Poste Restante

Much hot air is being vented today about the failure of an opposition motion to prevent the closure of all except the largest post offices.

The biggest cause of concern in Southampton is the hypocracy of MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead, both of whom promised constituents that they were fighting to save post offices, yet toed the party line and voted against the motion. Since it was only defeated by ten votes, it woiuld only have taken those two and three others to make the decision go the other way.

John Denham, of course, was the man who resigned his cabinet post over the Iraq war, so he might have been expected to show some courage, but in Whitehead’s case I wasn’t expecting miracles. Regular readers will remember that he was the MP who refused to support the Early Day Motion on better regulation of Health and Safety – which would have led to improved workplace safety with less unnecessary beaurocracy and stupid pointless control measures. Who remembers the days when Labour MPs represented the welfare of ordinary working people?

Mind you, if post offices are losing business and losing money, it’s their own fault: I saw an advertisement recently for Post Office Broadband, which promised “Broadband as easy as buying a stamp”. Well the last time I tried to buy a stamp, I went to the machine at my local post office and it was out of order – as it has been for the last six months. I considered going inside and buying at the counter, but the queue was out the door. In the end I went to Mungo’s Newsagent and bought a book of stamps there.

So the message seems to be, if you want broadband as easy as buying a stamp, go somewhere other than the post office.

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