Up to 70 Scottish sub-postmasters may have had their lives ruined by a faulty computerised system introduced by the UK New Labour Government, twenty years ago, as part of their ‘modernising‘ of a public corporation.
The Scottish Labour ‘executive’ in in Holyrood, of course, took no part in this process, was not consulted and did not scrutinise it. They knew their place.
The Bill which turned the Post Office into a more aggressively market-oriented service of the kind predisposed to expose its employees to stress and risk, was ironically introduced by former postman, Alan Johnson:
The Bill has four main objectives. It will give the Post Office the scope to modernise and run a fully commercial business in the 21st century. It will achieve that by converting it from a statutory corporation to a public limited company, with ownership remaining with the Crown. That will complement the greater financial flexibility that we intend to give the Post Office.
The measure will promote competition by establishing a regulator, which will reduce the part of the market that is reserved largely as a monopoly for the Post Office. The reserved area will be reduced and opened to competitors to the extent that the universal service obligation will continue to be fulfilled.
House of Commons Debates, 15 Feb 2000 : Column 803-4
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