Saturday, July 14, 2012

G4S's Olympic struggles should derail the drive towards more privatisation



This article of mine appears on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.

Neil Clark: Private companies have one aim: profit maximisation. So expect cuts in staffing levels and everything done on the cheap


The next time you meet one of those free-market ideologues who tells you private companies are always more efficient than the public sector, don't bother to get involved in a lengthy argument. Instead just use the example of G4S.


You can read the whole article here.

3 comments:

Karl Naylor said...

There is something weird and sinister about the Olympic Games in London from the outset as a showcase for what is supposed to still be a "New Britain".

G4S's incompetence reveals not only the stupidity of extreme neoliberalism in practice but also how colossal corporations operate in other ways.

Corporations with "Mission Statements", mind numbing jargon and "marketspeak" do not want effective workers that cost money. They want cheap labour.

Not only does that make more profit. It also allows the desperate to be indoctrinated in "corporate values" as the G4S Rock Anthem lyrics suggest

"You love your job and the people too
Making a difference is what you do
But consider all you have at stake
The time is now don't make a mistake
Because the enemy prowls, wanting to attack
But we're on the wall, we've got your back
So get out front and take the lead
And be the winner you were born to be
G4S! protecting the world
G4S! so dreams can unfurl
24/7 every night and day
A warrior stands ready so don't be afraid
G4S! secure in your world
G4S! let your dreams unfurl
We're guarding you with all our might
Keeping watch throughout the night".

Neil Clark said...

Hi Karl,
Great to hear from you.
You're absoutely right- there is something quite sinister and dehumanising about these corporate Games in 'New Britain'.
Did you see about the draconian rules about what can and can't be brought into the various stadia?

Karl Naylor said...

I'm not sure of every regulation but I would never consider going anywhere near the Olympics even if I was interested in it.

Bottled water is banned.Only VISA cards are allowed. And drinks are available at vastly inflated prices. The whole project is a money grubbing scam.

Going to the Olympics is going to feel like stepping into a militarised zone. There are more troops there than have served throughout the Afghanistan War

It looks as though it's a "civilian" version of the Green Zone in Baghdad. Writer Iain Sinclair wrote it now looks as though we have "invaded ourselves".

The Olympics has driven out the old inhabitants in this part of the East End. Exhorbitant price rises mean racketeering and evictions.

The games can only be entered via a hideous Westfield Super Mall. I once went into the one in Shepherd's Bush and was threatened by security.

Why ? I was taking pictures ! They told me you can only take pictures if you are with others and not alone. I said I was interested in great architecture.

The security guards said "put it away or we will have to remove you from the site". I enquired into which law I was breaking .

"Westfield's policy" they said. The future could lie in a new form of fascism via consumerism, a theme taken up by Ballard in Kingdom Come.

I haven't yet read Ian Sinclair's new book, Ghost Milk, but I intend to. He's justly aggrieved by what the Olympic 'grand project has done to London.

But I see these vast malls and the Olympics and the hysteria surrounding the "Games" as a sinister portent of where Britain is heading...