An appeal from the poet Michael Horovitz:
All too bizarrely, the few Post Offices left have recently taken to packing items you purchase in envelopes or wrapping that bear the legend: "Support your Local Post Office". To which the rejoinder has to be: "We would if we had one".
Toward the end of last year Post Office Ltd closed all five Royal Borough offices it had pretended to consult local residents, business, Councillors and MPs about. Martin O'Neill's DTI Select Committee Crown Post Offices Report roundly condemned "the Post Office's unwillingness to be transparent and inclusive in the consultation procedures, and its unpreparedness to amend its plans in the face of reasoned argument".
A Post Office surveyor I buttonholed on sighting him taking photos of the main Westbourne Grove office, disused since 10th November, told me the company plans to lease out the building at high cost for non-postal business. This reverses the claim a PO Press Officer confided to the Guardian that "we do not have a policy on renting properties out to make a quick buck" -- surprise surprise. It rather overlaps with Royal Mail's way of getting into massive profits by sacking over one-third of the specialised and experienced work force -- public needs deliberately dismantled by a small clutch of cronies who never stop boasting of their commitment to public services. Commitment to serving themselves, more like.
With every such betrayal, the limply looming general and council erections look more and more likely to subside to a symbolically damp fart, resulting from (among other things like Blair's five wars, not out) the lack of governmental, er, integrity, in general and (can they be serious?) from postal ballots in particular.
Nevertheless, I remain dedicated to supporting the postal system: you can help raise awareness and funds for reviving some conviction in the services by ordering our all-purpose greetings card which features, as well as my poem, a beautiful painting by David Hockney of 'People in the Street' and a specially designed 'Lost Office Campaign' envelope. Please send crossed Postal Orders or cheques of GBP2 per card and envelope, or GBP15 for ten, to 'New Departures', PO Box 9819, London W11 2GQ, and we'll send them to you -- Royal Mail willing -- by "First Class Post".
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Horovitz is a poet, songwriter-singer, visual artist, translator, literary journalist and editor-publisher. He has published more than thirty collections. In 1959 he founded the New Departures magazine while still a student, publishing William Burroughs and Samuel Beckett. In 1969 he edited Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain for Penguin Books. He now runs the annual Poetry Olympics at the Albert Hall (since 1980) and elsewhere the world over, and is at work on A New Waste Land. His website is here (portrait by David Hockney, 1980).