For those of us who constantly despair over the Labour front bench’s failure to fight back against this government’s disastrous neo-liberal programme, today offers a glimmer of hope. The shadow cabinet are opposing a privatisation programme with more than vague platitudes – and initiating a campaign to save Royal Mail from the profiteers and asset-strippers.
Ian Murray, Labour’s shadow post minister, has initiated a petition on the Labour party website to save the daily delivery and oppose the sale. You can sign it here.
This follows months of sustained campaigning from the Communication Workers’ Union. Meanwhile the non-TUC affiliated National Federation of SubPostmasters has urged its members not to stock brochures advertising the privatisation.
Anyone who doubts the disaster that would follow privitisation need only read James Meek’s account of the catastrophe of postal services in the Netherlands, published in the London Review of Books two years ago. But it’s worth remembering that the last Labour government – in the form of a re-incarnated Peter Mandelson – proposed a part-privatisation itself. That Ed Miliband’s front bench opposes privatisation in principle, and not simply the way it is being handled, should be welcomed. Now how about a pledge for the next Labour government to reverse the Tories’ privatisation if it cannot be stopped in time?