SNP condemn Royal Mail concessionary con

Commenting on the publication of the UK Government’s controversial plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail, SNP Postal Affairs spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, dismissed assurances by Lord Mandelson as "desperate concessionary con".

Mr Weir said:

"Lord Mandelson’s assurances are nothing more than a desperate concessionary con designed to save the Labour government's face, rather than save Royal Mail.

"Backbench Labour MPs must not be bought-off by Peter Mandelson’s bizarre mix of concessions and threats.

"Assurances that there could not be any further privatisation without new primary legislation, and setting out the Universal Service Obligation in legislation, are simply worthless.

"Such legislation could be introduced or amended at any time in a future parliament, and part-privatisation is the start of a slippery slope towards full privatisation – bringing job losses, service cuts and a deterioration in the working conditions of postal workers.

"Lord Mandelson is bounding where even the great privateer Mrs Thatcher feared to tread and it is utterly extraordinary to see a so-called Labour government taking the knife to such an important public service.

"As for his threats over the pensions of hard working postal workers to try and push through this legislation, it seems Lord Mandelson has reverted to the same sort of bully-boy tactics he used over the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds when he refused to bail out the bank separately. We can all see how well that turned out.

"The interim report from Richard Hooper made clear that only big business had benefited from previous liberalisation of postal services. It is difficult to see how privatisation will benefit any others. It is also, frankly, difficult to see why any private company would want to get involved in this unless they can see the way to greater privatisation and the slashing of services and workers in the future.

"The future of Royal Mail as a public service is a vital interest to Scotland and every community and small business should make known their outright opposition to this crazy scheme."