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Old Dec 07, 2010, 3:33pm   #18
killcrazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAK47 View Post
I've still not received mine dunno where the hell it's gone.

Fucking British postal service is a joke.
Obviously the only solution is privatisation. No institution that has functioned perfectly well in public ownership for almost five hundred years can possibly be expected to compete in a marketplace in which it owns a total monopoly in the 21st century. This is madness.

Shit is going to get lost in the post. The Royal Mail handles something like twenty five thousand million items every year, they lose around fifty million items a year. So 1 in every 500 items disappears, 0.2%. That's actually not bad when you compare it to the performance of other industries, industries we have privatised, like the railways.

Network Rail boast that 91.5% of trains arrive on time, by which they mean no more than 5 minutes late (10 minutes for "long distance" trains). And they are, of course, including the little shunty trains that dodder back and forth between two platform stations and regional hubs every half hour.

Still, 0.2% is unacceptably high, and this value increases dramatically when considering birthday cards addressed in shakey old person handwriting and packets about the right shape and size to be dvds or nintendo games, especially in regions where basically everyone is a journeyman thief, like Liverpool.

As for the "sorry, we walked past your house but couldn't be arsed ringing your doorbell" cards. The problem here stems in large part from understaffing, or at least they claim it does, and the argument seems valid. Every postman is now delivering to more addresses than he was ten years ago, which means he has less time to hang around waiting for you to answer your door. A system which not only increases the number of failed deliveries, but is easily abused by posties who want to get home to watch the snooker. Additionally, deliveries used to be made in the early morning when people were at home getting their shit together to go to work, the postie expected there to be someone in, now he arrives at 10am and expects there to be nobody in.

Moving on to the broader subject of Royal Mail privatisation. Save for a period of about 18 months a few years ago, the Royal Mail is not merely profitable, but its profits are increasing at an impressive pace. £400m last financial year, up from around £320m the year before and £160m the year before that. Maybe this is some clever jiggerypokery pump-and-dump strategy designed to maximise the sale price, but it seems unlikely since nobody wants to buy, and the reason nobody wants to buy is the £2 billion pension deficit.

Royal Mail has a pension deficient of £3 billion, and a pension deficit of £5 billion is extremely unattractive. As a business with both a monopoly and a pictionary and an original trivial pursuit - not one of these gay modern versions with history questions about things that happened in 2007 - the Royal Mail is a license to print money, which it theoretically has in the form of postage stamps. But a pension deficit of £8 billion isn't going to go away, no matter how many different values are given for it from one day to the next.

Of course, if the Royal Mail can sustain profits of $400m a year, it will pay off its £13 billion pension deficit in between 5 and 25 years depending on which halfassed attempt to quantify it you use, which would be awesome if it wasn't somehow - according to numbers published in the daily fishwrap over the last couple of years - increasing at an exponential rate which may itself be a kind of pump-and-dump, to convince the public that Royal Mail is a toxic asset which we need to get rid of just as soon as someone is prepared to stump up a tiny fraction of its true value.

So why does this £17 billion pension deficit exist? Indeed, why are all state owned industries in almost perpetual collapse? There are two reasons for this that deserve examination, and the first is continuity of stewardship. If Swoop, Ozone, KH and i got together to play one hand of poker, each playing one street in turn, the result would be a disaster. Though there are many things we agree on, there is much we don't and many stylistic differences. We all have our own ideas about how it should be done, which is fine so long as we are in control of the entire hand, but when we take it in turns to make decisions, our decisions are disjointed. This discordia becomes far worse when we have to seek re-election to the next hand after every hand is complete, now we are all thinking shortterm, concerned only with our street and totally disregarding the problems that we may create for ourselves in the future.

Secondly, not only is the stewardship of public industries constantly changing, but this stewardship is being passed between people who don't really know what they're doing anyway. Sure some of them might be okay, some of them might even be good. if Kanalratte and I took it in turns moving in a chess game we'd be okay, not as strong as if we worked together to find consensus moves, or if one of us played all the way through, but we'd be okay. But then sooner or later Swoop gets a go, and he throws our queen away, or spills vimto all over the board, or inexplicably causes a sudden decrease in global temperatures heralding a new ice age. He's a smart enough guy, smart enough to convince a population of average intelligence that he knows what he's doing, but because of his failure to comprehend the intrinsic weakness of the b7 square and the endgame complications that will arise because of this, we now have a pension deficit of £24 billion.

So in summary, we need to...wait...what was the question again? Something about turnips? Turnips are okay, I give them a 5.

Kc
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