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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Buy Local

Buying locally - which means small local shops, rather than the nearest superstore - is an admirable message and one I don't always achieve.

Buy Local

There is always the problem that the local shops don't stock what you need, and you need it now!

And (let's be honest) there can also be a price issue.

The news that Amazon have removed the delivery contract from the Royal Mail for items over 500g is undoubtedly going to have a serious impact here.

Not just because of the amount that is bought from Amazon, but the impact it will have on other mail-order companies, and then on the viability of the postal system as a whole.

(added later) There are also a large number of businesses locally who rely on a good reliable postal service for exporting goods, and if the Royal Mail prices increase then it could force some of them out of business.

The playing field is not level. The Post Office must deliver to every address at the same price. The new entrants into the market can cherry-pick the most profitable business.

I've said it before, and I will say it again: the only way to protect the Royal Mail service Universal Service Obligation is for new entrants in the UK-wide postal market to be forced to provide a USO within (perhaps) five years of entering into the market.

That will both challenge and protect the Royal Mail through the changes in the market, whilst meeting the Government's primary objective of deregulation.

Watch the local politicians wring their hands in despair at the potential impact on these islands, and see if any actually have a sensible solution.....

(Thanks to a twitterer for the tip-off)

Update: Exiting from the first update, what is the GoogleAds on the Blogger page
Beat the postal strike
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Anonymous said...

As well as having slow, expensive and unreliable broadband, the islands are increasingly having slow, expensive and unreliable postal and parcel deliveries, as the Royal Mail steadily disintegrates.

Unless your business, work and/or finances do not depend on any connection with the mainland, this is going to affect you (as a resident and/or earner). It's difficult enough to set up a business in the Outer Hebrides as it is now, without the entire communication aspect being stacked against you.

Anonymous said...

The comhairle love buying mainland.

Look at all the contract they hand outwith the islands.

Dont belive me - look deeper and do the maths - they belittle the island economy.

Theyve also taken millions out of the local construction industry recently due to several high profile behind closed doors decisions.....

Dr Evadne said...

There is one place in Stornoway where you can buy local, at a good price and largely get what you want. It is the only shop in the UK where I am prepared to queue and not get in a flap. It is of course WJ Macleod..Butchers. Nothing is too much bother for them and you can order in advance. Their blood's worth bottling. Well actually....

Anonymous said...

Should that not be WJ Macdonald??

Anonymous said...

I had an employee last winter who had worked for some time as a postie in a large scottish city. One aspect of his work which surprised me was that one of the Royal Mails competitors regularly dumped large volumes of letters which they were delivering on contract into the Royal Mail system so that the posties had to deliver them.

Very neat trick.

Dr Evadne said...

8.08pm Yes got a bit carried away. Should be Willie John Macdonald. I expect Macleod's is nearly as good! The fact is we do still have the opportunity to go to a butchers and have a selection of them. In London they have more or less disappeared unless you go to an over priced 'organic' celebrity endorsed emporium.

Anonymous said...

Its all very well to say buy local, but when I tried to get a cup of tea and scone in the library cafe on Saturday, its all shut up. Who runs this?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.03

The Comhairle is on holiday - they've all bu**ered off to the Mod - hence nobody is allowed to do anything.

The 'Buy Local' logo has disappeared for the same reason; but it will be back on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Buy local is all very well and good if you get the service to go with it. However, there are some local businesses that think that folk living in the islands have no other option but to buy their goods or services, at an inflated price and with little or no customer service to speak of.

Thankfully, there are exceptions to this and they will be the businesses that survive. As for those that think we have zips up the back of our heads, or came down in the last shower, then people will resort to the internet or filling the boot of the car when they're away on the mainland (For as long as RET lasts!)