Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is Mandy's Mail Sell Off Brown's Downfall?

Bulging mailbags of hate-mail await ministers and pay-roll MPs as Mandelson's Royal Mail sell-off plans outrage postal workers and more than 120 backbench Labour MPs. 

Beleaguered Brown faces the biggest backbench rebellion of his premiership, as ministers pass the parcel while their cabinet colleague lords it up over privatisation. 

Mandleson's plans for a sell-off dressed up as 'part-privatisation' has left backbench Labour MPs furious at the betrayal of a central plank of Labour Party policy and manifesto commitment. That's now set to be tossed aside with the privatisation bill craftily introduced in the Lords on Thursday to escape commons wrath and give Brown wriggle-room. 

More than 120 Labour MPs have signed a commons motion calling on the government to scrap the plan which is splitting the Party. But that cuts no ice with Mandelson's cunning plan to begin a New Year fire sale of the last remaining publicly-owned assets, to swell empty treasury coffers.

Adding fuel to the fire was a letter leaked today warning the Royal Mail pension fund was at risk. The leak had Mandy's pawprints all over it, as postal workers gathered for today's Westminster protest. Dirty tricks like that, say the unions, is blackmail. 

The letter, from pension fund trustees, warns the pensions deficit is "significantly larger" than the £5.9 billion in last year's Hooper Review and was likely to rise even higher should the sale not go ahead, with potentially "devastating consequences" for the business.

CWU general secretary, Bill Hayes, branded the letter leaking a scandal and has called the labelling of the proposed Royal Mail sell-off as 'part-privatisation' "laughable". 

The government has proposed taxpayers taking over the pension scheme but only as part of the proposed sell-off package. No matter how Mandy the Mailman tries to spin it, this is a backdoor sell-off with disastrous consequences for jobs

Taxpayers look set to be saddled with Royal Mail's billion pounds pension burden for years to come with some crafty accounting, as the government plans a back door sell-off, putting thousands of jobs at risk. 

The widely leaked Hooper report prepared the ground and softened up the public. Claiming 'inefficiencies' with a remedy of 'radical surgery', it gave the government and Mandelson just the excuse needed for a partial sell-off, once the stumbling block of the massive pension debt was removed with a neat accounting trick. 

With that pension black-hole dumped on the taxpayer, the government could press ahead with a sell-off dressed up as a 'partnership' with private operators and neatly side step any manifesto commitment that this vital public service will not be privatised, making a mockery of a 'universal public service'.

But no matter how it is dressed up, this will lead to switching the huge pension asset and liability to the taxpayers who will get nothing in return, as a vital and strategic public service is prepared to be sold off. But, as postal workers point out, if the government can bail out the banks why not the pension fund. 

What is needed is investment not a half-baked sell-off. If pushed through, the casualties will be the hard working and dedicated postal workers, a raft of large-scale job losses and the loss of a 'Royal' service we have come to rely on over the years. 

But as taxpayers are set to pick up the pensions bill while the Royal Mail's best bits are sold off to yet another foreign owner,  Brown is left having to rely on Tory and LibDem votes to get the bill through parliament.

All that that should sit uneasy with former postman and CWU leader Alan Johnson, now beaming away in the cabinet. But branded an outspoken Blair loyalist and positive enthusiast for privatisation by the Party, backbench MPs cannot count on the vote of a New Labour prop. 

Time and again the myth of privatisation as a cure all for economic ills carried out with so much glee by the so-called 'Labour' government has been exposed as a miserable failure. 

Dave and the Tories have a choice. Land taxpayers with a pension debt burden for years to come, open public services to market forces, alienate and throw away the working vote or block the bill and drive another nail in Brown's coffin? For Brown, having to rely on Tory support, it's a lose-lose situation.

Picture: Tractor Stats (RIP)


Silent Hunter said...


Anyone would think that getting Mandy back in the Government of 'all the talents' (excuse me whilst I fall about laughing) is Tony the Liars revenge, from beyond the political grave.

Yes, Mandy's job is clearly to blindfold Gordon at Beachy Head and play Blind Mans Bluff with him as close to edge of the precipice, as he can manouvre him.

Honestly; you couldn't make this stuff up............
.................or could you? ;o)

Mitch said...

There are no words obscene enough to describe mandelson.

Anonymous said...

Who is shagging who in this Mandelson/Brown saga ?