Friday 2 April 2004 11.19am
"the postal regulator brought to our attention the on-line discussions taking place on the London SE1 forum about the postal survey, and queried the impartiality of a small number of our panellists. "
"Our remit is to ensure that there is no potential for any bias in our recruitment of panellists and therefore we have to follow very strict guidelines. "
"With this in mind we have sought to remove any panellists connected with the forum as we cannot guarantee their annonymity"
These statements have no logical connection to each other.
I do recognise that there is a real risk that some posters could be plants employed by private postal/courier providers (or for their highly-paid financial and corporate affairs advisers) who are seeking to eliminate the Post Office's monopoly on local delivery on the grounds of alleged inefficiency.
However, I can see no other grounds for bias. People who don't know that their post is being stolen/lost don't complain!!!
It is appalling that Posctomm
seem to be putting process issues of this sort ahead allegations of a complete operational breakdown of local Post Office management, coupled with allegations of widespread theft of both valuable items and documents required for identity fraud.
I can accept that where there are posters who use names that are obvious variants on their real names and who have given address details in their posts, then it may be unwise to include them in the sample (It makes sense to assume that the perpetrators of the alleged thefts may be reading this forum since the South London Press coverage.)
I would suggest that every affected poster dropped from the survey (and anyone else who feels strongly) writes to complain to:
Postal Services Commission,
cc to Simon Hughes
It might be useful for you to include a statement that you have no conflicts of interests with other postal providers.