post Office would like to be called, those who work for it will continue to have plenty of names of their own for an employer which has never given up treating it's employees in a manner a Victorian mill owner would have recognised.
New image? We don't think so!