Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/494/2599
'Living in a parallel universe'
COVENTRY COUNCIL'S last meeting was like entering some parallel universe. The Tories (majority group on the council) moved a motion opposing the closure of 2,500 post offices. Socialist Party councillors amended it by adding there should be an urgent review of the Postal Services Act 2000, especially the parts relating to "market freedom," the root cause of the closure issues.
Rob Windsor Coventry Socialist Party councillor
The Tories voted to support this and talked of the detrimental side of "marketisation" of the post office! Labour voted against backing the New Labour government but argued that responsibility for closures lay with "Post Office Limited" even though their government set this up and have made it easy for private firms to take over post office functions including 70 Crown Post Offices, planned to close and be transferred to WH Smiths.
One New Labour councillor blurted out "why should 'Post Office Limited' support 'loss-making' post offices?" and "Why should the government keep subsidising the post office?".
Socialist councillor Dave Nellist reminded her of her government's £76 billion support for the Trident programme and that the post office is a public service just like health and social services.
Later the Tories moved an amendment to a Labour motion calling for opposition to closure of the local Hertford St crown post office and the threat to close Coventry's main sorting office.
Their amendment, calling for support for the "CWU campaign," got unanimous support. We moved another amendment calling for support for the postal workers' strike. Labour this time supported us and the Tories voted against which lost the amendment.
The Socialist Party has collected over 2,000 names on a petition against the closure of Coventry's main post office. Our members and councillors joined the CWU pickets and played an active part in the protest at Hertford St post office.
Finally, Dave Nellist moved a motion calling for a campaign to oppose the threatened closure of Jaguar Research and Development plant at Whitley.
Dave got an echo when he called for nationalisation, reminding the meeting that a Tory government had nationalised Rolls Royce in a day. Whitley has skills that could be used to develop environmentally friendly transport and other engineering facilities. All this will be lost if the plant goes. The motion got unanimous support.
In The Socialist 5 July 2007:
National Shop Stewards Network
Campaign for a New Workers Party
What we think
Postal workers strike
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Tales from the council chamber
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party events
Socialist Party review