Destroying Communities in Britain

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

The New Labour Government in Britain is closing down 169 post offices in London alone this year, destroying the sense of community they once fostered for the local populations. In the name of profitability, the government is taking them away as they are deemed 'inefficient', regardless of the human cost. This article by John Pilger has particular meaning to me as the post office described in the article is the one I grew up going to:


Destroying the best of Britain


May 10, 2008 By John Pilger

When I first came to live in Britain, much of ordinary life was premised on a sense of community. It was mostly undeclared; occasionally, it would become vivid, even heroic. Watching Durham miners, defeated but unbowed by hunger and debt, march back to the pit in 1985, led by their women, was a glimpse of Britain at its best. In spite of Thatcher and Blair, that communal decency survives, though you may have to look for it. A good place to look is a local post office.
Local post offices, from the Highlands to the Pennines to the inner cities, are where precious parcels begin their epic journey to the other side of the world, and pensions, income support, child benefit and Incapacity Benefit are drawn, and Freedom Passes are issued, along with Lottery tickets and Mars Bars. I often walk down to my local post office just to browse, watching the kindness that Shailesh and Smita Patel hand out to the elderly, the awkward, the inarticulate, the harried. If an elderly person has failed to turn up on pension day, he or she will get a visit from Smita, with groceries. Smita has been doing this for most of 20 years......Read more