Wednesday, 7th August 2013

by Joshua Gaskell

This morning I hand my postman an envelope containing my first three chapters, bound for W1 unbound, and try to talk to him about the approaching fifth act of the Trve Tragedie of the Royalle Mayle. ME: ‘It seems likely that, sometime down the line, people will be saying, as they do now about BT, ‘but why use the Royal Mail at all? It’s their infrastructure, but they’re more expensive than the others…’ What, as it were, is the word on the street regarding the prospect of fragmentation?’

But my footsoldier is unwilling to enter into it. John Pilger this week writes about ‘a solemn young man [he saw], clipboard in hand, whose job was to stalk postmen and see they abided by the new rules, no doubt in preparation for privatisation.’ Perhaps this is the explanation.

My nearest postbox is a very fine hexagonal Penfold, which has stood in Forest Hill for over a-hundred-and-fifty years. I wonder, post-post-outcry, when new boxes are required, whether they will be built of such elegant, lasting civicism. I anticipate not and look forward to vandalising their make-everything-ugliness, with, respectively, masochism and sadism. The only ordinary householders who look to gain from privatisation are dogs, because it will inevitably lead to them working reduced hours, which (unlike postmen) will suit them fine.

My hide after sun seems cured, and not in a good way.