Do and die

“Modernise or decline” is the title of the review by Richard Hooper launched today on the mail market. It is a self-styled ‘do or die’ menu for Royal Mail and it is genuinely an interesting mix – part privatise the mail operations, renationalise the pensions obligations and hand over regulation to the communications watchdog Ofcom.

Will it work? I don’t know. There must be questions about whether Post Office Limited floats free in future and how we avoid lame duck regulation in the run up to an important price review for 2010. It is right though that the future of post is bound up in communications – if we think of mail as information you send for the personal attention of someone else, then texting, email, IM, twitter and all are signs of a vibrant if fast changing mail market.

Personally, I guess it is right to press ahead quickly if this is what government decides it wants. It does at least offer a chance to reverse the long years of underinvestment in Royal Mail. One speaker at the launch by the way accidently referred to the name of the report as “Modernise and Decline”…

Do and die doesn’t sound quite so hopeful…

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