That whirring sound you can hear…

is Trollope spinning in his grave.

The man who gave mainland Britain the post box and whose indefatigable efforts across Britain and Ireland and diverse parts of what was then the British Empire gave us the universal same price post service we know today would be appalled at the state of the Royal Mail service less than 12 months after it was privatised. It is now indulging in special pleading that this fundamental obligation is unsustainable in the face of competition from organisations unencumbered by an equivalent obligation.

Which must be worrying for shareholders.

And for the government which sold off the organisation at a price significantly below that put on it by the private sector if the bounce in the share price immediately post-launch is anything to go by.

It seems to me that all concerned had adequate information about this obligation.  After all it was not a new thing, having been in place for more than a century. So if new competitors come in and cherry pick services they wish to offer up against that universal obligation, then so be it. That’s the market that the buyers of the shares used to their advantage 12 months ago. Those who got their shares cheap may now find they have a fight on their hands to ensure the company they own does compete and to protect the value of their investment.

Those who live by the sword…


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