I am most definitely not alone in being transfixed by the story of the wronged postmasters and postmistresses who took on a government institution and would not be fobbed off. I’m as interested in the story behind the story – that the writer of the drama was told that probably not a lot of people would watch it.
That the lead actor Toby Jones, took a pay cut to ensure that the programme would be made because it’s often finances that scupper such projects. And what a project it was. And how hilarious to see so many MPs etc who had the chance to help such desperate people THEN, suddenly NOW galvanised into action. Not because they give a jot about them, but because they care about how it might affect their own careers, especially because the spotlight of incompetence has been shone on them.
Ed Davey, for instance, the Lib Dem leader and former postal affairs minister, who totally ignored desperate people’s pleas for help and is now bleating that he was lied to by the post office and that’s why he didn’t step in. When hundreds, HUNDREDS of people are all telling the same story, you would – if you were a good minister – not blindly believe they were just ‘moaning for the sake of it’ as one of them said. An ex-postmistress of many years service is standing up against him for his seat and I wonder how that will play out. I can’t wait to see.
But I was very saddened to hear that this whole scandal had had such an impact on local people too including Joy Taylor the postmistress daughter-in-law of Mr Taylor who had Agnes Road post office when I was a nipper living on Nursery Street. What she must have gone through was terrible, impacting on her health severely, the finger of blame pointed at her, her dignity and reputation shot at. Should never have happened and I hope she finds some peace and true recompense finally – and imminently.
What I think has brought us a modicum of joy in this saga is the David versus Goliath scenario where a lot of Davids together kicked the giant that is the post office in the rollocks because it happens so little in life, that happy ending when the underdog triumphs for once - and it is beautiful to behold.
When someone dies, some institutions are better than others aren’t they? Take a high street bank, I won’t say which one but it rhymes with ‘No Operative’. No dedicated phone line to ring, just the bog standard one for everyone – with a waiting time of twenty-five minutes to connect. And as soon as you get through, they cut you off. I always suspect they might, which is why I left a number to ring back if they did. But did they? Nope. And then I had to ring the ‘Y---ire Building Society bereavement line – only a fifteen minute wait this time, aren’t I lucky? They’d cocked something up that they needed to rectify even though the instructions were crystal-clear when I initially sent them in. When I got through, they’d lost all the documents on their side so I had to scan them in and send again.
Remember the good ool days when a human picked up after a few rings, in the days before ‘progress’? And why is it that every institution you phone these days has such long waiting times even though ‘your call is important to us’. No it’s not, mate, it couldn’t be less important – clearly.