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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 26 June 2008
Sign of the times – post office shut notices

• THE shut notices are in the windows.
The final horror of post office closures has arrived. For those with small businesses it is a nightmare come true.
Every day it is a waste of a half-hour’s valuable time trailing up the hill. This factor does not enter government’s calculations, nor does the value to the community… too much like communism!
The consultations were an undemocratic sham and insult. Taxpayers’ money was used to bribe the pleasant post office staff to shut up shop.
Our MP, Glenda Jackson, abstained.
Old people on crutches can go and join the queue at the top of the hill for all she cares.
This is yet another example of this shameless government, that has betrayed any thought of socialism that we might have hoped for in 1997.
Against majority democratic wishes, we have been dragged into a grotesque war. We retain Trident, have the highest prison population in Europe, Asbos are issued and youth clubs and children’s facilities shut down, playing fields bulldozed and swimming pools shut. We are now subject to a creeping privatisation of the NHS, which few people want.
It would not be surprising if the final socialist aspects of our society, the army, police force and fire brigade, were being put out to tender.
Tesco and Armor Group may have already put in bids.
Hidden cost

Glendinning was totally unjustified in attacking Councillor Alexis Rowell for opposing post office closures, over the Lib Dem party’s support for EU membership (Blame the closure of our post offices on Brussels, May 29).
Although EU directive 2002/39/EC requires that postal services are made profitable and competitive, the Lib Dems have a unique formula for maintaining the present counters network. They propose to privatise the letters network and separate it from the counters (retail) network kept in the public sector.
The counters could then be subsidised or even augmented.
I have learnt from a Freedom of Information request that the claimed savings for the present closure round did not include the cost of extra staff and positions to cater for displaced business to the surviving post offices, a cost which had yet to be evaluated.
As this will wipe out many of the savings that are supposed to be made, claims that the closures will help with the “sustainability” of the remaining network are reckless. The same government case for the present “fire sale” of busy post offices would probably “justify” continuing indefinitely with more closures.
Golders Gardens, NW11

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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