Thursday, 28 February 2008


What a word, hypocrisy would be better. However, that’s the terminology used in today’s Telegraph to portray a third of Cabinet members who are actively campaigning in their constituencies against Post Office closures.

Amongst the local dissenters are some of Mr Brown's most senior colleagues - Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary; Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary; and Geoff Hoon, the Chief Whip. Many more less senior government members are also listed amongst the detractors of national policy. With only a third of closures so far announced, the list of rebels will grow longer.

But are they really rebels? Dissent at cabinet level is almost non excitant on this issue. Concerned about their seats and local reputations, these MP’s are flouting their representational duties by saying one thing at home, but another at work!

Post Offices are essential to any community and any local block of shops. Remove them and you signal the demise of many urban shopping blocks. This government has allowed far too many alternative outlets to erode the staple business base of Post Office’s – do I really need to be able to pay for my TV licence at Sainsbury’s or order my foreign currency from Marks and Spencer’s?

The review for Tyne and Wear goes public this July. I suspect over half our local Post Offices will close. Only when they are closed will there be a public out cry – by then it will be too late.

Support your local Post office and make sure you sign their petitions to protect their livelihoods.

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