Thursday 12 July 2012


Does anyone have memories of a government which was less efficient and made more of a mess of everything it touched than the current Westminster restoration farce?

The latest to reach my ears, thanks to the BBC, is that, in the same week that they announced vast numbers of redundancies in the armed forces, with amalgamations of units, and battalions disappearing, and much more, they have also announced that the company that was chosen to supply security guards for the games, G4S (Group Four as used to be, but they changed their name when they kept letting prisoners escape), has found that they cannot fulfil the demands of that contract and that an additional 3,500 troops will be needed.

I mean.... seriously...I'm speechless. Talk about moronic planning and idiotic announcement timing! Who is running this shower of useless space wasters?

Oh yes, silly question. I remember. For the government it is Eton Boy Cameron, who is where he is because of his connections, his sense of entitlement, and a monumental ego which tells him he can do the job (which  very clearly, he can't).

And for the Olympics, it is the Right Honourable the Lord Sir Sebastian Coe, whose only success in running anything was the 1500 meters (although I'd grant him he was good at that).

A spokeperson from G4S (doubtless emerging from under a bridge where she had just deposited some of her unpaid staff) said: "This has been an unprecedented and very complex security recruitment, training and deployment exercise which has been carried out to a tight time scale.  (Yes seriously, she actually said that!!!!)
"We have encountered some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling over the last couple of weeks, but are resolving these every day  (note for the sake of efficiency: you only need to resolve them once) and remain committed to providing a security workforce for the start of the London 2012 Games." (Well, I'm glad she's confident, she's probably the only one who is.)

For heaven's sake, how long have they had to organise this? How many unemployed people are there in the south of England? What they hell is the problem?
The military was already being stretched to provide the 13,500 troops which were originally envisaged as necessary; the deployment of an additional 3,500 means that all summer leave will have to be cancelled. That is all leave when the kids are on holiday from school (and it's technically illegal to take children on holiday in term time).
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is to announce more details about the extra troops on Thursday. (Can't wait for that!)
In the meantime the Home Office said that they had agreed to offer help to G4S by revising the level of military support. The government, they said, were focused on delivering a "safe and secure Games". (Frankly having this lot focussed on anything doesn't inspire me with any kind of confidence.)
The government is paying out £553 million for security at the stadia and G4S's contract is costing £300 million. (Just as well England the UK is a rich country.)
With 2 weeks to go and cracks in the bridges over the main road from Heathrow to London, complete chaos at immigration points in London with queues hours long (before the games even starts), lack of trained security staff, and disgruntled troops (who frankly are unlikely to be impressed by Boris Johnson's simpering about them being the bravest in the world), and probably a thousand other things that they have so far managed to hush up, the whole thing looks like a catastrophe waiting to happen.
PS: Off topic--It occurs to me that any time during the Olympic period would be a bad time to travel outside the UK. I reckon that they will move almost all their immigration staff to London to cope with the chaos there, leaving other airports and ports with comparatively few staff. So unless you like queues I'd give that a miss. Pity it's coming as the UK is suffering its wettest summer ever. People are going to be literally queueing up to get away. 


  1. Ah, the London Olympics...... YAWN!!!

    Have you read these little gems?

    Ah, politicians, bless their little cotton socks! Always at the front of the queue when there are freebies on the go! Best get that snout checked out, wouldn't want to miss any freebie now would we?

    I LOVE this comment from "Lord" Coe to the I.O.C.:

    "He said: 'My message is if you have tickets you have not yet sold then please send them back to us. I know people who would like them."

    I'll BET he knows people who would LOVE to get these tickets!

  2. Like everything else in Britain it has descended to a cesspit of sleaze, corruption and old-boy, wink wink, nod nod favours.

    In short, although you couldn't pay me to be in London during the games, IF I had wanted that kind of ticket, I couldn't have got one unless I knew someone and was doing them some sort of favour.

    I dare say you can smell the stink of the games in Paris.

    As for the chips...what are they going to do if a ticket holder wears a Burger King hat, carries a Vodaphone mobile and eats Chips out of a KFC carton... throw them out? set the army on them?

    This games has been largely about transferring money from the public from the taxpayer to big business and allowing them to walk all over us in tackity boots.

  3. Since G4S are not fulfilling a contractual requirement I hope the Government are charging the cost of these extra troops to G4S.

    That would cover the costs of the whole exercise which would include the salary costs, travel costs and bed and board costs of all civil servants and military personnel involved for the duration of the Olympics in covering G4S's contractual failure.

    However I suspect that either the contract will be too woolly to do this or that G4S is owned by too many of the government's chums and they won't want to upset them by making them lose money.

  4. The Telegraph reports that they will not now get the full fee of £500,000,000, Doug.

    But I suspect that their lawyers will find a way out of this. They usually do.

  5. Tris:

    The Telegraph story simply says they will lose some money for not fulfilling the number of security guards contracted for.

    Mr Brokenshire said that some of the £535 million contract awarded to G4S was intended to cover wages for security guards, and as a result, this money would be withheld.

    It says nothing about making them pay for the cost of the extra bodies the Government needs to draft in.

  6. Yeah, that's true Doug.

    Apparently they were going to use a workfare people, but were put off by the horrific publicity they got over that boat race for the Queen, where they left workfare kids up from the country, under a bridge in the middle of London with nowhere to sleep, no toilets, and winos and druggies for company.

    They were also supposed to have several thousand volunteers... you know, people who wanted to see the games and couldn't possibly afford it, so volunteered for stewarding duties, but fewer than half the number could be recruited.

    Craig Murry has a good piece with some brilliant and informed comments including the daft old fool Teresa May lying though her dentures only 2 days ago that everything was fine... and then passing the buck....

    Interestingly they have cancelled all the "fast" (or what passes for fast in England) trains from Ramsgate to London, says Craig, but haven't bothered to inform anyone. This is so they can be used they can be used in London. The trouble is this means a mammoth journey for commuters, because the slow train takes over 2 1/2 hours.

    Warning to people to watch out. They may find local bus services being reduced all over the country as transport is requisitioned by London.

    Watch out too for police being syphoned off to London for the duration. Maybe better get a shotgun...

  7. Sorry for going O/T here but I've come across this little ditty which shows up the absolute hypocrisy of the Labour party.

    I have mentioned dear old Broon the Loon's gold selling actions in the past on various website blogs. Here we have, apparently, the proof that he was doing ALL he could to aid an AMERICAN BANK!


    Is there NOTHING these dingbats, morons, half wits and Muppets will do to ensure that they are at the behest of the Americans?

    This just proves what I've always thought. America says "Jump" and Westminster says "How High?"

  8. Yes, Arbroath. Brown and Blair (who must have been complicit in this act of financial vandalism), would do anything, anything for America.


  9. Doug: I see that according to the Telegraph they have actually increased their management fees by £53 million. From 7 million to 60 million. That's some pay rise for crass incompetence. That is the MANAGEMENT FEEE. The staffing training etc fee is much much larger. Someone worked out that it came to over £20,000 per person for the one month...and these people are being paid £8.50 an hour. Nice profit margin there then.

    It's like reading something from a French farce.