If there’s one thing I don’t understand about today’s world; it’s the role of the post office. For years, of course, it had been an essential part of the high street; the only place from where you could send your correspondence to your nearest and dearest, and, well, anyone else really. It was an institution so fantastic, providing a service so vital, that it received vast subsidies allowing me in London to send something to the Isle of Man at the same rate as sending it to the bloke next door.
Unfortunately, that reality died quite a sudden death with the advent of the Internet. If we want to send someone information there’s the phone, text messages and the ground -changing electronic mail service — email for short — to utilise which are all far more useful: they can communicate a lot more, a lot quicker; and they are certainly cheaper; and, to those of you care, all more environmentally friendly.
…let it be for concepts that bring such equality…
What the post office is now being subsidised for is a wishy-washy romantic vision of what the post office was, and what we, as a society, need it for or may need it for, should there be a technological apocalypse – carelessly forgetting that the majority of this Victorian service relies on more computing power than you could image. No, now, the post office is nothing more than a relic, whose sole occupation is a mere extension of eBay, rather than a giver of news. It’s a fixture of the Victorian era that shouldn’t survive because of some irrational desire to keep dying things alive.
Closing more post offices means the money could be better spent on those dying institutions that do need renewal; that can find a role in this new age and should be pushed into it: libraries, schools and hospitals. If you want to feel romantic about Victorian achievements let it be for concepts that bring such equality, that are such a force for good, and which can find a place in our world.
…there are plenty of couriers that fill the large package void…
Don’t mourn post offices or the shift from paper to screen; nostalgia is a bitter and cruel enemy. Yes, we all like to feel sentimental, but doing so is being decadent and selfish. The post office was a symbol of a communications evolution, we should let it rest in peace and get used to its superior successors: there are plenty of couriers that fill the large package void more cheaply and more efficiently. Otherwise, for years to come you’ll be plagued by Domino’s pizza adverts, and there’s no need to subsidise them and their fellow junk mail friends.