Civic responsibility missing in the post

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IT IS tragic that the Westminster machine is proposing to privatise the Royal Mail.

That this proposal is misguided is evident from your report that the privatised utility ScottishPower is to pay a £890 million dividend to its Spanish parent company, Iberdrola (Business, 11 July).

Would future Royal Mail profits go abroad too while charges (as we have seen with the electricity companies) are massively increased for Scottish users?

The Royal Mail with its Universal Service Obligation is essential for the survival of many, many businesses in Scotland and particularly in the Highlands and Islands.

If the government loses control of this to a private company, anything could happen.

Privatisation has largely failed the north of Scotland and Scottish islands in particular. It has introduced a 20 per cent surcharge on electricity distribution to domestic customers, it has lost Aberdeen and Inverness some of their landing slots at London airports, it has lost us evening hot meals on the railway dining cars north of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government is not even allowed to run ScotRail or the sleepers. The increasing dominance of Home Counties MPs at Westminster and the self-preservation instincts of the Westminster machine is producing policies which ever more frequently fail to take account of the needs of peripheral areas from Cornwall to the Western Isles.

Surcharges already imposed by many private parcels ­delivery companies for much of Scotland should serve as a warning about mail privatisation and the future of rural post offices.

Where is the mutual benefit for all?

Does the government really intend to treat many of us as second-class citizens?

RJ Ardern

Southside Road