“Granny Smith doesn’t matter any more”

Or: why I support the posties

Many people who read this blog will send and receive a lot of mail. I reckon we’ve all got a little pile of 12″ envelopes stashed away and many of us will also get dvds and books and all sorts sent our way on a regular basis. Maybe we also cull our collections and send out the odd package after our ebay sales have ended (and then empty out our paypal accounts and buy more stuff!).


Distributing Woofah has meant that I am even better acquainted with the lovely ladies and gents who work in the post office near my work – we couldn’t get the mag to people unless there was a cheap, accessible, reliable postal system.

Everyone has stories about stuff turning up late or damaged I guess, but basically a lot of great stuff has come our way over the years in little or big jiffy bags. Most of the postmen I’ve had on my doorstep have been top quality people and I have some nice memories of them handing over wads of envelopes and sharing our happiness when it was our daughter’s fifth birthday and things like that.

But like a lot of workplaces, the bosses’ thumbscrews have tightened in the last decade or so.

If you can, spare five minutes to read this piece by postal worker Roy Mayall in the London Review of Books – it’s really well written and very human – not some trot-bot political rant.

As you will see, the post workers’ strike is about making sure that posties get a fair deal, not some pisstake by shirkers or whatever bollocks is appearing in the press at the moment. But it is also about making sure that the mail retains its thin veneer of being a public service – a service that we’ve all probably taken for granted. Having sent things back to the UK from a few exotic places over the years, I can assure you that what we have is worth protecting.

Yes it might mean a bit of inconvenience. Those Jah Tubbys tunes I wrote about the other day took a good while to show up and I have to say I wanted to check them and tell you about them a lot sooner.

But if you are complaining about a delay in receiving your record with lyrics about fighting  babylon whilst this dispute is happening, you should maybe listen to it a bit more closely when it does turn up.


  1. this is such a beautifully written piece anyway but it’s obviously so much bullshit that the use of the post is down when places like amazon and ebay have entirely revoloutinised the way people shop and the post office and postal workers are a vital part of community- these people really really need our support.

  2. Well, I’m ex-GPO and ex-Parcelforce ( the GPO’s paramilitary wing, or it was til they privatised it, I think?), so I have to concur with these sentiments.

    Incidentally, I note Amazon UK have started using some privatised home delivery service, to counter customers whinging about strike delays. Amazing – for the first time this year, the books I ordered are floating around some warehouse – this ‘service’ is apparently incapable of dropping them through the communal letterbox, or leaving a note to say they called.


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