Monday, 2 July 2007

Fat Cat Management

Post Office workers were branded old fashioned and lazy by their fat cat bosses Crozier and Leighton when they went on strike last week.

At the heart of the dispute is the disastrous Thatcherite / Blairite principle that public services should be run as private businesses.

The post office is old fashioned. And it doesn't match up with private business. But the post office is a public service; it has a charter that obliges it to provide a universal daily delivery service. No such restriction applies to TNT or
DHL. So it's a no-brainer that it struggles to compete in the open market against those carriers who can cherry-pick the services they provide.

Which is probably why it lost the all-important Amazon contract.

But the whole private business benchmark is a double standard. In what other private business would the senior management survive loosing an £8 million contact without at least offering to fall on their swords?

Crozier's salary and bonus take his earnings to 52 times that of an average postal worker. Leighton only works a two day week and mixes this with other directorships the rest of the time. He has actually elevated this moonlighting to a business theory of 'portfolio management'. Remember all the stink when it came out that some firefighters supplemented their unspectacular earnings with a bit of building work or mini-cabbing?

Part of the Thacher / Blair myth is that a small business should be the model for any enterprise - no doubt in the likeness of Maggie's dad's shop in Grantham. But such differentials are unheard of in small/medium businesses (I should be so lucky).

And no small business would tolerate a pair of wankers like
Crozier and Leighton.

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