How great decisions are made
I sometimes ponder upon how politicians come to a decision.
Do they take a consensus amongst their constituents before making their minds up or do they have some kind of inner sanctum wherein all the great wisdom of mankind is kept? After all, these decisions usually affect us all in one way or another for better or worse [usually worse].
There has been a bit of a kerfuffle here this week over the news that 159 post offices are to close, mainly in the west in lesser populated areas, leaving some old folk with an extra journey of eight or nine miles to the nearest remaining post office where they can collect their pensions.
The Minister was asked to justify the harsh treatment of our more rural brethren and he replied that they had voted for it themselves. Now there had never been an election, a plebiscite or even an opinion poll in the areas involved but the Minister persisted.
“This is the fact of it, and some people have failed to acknowledge this, but the local community have bypassed some of those post offices, have gone to the bigger towns, have not used the local shop,” he said.
So they must have employed teams of people to monitor the devious goings on of the local citizenry? They must have monitored all the traffic and conducted questionnaires in the main supermarket doorways?
If not, then how did he come to this remarkable revelation?
“I listened to a postmaster during the week, who made the point [that] they were going to some of the German retailers in the bigger towns, collecting their pensions there, and passing the local post office and now are complaining that the local post office is closing.”
Ah! So he listened to a postmaster. This one anonymous chap’s opinion is the font of this golden wisdom. That explains it all. That’s how momentous decisions are made.
People going to Aldi and Lidl to blame for post office closures – Minister
The other day I took one of those ‘letter’ things (The Bestes Frau occasionally feels the urge to put her rantings to paper and send it to one of her girlsfriends back home )round to our local Supermarket where the post office has been based for the last 5 years so. Got to the counter to be greeted with “Oh we thought you’d died!” because I had not been in for so long. A couple of years ago , whilst I was running that micro online business I was at the PO once a day or even twice to send off upto 20x £4 packets a day and was one of the stalwarts of the ebayer queue (Always amazed me how many ebayers there are and why they all have to go to the PO at the same time…that time when only one counter is open).
Anyways the Post Mistress’ obvious delight at my not being brown breaded yet caused me to mull things over in my head. 10 years I was still getting my benefits weekly/fortnightly at the PO. 10 years ago I was still buying Road Tax at the PO. 10 Years ago I was still sending a couple of letters a week on average. 10 years ago I would have been topping up my electricity ‘card’ and gas ‘key’ at the PO. Now I moonpig any birthday card (other online retailers of shiny paper tat are also available).If I have to write an actual letter I use one of the ‘type it online and we’ll post it’ services, road tax I buy online,benefits go straight into my bank account. Passport application is done online. Gas and Elec I could buy online if needed. If I send anyone a present i just get whichever online retailer to send it to them directly and they can whistle for pretty paper packaging.
BUT Mr Minister For Funny Talks, I very rarely use that local, non Teutonic supermarket nor I do go to any other, German or not. Disgrace to the Fatherland that I am, I shop for groceries-you guessed it-*online*!
I have never been a great one for post offices. Basically I only used them for buying stamps.
Then we reached pensionable age! Now I get my pension paid straight into the joint account but Herself insisted she wanted independence and wanted hers to be paid out in cash at the local PO. She wasn’t getting much so I tend to let it build up a bit before collecting it on her behalf. So every three or four weeks I drop in, collect the cash and promptly spend it. She doesn’t mind my spending it as it’s the Common Pot, but insists on maintaining the status quo. If they close our local PO then she is going to have to change things as I’m not driving into Skobieville just for that!
“If I wish to know what the Irish want,I look into my own heart.” said de Valera. Asking one postmaster is a step forward from Dev!
They get away with a lot, the politicians. Could never understand that process whereby a politician becomes a minister or Taoiseach and immediately ‘calls for’ something to be done which is actually in his or her job description.
Or ex-Taoisigh/Ministers ‘calling for’ something to be done by the department they used to be in charge of. ‘Former Minister for Efficiency calls for arses to be located by use of both hands.’
When they are chalenged over the failure of something that had been long promised, the reply is always the same: they are studying a report they have commissioned and are to implement the solutiion in the near future. It’s always in the future.
Funnily enough their superb pension entitlements seem to roll in quite quickly. There are probably few jobs in the world where you work for three years and are subsequently entitled to a splendid pension for life. That would be cabinet ministers. The same people who then announce that the scum (aka ‘electorate’) will have to work until they are to all intents and purposes at death’s door before they qualify for the modest state pension. After all, someone has to pay for cabinet minister’s three year qualifying period for a pension likely to be in serious multiples of the state pension. Up the Republic, etc and so forth.