THE Royal Mail, a public service since 1635, was privatised by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable in the Cameron Coalition Government. He promised it would be a bold new future for the service, but actually privatisation has been a disaster, and 68% of the UK public want it renationalised.

Last year its top three managers received £4 million between them and its shareholders received £4m in dividends while postmen and postwomen are on £11.89 an hour.

These much-criticised managers have introduced trackers which monitor posties every second of the day, are trying to force posties to work on Sundays, and have offered them a derisory pay award which will mean another cut in their living standards. They claim that with email there is no need for the six-day-a-week universal service which delivers mail from London to Edinburgh for the same price as a letter next door.

But the security of the Royal Mail service, free from hacking, means that it is the only way of delivering important mail such as legal documents, bank cards, and passports. And in rural areas a postman is the eyes and ears of the community. The Royal Mail is a service not just a business.

No wonder the financial vultures are circling over this proud British institution. The Czech billionaire Kretinsky owns 25% of the company. Does the Royal Seal mean nothing to His Majesty's Government? Right-wing ideologues who believe in the private ownership of everything should have a look at the United States Postal Service, which has been a part of the Federal Government since 1792.

It receives no government subsidy on a turnover of $71bn, delivering 48% of the world's mail and as part of its mission "will remain an integral part of the United States Government providing all Americans with universal and open access to our delivery network".

William Loneskie, Lauder.

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Migrants plan is abhorrent

BASES, boats and barges – it is upon that trinity of provision that the Westminster Government is hoping to convince the country with its columns of rhetoric that it is getting a grip on the migrant "invasion" to cut down on the cost of accommodation for "illegal" refugees ("‘Military bases’ for migrants", The Herald, March 30)

All of this is nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal the failing over the migrant crisis with its mounting impact upon the nation's finances. With the backlog over processing of appeals for those currently lodged in hotels alongside the court case to establish whether the Rwandan solution can be given the green light to go ahead, this dying Government seems to believe that it can con voters into thinking that it has a plan to curb immigration via the small boats by throwing money in the direction of France to eliminate the boat smugglers and at the offshore hospitality offered by Rwanda.

This new but clapped-out initiative to resolve the cost and accommodation of housing migrants throws up vital questions surrounding such a policy in the areas of staffing, bedding, laundry facilities and food provision amongst others.

Safe routes for migrants are at a premium in that they are as scarce as hens' teeth and the UK faces what looks like an insurmountable problem if it cannot put in place proper measures to control the flow of uncontrolled crossings of the Channel.

Speedy processing of applicants' claims to facilitate their entry into economic activity and finding ways of educating their youngsters so that they can function in the job market are two areas demanding serious attention. With the influx that is as yet uncontrolled and the paucity of processing applicants' claims, the UK is paying a heavy price with the extra pressures upon the NHS, education, housing and welfare services.

Compassion must be factored into how the conundrum of uncontrolled migration can be dealt with along with the hard-nosed understanding that no country can support such migration sine die. Criminalisation of desperate migrants who take to the Channel in unsafe vessels is abhorrent and contrary to the pride we profess to take in being a hospitable country.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

Read more: The tragedy of lottery ferry service is the damage done to businesses

How to honour Paul O'Grady

ANIMALS have lost a dear friend with the passing of Paul O’Grady ("Paul O'Grady: Lily Savage drag queen star dies at the age of 67", heraldscotland, March 29), whose life-long dedication to protecting them was unwavering. From joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) to calling out animal testing in the 1990s to championing the true underdogs at local animal shelters by asking everyone to “adopt, don’t shop” and so save a life, Paul never missed an opportunity to shine the spotlight on animals’ plight. 

Among his many achievements, travel giant Thomas Cook stopped selling tickets to marine parks after hearing from him about the immense suffering orcas experience in cramped, chemically treated tanks; he supported the #FurFreeBritain campaign; he called for a ban on that “torture in a tin”, foie gras; he decried factory farming; and so much more. Paul once said: “It is our duty to treat animals with respect,” and Peta asks those who cared about him to honour his memory by showing the same kindness to our fellow Earthlings that he did.

Ingrid Newkirk, Founder, Peta UK, London.

Why do we need DRS?

IS the introduction of DRS really necessary (Letters, March 30)? Why not simply instead adopt universally the bin collection service operated already at least here in East Ayrshire? This service requires residents to recycle using various bins, including one for "mixed glass" and another for "plastics and cans", identified helpfully in both the English and Gaelic languages, presumably to minimise mistakes.

Why is that not considered sufficient to allow local authorities to recycle to whatever extent is required without the need for the costs and complications of the DRS proposal and any consequential reductions in the existing collection services?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Seas the day

A SIGNATORY to today's letter (March 30) headed "Why we must press on with DRS" is the Policy Manager, City to Sea. Intrigued as to the nature of this organisation, I find that it is dedicated to ending plastic pollution and the plastic problem. The CEO is said to pot with pottery pals, while the Policy Manager "over-seas media work with a healthy number of playful puns".

Whatever else may or may not be achieved by these well-meaning people, they provide a source, not only of playful puns, but of excellent examples of alliteration.

Well, well.

David Miller, Milngavie.