I’ve stuck a wee bit of extra background information, recently cleaned from the memory banks of Mr Vex Dhole onto the Crawling Chaos website. This relates to the lyrics to Jhonns’ Angel, which seem to be wrong – honest guv; I woz only singin’ what woz written down on a piece of paper…
It all centres on John Dee and Edward Kelly. Read all about them on Wikipedia. Or somewhere else.
Kelly kopped it when he couldn’t turn lead into gold.
Dee had a huge library, the biggest in England, but obviously didn’t have enough time to read it as he went off wife-swapping and when he got back it had been nicked.
I wonder what my life would be, condensed into a sentence? Hmm.
Received call from Anth about LTM deal. Removed a few inflamatory remarks as their inclusion has had the desired effect which is to build bridges and increase internal and external communications. Visit to Tynemouth planned for a few weeks time....
Strangely visits Northumberland. Newbiggin is coming on fine with the new sea defence works and statues. I know what the sea’s like there; I give the statues six years before they’re bent over. Anth was unobtainable, apparently, but buddhisty, apparently....
Following up an earlier post of mine “Use the Green Stick, Mr Postman!” and how unfriendly competition in the delivery market actually is from the point of view of the environment and the actual service to the customer (us!), the recent news of a Delivery firm’s 686 jobs at risk should be taken with a pinch of salt and examined closely.
Home Delivery Network (HDN), an amalgam of catalogue, pools and white van delivery folk pipes up today that jobs will have to go. This is part of the “solution” to the “Post Office crisis” that various governments have sought to rid themselves. Others are Citylink, DHL, Amtrack etc. They are all posturing to grab the best bits of the Post Office’s business while leaving the donkey work to the taxpayer’s employees, the postmen.
However, it’s not the first time that HDN have said this. Way back in the middle of the boom, ages before the Credit Crunch and recession, they whipped out a similar story; Job cut concerns at delivery firm. This was for 600+ jobs in 2005!
Call me cynical, but if they can’t make money just competing for the cream of the work, how will they manage in future?
Way back in the early 1800′s, the “post” as it was called was a competetive business. Official government stuff went by couriers called “The Royal Mail” and everyone else paid a hefty premium to go the same route or paid huge amounts dependant on distance, weight and size. People paid pounds! This was at a time when bread cost a penny and 10 shillings was a good wage. There was much corruption, mail went missing for various reasons and it took ages to get anywhere.
Rowland Hill is credited with reforming all of that to end up with the modern fast postal system that people could rely on and for which people were proud to work. This lasted from 1840 until the 1980′s. When Thatcher got in of course, she and her ilk poisoned everyone’s minds with ideas of competition and the free market, a legacy that Blair et al have expanded upon.
When the post-as-we-know-it started, it cost a penny (The Penny Post) to send a letter any distance in the UK. This was radical and it was cheap, if you were middle class. In real terms for the bulk of the population, it was the same as a loaf of bread.
But the service boomed and like Rowland Hill imagined, it soon paid for itself.
A decent loaf today costs about a pound, whereas to post a letter is less than half that. But now, somehow people whinge and think it’s too much! Yet the same people will happily hop in a car, spend 50p on petrol, and all for a £5 jumbo kebab.
Priorities are definately wrong.
The Delivery Market
What successive governments have done in the pursuit of making a stamp even cheaper, is make the actual service, you know, the service that you and me get when stuff (possibly) comes through the letterbox,… worse.
This makes it less likely that people will use the service and instead, they turn to the cowboys like HDN and Amtrack, Citylink and TNT, who cream off the business mail (aka junk mail), removing a huge revenue stream from our valuable normal postal service. They in turn have to reduce costs, close offices, reduce staff, reduce deliveries and increase charges.
It’s a vicious downward spiral and the eventual losers are us, the customers; and us, the employees; and us, the taxpayers.
For parcels, the companies compete against Parcel Force, who used to have a network of wonderfully handy offices, open till late, where undelivered items could be easily collected. This is seriously undermined nowadays.
For a company like Dabs or M&S, the costs are about 50p less for a small parcel.
For us customers, we have to travel 70 miles (in Citylink’s case) to collect undeliverable items!
This is 2 gallons of fuel – about a tenner.
So for Dabs or M&S to save 50p, we have to pay £10. And remember, when we buy something online, we are paying the delivery cost. If we have to collect it, we have to pay again!
I hope HDN and everyone like it all go bust as soon as possible – or at least stop their operations in the area of postal deliveries. Union people like;
Bob Shaw, national secretary for transport at the T&G;
Unite national officer Julia Long;
and Usdaw national officer, Irene Radigan;
- they’ve got it all wrong. Instead of weaselly worrying about a few local workers, they should instead look at the broader picture of a diminished and collapsing postal delivery service that does no-one any good, not least their members and not least the nation …
The postal service has an already existing network of handy local offices, ideally placed to pick up the ever burgeoning business from internet buying.
The postal service is efficiently set up to minimise environmental damage from the excess travel required when using independant carriers. These costs are never factored into the big picture. Like air transport, it should be the total costs that count.
The lost jobs (if it actually happens) at HDN should be easily taken up by a proper national postal delivery service. After all, the parcels that HDN delivers will still need delivering by someone!
In short, don’t carve up the service – make it bigger and better!
[...] Take these teachings to heart, and always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should absolutely be the last to abuse one another. All those who keep faith in the Lotus Sutra are most certainly Buddhas, and one who slanders a Buddha commits a grave offence. When one chants the daimoku bearing in mind...
A comment spam of a new sort just arrived so it’s most definitely connected to the recent Microsoft RPC warning and my spam spike in a previous post. It was sourced at http://tinyurl.com and had a link to http://xrl.us which redirects to http://metamark.net/ This suggests to me, as I’ve never had this before, that they’ve...
This site, by Mark Ayres, gives a description of the Doctor Who theme as it was created by Delia Derbyshire from the Ron Grainer score. In conversation with Paul yesterday, I was recalling how I started music by recording short or medium wave radio tuning, heterodyning and interference sounds onto a cassette and then chopped...
The Information Tribunal ordered the DWP to name the companies and charities involved in workfare at an appeal hearing this work. A long running war of words has been waging between the DWP and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ever … Continue reading → […]
The DWP are advertising for a News Manager with experience of ‘crisis management’ to take charge of the endless stream of bullshit which pours out of the DWP Press Office. The advert, spotted by @SmithTonyD over on twitter, explains: “The … Continue reading → […]