Post Offices: Labour says one thing, does another

After PMQs yesterday, I rushed to Five Live to do Simon Mayo – and guess what – Post Offices were the issue of the day!

Loads of emails into the program expressing the rage and anger felt by local people everywhere. The Labour MP on the panel, Celia Barlow was really put on the spot by Mayo. The Opposition Day debate in the afternoon with a vote at 7pm was to put a moratorium on the proposed closures giving time for more creative solutions to be found.

Now Celia is in the position of many Labour MPs of having voted through the procedure last year which set off the new round of closures, but now is camaigining locally to save Post Offices in her constituency. So – when given a second chance to vote the right way on the issue, what was she going to do?

If enough Labour MPs voted for the motion, the consultation and the process would have to be halted. But Celia said she didn’t think she would go through the lobbies with the Tories. I know it’s not easy to defy the whip – but in this case – where you are saying something locally, you really should have the gumption to back it up with a vote in Parliament.

Some Labour MPs did – but if only another 10 or so Labour MPs had switched – we could have won the vote. Desperately close. And what makes me angry is that this is yet another case of Labour politicians saying one thing (“we care about saving Post Offices”) but then doing another (as is also the case locally – where far from helping Salisbury Road Post Office, Labour-run Haringey Council has hit it with a huge financial bill).

Lynne Featherstone with Kurdish Turkish MP, Ali Dimirci and Ibrahim Dogus for Newroz in ParliamentIn the evening I played host to our Kurdish community at Parliament for the celebration of Newroz.

There is a large and now very active Kurdish community who face terrible discrimination in Turkey and other places.

0 thoughts on “Post Offices: Labour says one thing, does another

  1. Dizzy Thinks claims athttp://dizzythinks.net/2008/03/saving-our-post-offices.htmlthat the closures are the result of competition law. In that case we should nationalise them again rather than run them as a govt owned company. Instead we have Local Authorities trying to turn them into multi-service centres, and this week I heard two reports the the PO is being order to negotiate with those LAs.From information gleaned in my area, it seems that not only are unprofitable Post Offices going to be closed (and the failure of the Commons vote to stop them strengthens that belief) but so also are profitable ones, on the premise that having their customers go to the next Post Office will increase its profits.If there isn’t a convenient bus service for customers of a PO that is to be closed to get to another PO, that is apparently also a reason to object to the closure – but the incompetents in the PO should have assessed that out for themselves. I have had supply-side encounters with the PO from time to time and their management has never impressed me.