G4S . . Continued

As  G4S-Gate continues, I was live on Sky News at lunchtime for further discussion about the subject on a day that our political leaders boldly waded into the debate. Will their comments help?

Will Glendinning on Sky News With the studio lights in my eyes, an ex-policeman and security expert at my side and more questions coming about just how G4S and LOCOG ended up here, I repeated my comments about the fact that LOCOG, G4S and the Government have to work together collaboratively and supportively. This relationship is so important at the moment.

All three of these groups need to focus on doing all they can to deliver the largest event the world has ever seen in just eight days time. Political rhetoric coming from all parties won’t help relations.

Labour leader Ed Milliband has today called for G4S to be banned from any future contracts in the UK. For G4S to be hearing that whilst they work with LOCOG to get over the finishing line – won’t help. Ed may have a point – but the point could have been made once the Games, which still rely on G4S performing, are actually complete.

Our Prime Minister, David Cameron has re-emphasised the need for any contract failings to be met with severe financial penalties. Again – valid points – but 8 days out, we are all reliant, completely, on G4S performing as best they can. If G4S are thinking they might not get paid, or will loose even more money, or for all those (innocent) temporary staff who’ll be owed money to be hearing or thinking their employer may run out of money – it’s not conducive to a happy workforce.

Political point scoring I understand, but now isn’t the time to be biting the hand that’s feeding us. As any live event approaches, the power-base shifts from organiser to contractor. The organiser, LOCOG, need the contractor, G4S more than G4S need LOCOG.

There are questions to answer – yes. But the answers are presently less important than getting the Games on.

There are lessons to be learnt – yes. Ironically though it is G4S that will learn most. And those within G4S whether they stay, or move on to or form new organisations, will have experience that, whilst painfully learnt, is incredibly valuable in the long term.