Dear Dirty America


London Olympics: the Players & Security Behind the Horribly Expensive Pantomime

July 27
11:30 2012

London Mayor BoJo and his inner clown

This is a pre Olympic piece. Looking at possible pitfalls and potential scandal.  A post Olympic piece will follow.


First things first. I love the Olympic Games! Always have. As entertainment, it takes some beating! I can happily watch athletics followed by water polo and badminton. 
The sporting aspect cannot be bettered. Whatever happens in the sporting arena, will be remembered for many years and by many people. 

What has gone on before has the potential to be a huge scandal, the likes of which has never been seen in Olympic history! Or not! 

If the games go off without a serious security issue, all the problems and the underlying scandals will quietly disappear! 

The cast of characters couldn’t be written as fiction! 
We have the Sheffield born, but super smooth peer of the realm, Lord Sebastian Coe. Man in charge of the original 2.3 billion pound bid. There is the newly created, Dame Tessa Jowell, wife of a close business associate of the morally questionable ex Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi! 
Also high on the list of colourful players is Mayor of London, Bonking Boris Johnson. A man who’s bumbling manner belies the ruthlessly ambitious politician beneath the scarecrow blond locks. A man who has allegedly “fathered” several children outside his marriage. Outwardly a clown, but someone who would sell his granny for a tanner (sixpence) if he thought it would get him ahead in life. 

These are the three main players in this horribly expensive pantomime. I haven’t mentioned any government ministers, because of their faceless nature! And all round boring greyness. 

The Olympic security contract went to G4S. A company who’s actions in many countries had raised concerns about it’s competency to provide adequate security coverage for an event the size of the Olympics! 

These concerns were proved to be correct, when last week, it was found that G4S couldn’t provide enough trained staff to cover all the Olympic arenas! The Army and Police forces have to be drafted in at the last minute to provide security cover!
 There are horror stories emerging now, detailing the very poor training given to most applicants! Going for uniform fittings and never getting uniforms! Being promised jobs after training and never contacting the applicants to tell them if they have jobs or not! Security being compromised by lax checks on individuals applying for these security sensitive jobs. Language problems are rife, as a huge number of applicants didn’t have adequate skills in English! 

This only came to light last week. The government claiming every time they asked the company if they were prepared and fully staffed, they were told there were no problems! 

Now, not only army staff are being brought in, denying many time off after tours of duty in Afghanistan, but police officers are also having to fill in gaps left by this totally incompetent company! This security company is so poor, that Libya has banned them from the country! Now, if Libya refuses this company visas, it shows how bad they are. 

There are horror stories about G4S and its activities in Iraq. Rogue guards shooting at civilians at check points! News just in….G4S have been replaced at one of the Olympic football venues, by local security companies! Why and how this notoriously poor company tendered and won the bid for security at the London Olympics, is something which will have to be investigated very thoroughly. 

As in any big project, there will be corruption. God only knows what will be revealed after the games are over. I’m sure many people and companies have taken advantage of the ocean of cash that has been swilling around this project for ten years! 

As we know, huge amounts of government cash is like dog crap to flies! It brings every conman and chancer out of the woodwork! So it will be very interesting to see where the best part of ten billion pounds has gone! Transport is another aspect that has attracted criticism. The winner of the transport contract is a company of very questionable business ethics! Having had contracts terminated for extremely poor upkeep of vehicles and a cavalier attitude toward paperwork and record keeping! 

These issues are probably the tip of a very large iceberg! I fervently hope that these Olympic Games will pass without any serious incident, and be a great success! The aftermath will be another story. G4S, who even after messing up the security contract so badly, are still asking for their 57 million pound “management” fee! It fair boggles the mind! 

Only a proper investigation will get to the truth of who did what and when. I wait in hope that all will become clear, but not in expectation! 

Michael J Blair is a regular contributor to DDA, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

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