This was a short sketch I wrote in 2009 when the eventual privatisation of Royal Mail became clear. Although the idea of a rump public sector service has gone by the board the resonance with the current erosion of the universal door to door service and the fattening up for private acquisition still amuses me in an ironic way.


C = Customer

PO= Post Office worker.


C         I’d like to send this first class please.

PO       Public or private?

C         Sorry?

PO       Public or  private?

C         I just want to post it.

PO      (Sighs)

PO       Where to mate?

C         My auntie, in Devon.

PO       Devon? How old is she?

C         She’s 67, look what’s that got…

PO       Drive does she?

C         Yes. Well, she can, but she’s not very confident now her eyes are….

 PO       Better be public then.

 C         Why?

 PO       Delivery to the door

 C         Okay how much is that?

 PO       £25 mate.

 C         What!

 PO       First class Royal Mail £25 to Devon

 C         It’s only a birthday card for God’s sake.

 PO       Well that’s the first class postage to Devon these days sir.

 C         I could drive there and back for nearly that much.

 PO       I was doing to suggest it sir.

 C         But why?

 PO       Well, that’s the public sector for you isn’t it?

 C         What do you mean? What’s that got to do with it?

 PO       Well you’re paying for years of wasters expecting a free ride.

 C         A free ride?

 PO       Pensions, contracts of employment, redundancy pay, a 37 hour week, a living wage, all that socialist rubbish.

 C         So how much is the private mail to Devon?

 PO       Ah now you’re talking sir, I knew you’d see sense. £2.50.

 C         It’s still pretty steep… but okay.

 PO       Very wise sir. You won’t regret it.

 C         And when will it get there?

 PO       First class sir, tomorrow, guaranteed next day delivery.

 C         Great, it’s her birthday tomorrow.

 PO       Checks her mail every day does she sir?

 C         Well, of course, she doesn’t just leave it on the mat.

 PO       Mat?

 C         You know when it drops through the letter box, she picks it up straight away.

 PO       Very funny sir.

 C         Why funny?

 PO       It’s the private sector sir, efficient, fast, reliable.

 C         So?

 PO       Efficiency does not do door to door.

 C         So what does it do?

 PO       All she has to do is pick it up from the Local Customer Satisfaction Collection and Delivery Point.

 C         Which is where for Devon?

 PO       Reading. Thank you for using EasyMail. Next