Socialist Worker

£93 million a year for firm of bunglers with bloody hands

Published Tue 27 Nov 2012
Issue No. 2331


The Tories are handing millions to some of the country’s least favourite private contractors.

A new report into government spending on the criminal justice system shows that one of the biggest beneficiaries has been G4S.

The firm is best known for bungling the security operation at the Olympics.

G4S got £93 million in the first year of the coalition government to run services for the UK Border Agency.

Yet G4S has been widely criticised for their treatment of failed asylum seekers during deportations and the conditions in the detention centres they run.

Jimmy Mubenga died in 2010 as three G4S private security guards were forcibly deporting him to Angola. He appeared to have died of asphyxiation. The three guards were arrested but never charged.

Out of the £170 million the Tories spent on contactors, four security giants—Serco, G4S Care and Justice Services, and the GEO Group—accounted for 90 percent of it.

Serco and G4S have raked in huge chunks of the half a billion budget for electronic tagging, court to prison escort services and prisons and detention centres.

In just these two areas these two companies grabbed over 55 percent of the government budget. Serco’s global business is already worth over £4 billion and is set to benefit from NHS privatisation. Let’s hope they look after patients better than they did Jimmy Mubenga.


Clean sweep

The Queen needs a new cleaner at her £166 million Windsor Castle. But the successful candidate can’t expect to clean up—they’ll be on just £6.67 an hour.

That’s 78p less than the already measly living wage for outside London, and it works out as just £13,000 a year. Still, don’t blame Liz Windsor. She only gets £32 million a year in subsidies.


Expensive business

Two decades after she left office, Maggie Thatcher is still not for turning. The despised former PM has claimed more than half a million in expenses over the past five years. Her successor John Major is close behind with £490,000. Their expenses are supposed to cover office and secretarial costs.


‘Tis the season for taking on Walmart

Black Friday is supposed to be one of the best days of the year for US supermarkets. But at around 1,000 Walmart stores, workers struck and supporters protested for a living wage and respect at work.

Shoppers honked as pickets chanted, “What’s outrageous? Unfair wages! “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”

But with four weeks to go until the Boxing Day sales, the crass Christmas advert season is already well underway. Leading the pack is Asda—with more than 200 official complaints about its ad laughing along with families who leave all the holiday housework to a miserable mum. Ho ho bloody ho.

Meanwhile Bosses at Iceland have been taking no chances. They’ve put legs of lamb in security-tagged boxes to deter desperate shoplifters who target food as its price goes up. They are even trialling tags for bacon and cheese. Demand has doubled in some food banks in the last year.


Men only at the Conservative club

When the Church of England rejected women bishops, Tory MP and church commissioner Tony Baldry was keen to make clear where he stood.

He said the clergy were “out of touch” and behaving like a “sect”. Baldry should know. He made the speech wearing the special pink tie of the male-only Garrick Club.

Meanwhile the oldest Conservative club in Britain, the Carlton, faces a probe into alleged dodgy fundraising. Party donations above £7,500 are supposed to be declared to the electoral commission. But nothing was declared from a dinner where diners were charged £10,000.

Times have been tough for the St Stephen’s Club where Lord McAlpine stores his wine. It’s set to close at the end of the year, leaving the peer to start an urgent search for a new cellar.


No one likes a Tory student

Tory students at Oxford’s Corpus Christi College want protection. Student Samuel Roberts called for Tories to get the same equal opportunities support as black, gay and disabled students.

He described feeling uncomfortable after the Tories were called “rape apologists“ and “haters of gays”. Oxford Tories hold weekly meetings for “port and policy”. A recent president Joe Cooke turned up in a Rolls Royce with a silver cane.


Pass the fire engine parcel

Lloyds TSB bankers now own all of London’s fire engines, after Sir Aubrey Brocklebank went bust. The baronet bought the entire fleet for just £2 from AssetCo three months ago. Whoever gets the contract next will bag a cool £1.5 million a month for leasing the brigade’s own engines back to it.


Bahrain royals’ dose of reality

There’s good news for the people of Bahrain. “Reality” TV star Kim Kardashian is off to meet the repressive royals and “set the record straight”.

This follows her wise intervention for the people of Gaza. She tweeted “Praying for everyone in Israel.”She added “everyone in Palestine and across the world” before deleting both tweets.


Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 27 Nov 2012, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2331
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