The price of first class stamps is to rise to 60p at the end of this month. That’s 12/-. Like everybody else I went to the post office and stocked up. But I have to warn you followers of my blog, no more Xmas cards from me, they will be too expensive. The reason the stamp price had to rise was because Royal Mail is making a loss on them, although they make a substantial profit from other elements of the organisation. They make a loss because everyone who can, communicates by email rather than by post. And the result of the price rise will be that people will make even more effort to avoid the post and use email instead, so the losses will be even greater. The non-digital sector of the population will be hit the hardest. Handwritten letters are nice to receive, but the etiquette of this is evolving. So why was this unpopular and probably self-defeating decision made? Because OFCOM, the regulator, removed controls from the price of first class stamps. Regulators ought to be regulating in the interests of the public and if, as OFCOM said, their aim in doing this was to preserve the postal service, then they are not “outcomes focused” (the modish excuse for irrational regulation), because the outcome will be the slow death of the slow mail. Ironically, we peers get regular letters from Moya Greene, the CEO of Royal Mail (allegedly the highest paid UK civil servant) telling us how wonderful the mail is. I don’t know what the cost of this annoying communications policy is, but it is certainly not delivering.