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G4S boss needs a haircut – and Cameron and May need to get a grip

Posted on 15 July 2012 | 9:07am

First impressions matter. Nowhere is that more important than in the growth industry of event security. I like my security guards to look like Howard Webb, tall and strong, with a pleasing manner but really firm authority. I do not feel safe when I am patted down by young men half my size with bad skin, hats too big for them, sleeves too long, and no idea where I go next.

Webb is a world class football referee, with whom I had a good chat at Labour’s sports dinner last week, and there is only one of him, whereas there are many thousands of security guards required for the Olympics.

British soldiers tend to have that Webb quality. Strong, confident, not to be messed with, but also with a good sense of humour, which they will need now they have been called in to sort out the security shambles of the Olympic Games, a week after thousands of them were told by the so-called party of defence that they were surplus to requirements.

One or two people got a bit agitato yesterday when I said that G4S chief executive Nick Buckles could do with a haircut. It was a serious point – related to the one above. Impressions matter. They matter a lot in leadership. And they matter in times of crisis.

When the leader of the organisation presiding over the potential crisis comes on the telly, the viewer needs to know he has authority and he has competence. A lot of that will be down to what he says – and he didn’t do too well on that front either. But someone once said ‘what you see is 90 per cent of what you hear,’ and what people saw was an untidy haircut, a bad tie, an odd tan, and they all combined with the stuff coming out of his mouth to ensure the message was a bad one, and confidence did not grow as a result of his media appearances.

On twitter, some protested that this was ‘classic New Labour style over substance.’ But if you take insufficient care of the style, nobody hears the substance. And if you care little about your appearance, many people assume you care little about what you do.

If he had been promoting a rock concert, he might have been ok. But we are talking about the security of the most important sporting event in our lifetime. His firm has cocked it up big-style. How he looks matters to the sense people have of things being sorted out. If he is going to carry on being the public face of G4S, he needs to smarten up.

It was typical of the team approach of Labour’s Tessa Jowell that she went out on the telly to try to assure people things would be sorted. She is indeed a team player and determined to do what she can to ensure the Games go well.

But the G4S fiasco is one that must be laid at the Government’s door. Any investigation into this must establish what systems were in place to track the G4S planning step by step, day by day. You can have all the civil servants and outside contractors you want. But that kind of operation, in my experience, gets results only if there is constant ministerial pressure, and pressure from the top and the centre, to ensure the job is being done properly.

From David Cameron down, you get the sense in this government of way too much flying by the seat of their white tie pants. George Osborne’s Budget was a seat-flying last minute botch job. Cameron seems to arrive at summits having had his first read of the brief onthe plane. Ministers appear ill at ease defending policy because they fear even as they speak, the policy is being changed somewhere else in the system.

And I didn’t see Jeremy Hunt on Andrew Marr’s show, but I see from twitter he said it was to be expected that a security job as big as this went wrong from time to time. Nonsense. When the troops are called in, days after being decimated by ‘austerity’, you know you have made a total arse of it. I cannot for the life of me imagine how loudly the Tory Opposition under Cameron would have shouted had this been on Labour’s watch – troops losing post-Afghanistan leave because the government couldn’t organise the security for an event we have known is coming since July 6 2005.

Let everyone also remember this when the Government brings forward the next stages of the contracting out of whole swathes of the public service realm, and repeats the ‘public bad, private good’ mantra that drives so much of their politics.

This is a failure of public and private. The lack of grip of the publicly elected ministers; and their blind trust in private firms often interested in making as much as they can from doing as little as they have to.

As to whether it will be sorted, I had a message yesterday from a former police officer who was working for G4S, has now resigned, and says the shambles is even worse than is being stated publicly. Nick Buckles is not the man to sort it. David Cameron and Theresa May must. It is happening on their watch, because they took their eye off a very important ball, if you will excuse the sporting cliche.

‘The eyes of the world are on London’ is another cliche we may tire of hearing. It is true however. And if those eyes see a security shambles and a transport shambles, then there will be a political damage to the government, because of a reputational damage to Britain.

I hope none of that happens. Because getting the Games on in London is one of the best things to happen in our lifetime. So far it has been an incredible success. But Cameron and May need to get on top of this right now, to ensure it stays that way.

  • Anonymous

    “what systems were in place to track the G4S planning step by step, day by day.” - wasn’t it the usual – 2 steps removed system to try and avoid responsibility?
    The “try” doesn’t work however, merely makes you look even more incompetent, and even more culpable…

  • Petemcg100

    Couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. Except that he’s called Nick Buckles, not Gary.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Illuminati Olympics.
    For 30 years part of my job was to know ownership structures of quoted companies.
    So when I first saw the names of companies sponsoring the London Olympics, I immediately realised what had happened.
    Bankers had bought the Games with the aim of promoting their idea of unification of the world.
    The word on internet is that there is going to be a false flag operation during the Games.
    This will be used as a justification to attack Iran.
    Israel PM and a member of the Royal family will not attend the opening ceremony.
    Mossad and the British Royal family know the best.
    I fear that the Olympics will be the worst thing that has happened for Britain for decades.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, agreed, he looks like a retired britpop star from the 1980′s, but George Michael rather than Boy George. And being myself in the Forces in the 1980′s, I should know – it was hard for us lads to look cool then with a short back and sides, but we made full use of gell and mousse products what was under the beret though, oh yes. Some looked quite bonkers in the nightclub on the hunt for fluff, Johnny Rotten style.

    Get your ‘air cut son!

    Talking of, since it is sunday, look at these lot from then,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opkzgLMH5MA

    By the way, managed to watch the programme “tick “Bank on Dave” ” all the way through eventually on C4 iplayer, the five minutes of ads (it seemed) popping up every ten minutes or so made me feel as if I wanted to throw a fucking house brick through my tft flatscreen.

    And why doesn’t Dave issue shares? I could round up a couple of thousand euros together to buy some - then he’d just need about another 25,000 punters or whatever, and then those cees from the the FSA might come around and see him, from their rabbit holes in SE England.

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore, just to get my dig in, where it really hurts, isn’t Theresa May doing a bad job for ladies who are working hard to get somewhere these days? She has shown herself to be totally naive and incapable, even if she is going through the change, it looks, and female freemasonhood need to speak up and get her kick back into the backbenches. She’s a turkey.

    Inverted sexism from myself? Could be you know…

  • Richard

    The G4S CEO looked like  a ” bouncer done good.” Your  observations are 100% on the money re his appearance.
    However, are you the same AC who backed the unelected, disloyal, “forced smiling”, bigot diagnosing GB who had a personna so obviously unsuited to high office? Remind me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672766403 Joe Buckley

    As anyone who has every managed sub-contractors on a project knows, you cannot outsource responsibility. Failure to agree and enforce a detailed plan, or willingness to rely on general assurances that everything is going fine, will often result in a nasty surprise at the last minute. This cannot be news to anyone surely?

  • Anonymous

    Care homes going bust, A4E messing up the work programme, NHS having to step in following failures of private cosmetic surgeons, school dinners you wouldn’t serve to your dog, the Close Protection debacle for Jubilee security, G4S and the olympics failures… And yet the Government continues with it’s anti-public sector rhetoric of “Private Sector good, public sector bad”

    The Civil Servants were probably unable to monitor the G4S contract rigorously enough because there are no long enough of them to do the job properly, having so many been made redundant.

    Some of these companies are now so big (think CAPITA) that we can’t afford them to fail. The Government has dismantled all the public sector infrastructure and therefore is no longer able to be the provider of last resort.

  • Anonymous

    I have only heard Buckles, not seen him. I must disagree with AC – I want my pantomime villains to look exactly that. His firm is obviously hopeless – happy for that to be confirmed by his TV appearances.

    Isn’t it a shame that Cameron doesn’t look more like Buckles?

  • Ronaldwhite

    Spot on!

  • Anonymous

    Is that important? I don’t think so somehow.

    Is he your mate, perchance, and has paid you a wad to post here?

    It not, fuck off. To me he is a total Wayne and wife, plastic stick on sun top windsceen visor, late 1970′s essex.

  • Anonymous

    What people don’t seem to realise, that since the reduction of the British Empire, WWI after partly, But after WWII mainly, with all these Indian colonial empirers coming back to live here, for the BBC especially, even commentating on Wimbledon on radio when they generationally got back here, sorry Marcus of Selsdon CC, on mentioning your dad Max, that is when we that have always lived here, the wealth of our financial institutions, as in building societies and banks, got slowlt dragged to these cunts in their bastard mays, to SE England, and to the fucking City.

    Tell me if I am wrong. Argue with me. As Super Mac told that cow Thatch, in the very early 1980′s, you are selling the family silver, and now look at us, a fool of a country, going to decide us in the regions we have had enough of your warpness, you “establishment” of our country. Warped twats the lot of you are.

  • Anonymous

    Nia Griffith, my local MP, I sense, can’t stand May, and I somehow agree. Met the adjoining constituency MP the other day, Jonathan Edwards, up the Kings Head pub, the border is only a mile away from Llanelli constituency, he’s in Carmarthenshire and Dinefwr East, Plaid Cymru, and he just said it simply to me, on his short experiences being there representing his constituents, in cymraeg, “mae hi’n wyllt lan maen na” – “it is wild up there”, as in the H of C.

    Never truer words were said. Like Jonathan I do, well into Cricket. Any chance of PC politicians that can get an introduction in to the Lord’s long room? I’ll send a reference…. : )

  • Dave Simons

    Thirty years of human progress – back to Michael Foot’s donkey jacket! But Michael Foot had more substance than any of his stylistic detractors. ‘Don’t be fooled by appearances’ used to be a pearl of wisdom but nowadays appearance and presentation is all. The world’s most corrupt, malicious, evil, lying, cheating crooks can turn themselves out in suits and ties and nice dresses, straighten their teeth, make up their faces, smile charmingly – and this is important? First impressions matter? How many people have you misjudged on first appearance? I don’t care if people have unkempt hair, ill-fitting clothes and pong to high heaven – so long as they just tell the truth and are honest.

  • Anonymous

    Great blog! Raises many questions!

    Let me get a gripe in first. Alastair wants security men to be big. I agree. If I was hiring bouncers, which I have done on occasion, then I pick big ones, smaller ones have to be a bit tasty with their fists to qualify (and plenty are) but it helps if they can project the right image either way. However I am afraid that this is the sort of thing that I expect guardian readers and the EU to ban! Its probably “sizist” to say what Alastair has just said! Now I would have had Alastair, and certainly TB, down as being fully paid up members of the “politically correct brigade”. I am sure they were kicked out of that brigade after Iraq, but nevertheless.

    If people agree with the logic above, then logically they must also agree with the following logic, but I bet many don’t. Security men should be big and look the part. So should barmaids. “Oh but that doesn’t affect their ability to do the job.” Oh yes it does. Pretty barmaids bring in more revenue. Thats not how I would like the world to be. But its how it is.

  • Anonymous

    I would be one of those who criticises “style over substance” and though I am a fan of TB he was very much guilty of this at times, he wanted policies that caught the eye and was less concerned over whether they worked or not (in many cases), on top of all the policies where there genuinely was substance. Cameron is of course more guilty of this even than Blair.

    But I don’t think Alastair’s comments here are “style over substance”. I think almost everyone agrees to some extent that people should make the effort with their appearance at work and especially on occasions like weddings and job interviews. Some jobs depend on this more than others, from Eddie Stobart drivers to rock stars.

    I doubt if the sort of people who slag off new labour for style over substance think that people should be untidy for job interviews.

    Security staff on a lower level, ie those whose job is to watch yobs and petty criminals, can do a better job if they project authority and competence. Though if we are talking about Al Qaeda or the IRA – it doesn’t matter a damn. You can hire how ever many security guards you want, and cut their hair however you please – if the intelligence agencies haven’t got hold of the threat before it gets that far, then its too late.

  • Anonymous

    Is the olympics the most important sporting event of our lifetime?! Nothing compared to Euro 1996, let alone world cup 1966. Its only the olympics, and yes I mean that with all sincerity.

    Will we even make money from it? I believe not. The government release no figures on such an obvious matter, therefore I believe they are hiding something.

    But I am certain that it is nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to the world cup. People do not travel all around the world to follow their egg & spoon champion, which is what 90% of the olympics is, hence why britain wins so many medals, in sports that working class people don’t do. People do travel the globe to watch their football teams.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding comments about decimating the armed forces and Tories supposedly being the party of defence, I couldn’t agree more. I would vote against the Tories for this very reason. Firstly in defence terms, I do not believe an 80,000 army with no aircraft carriers is enough for britain to defend its interests, or to help the allies in missions such as Iraq 1, Bosnia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq 2, Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe etc. People can disagree with those interventions, but the right course is not to decimate our forces so we can’t do them.

    Morally – how can we send men to risk life and limb, and in many cases to lose it, then make them redundant?! I am entirely grateful that other people are willing to join the army so that I don’t have to. I am more than willing to contribute taxes to two things, the NHS and the army (very little else.) People who do active service should have jobs for life, income for life. I would also say that any soldier who gets injured or killed on duty – his family should receive, at the very least, a full military salary for the rest of their lives. The very least we can ask of a man willing to give his life for his country, is that we will take care of his family should he lose his life in action.

    But here is the rub… if I would vote against the Tories for what they have done to the army –  who would I vote for? Is Alastair, are Labour, saying that the Tories are muppets to do this and they would restore the armed forces? No. So shut it.

  • Richard

    Do you THINK something terrible is going to happen Olli? Or do you HOPE that something terrible is going to happen? I think we can judge which suits your purpose.

  • Gilliebc

    Good blog post AC.  I agree with all you write about the G4S cock-up and that bloke who is supposed to be running it.  I did a double take when I saw him on the TV yesterday!  Dear oh dear.     
     
    If a Labour government had presided over such a major failure it wouldn’t have been just the opposition that would have been shouting loudly about it. Tory supporters everywhere would have been having a field day. 

    To give the last Labour government their due credit. The Home office seemed to be well run. Or, to put it another way they were good on law and order issues.  They were a Government in the real sense of the word.  Not everyone agreed with some of the things they implemented of course, but I at least had the sense that we had a government with a sense of direction and that in the main were working together.     
     
    This Tory led coalition government will surely go down in history as the worst and most incompetent government ever. I believe their total incompetence in every aspect of government is putting this country and its people in real danger.

  • Gilliebc

    There is word on the internet that there will be a major false flag operation Olli, for the reasons you state.  But there is also word that the false flag scenario is being ratcheted-up deliberately so that when nothing happens (hopefully) at these wretched Olympics, theyTPTB can pour scorn on all conspiracy theories and the Truth Movement in general.     

  • reaguns

    Best political comment I’ve seen this week, from Douglas Carswell:
    “If we aren’t prepared to fight the oligarchy that has run Britain into the ground, I fear that in 2015 Ed Miliband will paint us as being part of it.”

    That seems to me, to sum up Britain, and Tory versus Labour over the decades. It would be great if we got into a race in that direction, where the Tories either had to hammer the oligarchy, or quite rightly be painted as part of it, and defeated. And of course, Miliband should be held to the same standard if he wins.

  • Anonymous

    Was stunned watching a Coen’s Brothers film last night, to seeing Pete Townsends’ daughter, the one he had with that belgium lady, yes, Isabella, Marie Claire and all the that french model stuff she did, walking down the beach in the last scene. Being asked if she is an actress, and she replies, do I sell maggots, or words to that affect.

    Barton Fink the film was, as she was cast as The Beauty. Fuck, never ever a succint fucking part, seeing him walking down the beach, with him with Audrey’s head in a box with him, and asking how he is.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK0WjWlVO9w

  • Anonymous

    Charlie, for goodness sakes, I know you feel a need to find a succinct point to point out of this authorrity, hidden away rainseeding, but it seems early next week the jet stream, for some apparent reason, will decide to go more north, well above north London, and a high pressure will build over it, giving I suppose no rain. You will know when things are chaging suitabley Charlie when our skies will be lite up with thunder with lightening, when things are change to thus.

    We are not a clever nation for fuck all Charlie, our reservoirs are now full for the next eighteen months, no one has a run on drinking bottles, and SAR inland RAF and Navy Seaking helicopters are safe from cuts, and insurance companies can be stripped of profits in paying out.

    Cloud seeding works – just watch Olympics fortnight, highs are already building over the Azores as we speak.

    Charlie,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/15/how-fix-british-summer

  • ronnie

    Hey AC – I’m an admirer but I think you’re seriously off-course with your hairstyle critique.
    I personally find the G4S guy’s hair remarkably trustworthy. Examples of hair I would not trust at all would be that belonging to George Osborne, Michael Gove and your mate Andrew Neil (the latter not even as far as I could throw it.)
    But the point I’m making is that this is absurd. You’re making the assumption, aren’t you, that there is some received standard of normality which everyone shares. If you’re prepared to stand on one side of the line, congratulations, you qualify. If not, tough – you don’t belong.
    Surely you don’t really believe this? Surely we’ve moved beyond this kind of discrimination?
    What next? Diane Abbott can’t hold a responsible position because she straightens? Chuka is ruled out because he shaves?
    It’s all totally subjective. You can’t make rules about stuff like this. Criticize them for their shortage of ability, not their length of hair.

  • Ehtch

    Just woke up,and thought I was on planet mars, but I’d fell asleep, but I wasn’t was on beeb two, in a south wales diverse engineering plant of different, sevice steps in concete, that can not be varied. Encapsulation of engineering tolerences are set, and yes or no it simply is, never ever ok, that will do, in hope. It is always black or white, and never ever grey. Grey does not exist in aircraft and space, when you lose contact with mother Earth.

    Brilliant aircraft here, SPAD XIII, 1917, french, best aircraft of WWI, I think, my knight of the sky horsepower,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_HhHSt7qlA

    rat-tat-tat-tat-tat

  • Anonymous

    Llangollen, 2012, Nelson? that is near Burnley, in Lancashire, ey Alastair and Dave?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO6wduMWcn4

  • Anonymous

    By the way, Llangollen 2012, Ukraine groups were not invited this year, as in Pearls of Odessa, due to the shit that is going on there, with regards to their former female prime minister.

  • Ehtch

    Told you, rain seeding has been going on for the Olympics, click Friday end of this week here, high pressure sun it is, all made sure the gulf stream has had enough of us, and will be buggering off north ready for the olympics.

    Some of us weren’t born yesterday. ; )

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/surface-pressure/

    Pathetic, ey? Book out, say, xmas. : )

  • mightymark

    Have you got the excuse ready for if it doens’t happen?
    What qualifes as a “member of the Royal family? Taken at its widest (or even more marrowly) I would be surprised if “all the Royal family” were there. Anyway surely one of them has to be on call for an emergency Bilderberger meeting – or maybe just having a meal Elvis’s chip shop – you know, the one he runs with Princess Diana?

  • mightymark

    …and no doubt there will soon be word on the internet – that ulimate vehcile of absolute truth  – that if you give enough conspricy theorists enough time they will all disappear up their own (possibly each other’s) collective  backsides.

  • Gilliebc

    How very unamusing.  Are you being paid by the Rothschild’s Mark?

  • Gilliebc

    That’s a horrible thing to say Richard, even by your standards. And some bozo has even given it a ‘like’ 

    I could hazard a pretty good guess who gave that ‘like’ i.e. someone who regards themselves as intellectually superior to everyone else who comments here and who feels they don’t get the appreciation they think they deserve. 

  • Anonymous

    oops, jet stream even. The gulf stream is another kettle of fish, that brings us colder winters when it slows down, due to melting artic ice cap, Greenland’s one especially, so we will have weather more akin to Canada, who are on the same latitude as us. That’ll be the next jawfest, going on about our cold winter that is on it’s way.

    Never stops does it - the weather that is.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t posted welsh “shit” here for a day or two, so thought I will post some Danny Alexander, not that well known, outside Wales, he’s the poor mans Tom Jones.

    Alastair, spot Ronaldo blubbering – grow some balls you overpaid porto, what the fuck do you know about suffering? Ey, yes Alastair?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKnMxWt9ur4

  • Anonymous

    To be even more bizzare, been watching Little Boots for years, non-stalkerish, well I think so… : )

    Here is Vicky from Blackpool in her early years, like the shit she has done,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW06L7Jpu5M

    Here is Vicky, visiting someone like me, a house rooved like a sheep with ringworm, as Dylan Thomas described such hovels, with a soldering iron and a sillyscope oscilloscope inside, to test digital and analogue signals and pointers and to tell switches to turn on or off,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_b85AM8Pho

    Yeh, sniff that lead solder, sending one bonkers, mad hatter mercury style…

    Vicky in live action with a laser harp, somewhere on the plaines of the US, whoopie yanks abound,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv5YknwWOuU

    Yeh, give it

  • Dave Simons

    ‘I think almost everyone agrees to some extent that people should make the effort with their appearance at work…’

    OK next time I go out dung-spreading or blasting at the limestone quarry or digging up tarmac or humping steel drums onto the conveyor belt for reconditioning I’ll wear a suit and bow tie, shine my shoes and deodorise my armpits in readiness!
    And next time I walk around Central London and see all these nicely dressed and squeaky clean ‘professionals’ hurrying to their workstations I’ll think – how reliable, punctual, dedicated and hard-working they must be if they look like that!
    But I ask you – brown boots at a funeral?

  • Anonymous

    Spent half the night speaking to my scottish mate Whiskers. Well he is not fully scottish, he is mostly spanish and italian blood, interesting young bloke, just joined the TA he tells me, suffers insomnia as me, and we discussed things, family and stuff, but we eventually came to one conclusion, being dragged into an Osterreich Tirol barn is a nice experience, half way up one of their mountains, skiis left outside upright, ski poles inside, also upright…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Q5B20Bj88

  • mightymark

    Unsurprising question there. No - but I’m sure  nothing I say will convince youy otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, Jeremy Twunt talking. Yes, just talking, spotuting shite. When the hardcore judges from all over the world for the various sports will sort out these homeland amatuers, for them , from top to bottom.

    Twenty-twelve joke? As was predicted,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18865238

    Twenty-twelve, jaw jabbering, in a posh London orofice,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFEJQm4Nzc4

    Jabberwocky, the London’s legacy.

  • Anonymous

    Pete Townsend as the WWII Spitfire pilot I am on about, not the one that was in the Who, the one that was getting into Princess Marge’s knickers in about 1950-odd, I mean, which she was not allowed to marry by some post-war political unimaginatives.

    what? whaart? Even royals wear knickers, don’t they?

  • Anonymous

    On the matter of private/public – it really is horses for courses. The more “commodity – like” a service or product is the more scope there is for savings based on size and investment – and perhaps then this indicates the private sector – assuming they have a track record. The more complex local solutions often work better in public hands. 

    Now I’ve worked in the assessment of local services and there is no one size fits all. Some Councils are excellent contract managers, others are useless. Similarly some private firms take pride in their services, others look ot the bottom line first.

    Both major parties have got it wrong on outsourcing – PFI, my area of expertise……is an example. Waste is now too big for most councils and waste PFI looks a good idea – especially when faced with capital intensive facility requirements. Using PFI (style deals) for everything was wrong, NHS LIFT anyone? 

    However, whatever the model, you need good contract managers. Unfortunately, many public sector bodies lose all their expertise on a contract on signing, breaking up teams and appointing some poor “person” to take on the might of the contractor. 

    However in this case – the Olympics – I personally would have wanted weekly updates of KPIs on recruitment and training against targets well ahead of now. Actually not holding your hand up early is one of the big sins for a contractor wanting to be taken seriously. This should mean that G4S should not be anywhere near any public contract anytime soon. But I doubt that will be the case

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, get Dave to invite the Nelson civic ladies choir to help out – I am sure they will no doubt. Sing in front of “The Bank”, and stuff, and all that. Better ever than an itie Ferrari, I think….

  • Anonymous

    Alastair,,,, damn, forgot what I wanted to say, anyway, it was about the ‘lympics, it might come to me again, but anyway, good luck to the ladies week tomorrow in Kerdiff in footie, two days before the opening ceremony, which I have already said months before, is quite bizarre. Think a fair crowd will turn up. Song for our footie ladies, a song I have recently have on a loop,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfSlzmwkjGw

    Anyway, where is Boris these days? Keeping his bleached head under the firing line? No security problems in Kerdiff Boris, we are on top of things, we are not amateurs at such down by here butt. Should have held the whole ‘lumpics in Kerdiff, I think. Song for Kerdiff,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbjqBi_VwbA
    some spell it Kairdiff

  • Anonymous

    Ref twitter Alastair, re. Abu Dhabi – there has got to be a Maccies there. Whatever you say about them, they serve decent coffee, at least, and are sponsoring the Lahndan ‘lypics too a bit too? so show willing.

  • Anonymous

    Isabelle Townsend, half an inch taller than me, at 176.25 cms tall, to be exact, one of her’s Marie Claire front pages here, right height for things, anyway, Marie Claire
    http://images.fashionmodeldirectory.com/model/000000264421-isabelle_townsend-fullsize.jpg

    Still models these days, mature woman things, mmmm….
    http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/models/Isabelle_Townsend/showphoto/264421/

  • Anonymous

    OOPLA! should have postid er front paige, me qui Isabella,
    http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/models/isabelle_townsend/

  • Anonymous

    Ok, so I am a big bang theory fan, and saw Raj snogging that young one from the wonder years today - ok ok, before you get the wrong idea, she is well old and legal now, had more pricks than a pin cushion last I heard, Joan Collins has nothing on here, right slack alice she is,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsDGbhpwJ94

    : )

  • Anonymous

    Alright, I’ve done that thing, that often winds me up when others do it, of describing “some jobs” as if they were “all jobs” like when I hear academic friends of my family saying “oh you can’t get a job at all without not only a degree, but a first class honours these days.” And I tell them where to go!

    Yes dung spreading and the other jobs you mention do not require much effort with appearance, There are many kinds of blue collar jobs where it doesn’t matter. There are plenty others where it does though, and security is one of them. Now if secuirity guards have earrings, mohican haircuts and tattoos on their face, thats probably fine for them, but less so for someone customer facing serving food, or someone in an office.

    You don’t think appearances matter in some/many jobs?

  • Anonymous

    Heard last week the Welsh Civil War had reached Newbury horsey races last week. No doubt security there was G4S, and didn’t pick up on things quickly enough. Another test failed…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jul/15/swansea-cardiff-fans-newbury

    Now I am not saying I condone these things going off, Boris, so get off your high horse. It’s welsh footie politics, and we are working on it. Anyway, Kairdiff fans are full of Millwall supporters, too, unlike us Jacks, who are just pure and simple west wales sheep shaggers…

  • Anonymous

    ach, that Twenty-twelve vid was pulled, ah well. How about this one?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J2-YExNR24

    Yah, hope this one laaasts. Mocha for me, skinny, soya, chocolate chips with it, low fat…

  • Anonymous

    Little stick of dynamite she is, isn’t she? If only I was twentry years younger….. Girls seem to have more balls these days?

    i was born… etc etc. and all that

  • Gilliebc

    On the contrary Mark.  For what it’s worth, I am very much inclined to believe you.  You strike me as a decent person :-)          
    Can’t say fairer than that, can I ?

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, when I worked for Pyramid Engineering Services, left my big mate there, Martin Heath, loads of serviced repaired circuit boards, with silliscoped printouts, when I had to move back to Wales, since my dad had lost it after my mam died. The managing director Chris, brilliant brilliant bloke, must have been thirty stone in weight. Brilliant firm it was to work for, sent me all over the world to work, all places, and I scored one to two ratio on travels, with ladies, Brilliant it was.

    But I was the eldest son, out of two of us, and it was up to me to sort his shit out, basically.

    Anyway, a song for Pyramid Engineering, now moved to Erith in east London, south of the Thames, hope they are still doing ok, I really honestly do, song here, Chris is the fella in the middle here,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHu1RASUUPY

    Different world, sharp end engineering stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Higgins the salesman in white shirt in the background, I threatened him in the pyramid, the nonse, he was a wank, didn’t at all like him, with his two faced twat face, spotted him instantly, what he was.

  • Anonymous

    in the first vid, Vicky is the one with her fingers in her mouth, on the right, hoping for something else, whatever…. left-right? Think she is not left these days, sadly, but I am guessing, as if, I can tell.

  • Anonymous

    did comment on the vid, our Jism Olympics, yah. Boris was approving, but the Daily Mail said ney, and we have got to listen to them, yah?

  • Anonymous

    oh jezzus christ, what will Clegg get up to next? desperation it is, desperation,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13077375

    silly season, now H of Cee has gone on school hols, unlike the rest of the country.

  • Anonymous

    What are you suggesting that I am suggesting that MI5 had something to do with this? That some Kairdiff supporters are paid by MI5 to cause welsh trouble, rabble rousing?

    Gawd forbid………….

    BINGO!

  • Janiete

    I agree with most of your comments here Mike, but would add the need to evaluate thoroughly what the public sector can offer that the private sector won’t.

    In areas like care, health, education and policing where a caring, service ethos is vital, private companies driven by the profit motive are unlikely to deliver satisfactorily. Even in provision of goods and services like gas, electricity and rail, nationalised industries offered fringe benefits in training young people through extensive apprenticeship schemes, which smaller private organisations either won’t or can’t provide. In doing so they acted as an extension to our post-16 education system and served the wider economy, both public and private.

    I think we need a root and branch review of when/why we outsource public services, taking into account ALL benefits and drawbacks of either course of action, and it has to include the costs of having to extensively monitor standards of provision where it is delivered privately.

    Whatever the decision, no public money should be paid to any company which does not pay full UK tax and all work generated should be conducted in the UK. It is madness to allow our money to be spent employing cheap labour abroad while we pick up the tab to pay unemployment benefits to displaced UK workers.

  • Dave Simons

     I certainly think dress matters in some jobs – high-viz jackets for instance – but I think the ubiquity and ‘normality’ of the suit and tie, for example, should be challenged. There is no reason at all why people who work in offices should have a particular dress code. Cleanliness and personal hygiene, yes, but what difference does it make to their work whether they wear a suit and tie or nice dress or pyjamas? I don’t think dullness, conformity and lack of imagination need to be perpetuated. I’ve worked with plenty of people who conform to dress codes but who show themselves unwilling or unable to fulfil the basic requirements of most jobs – i.e. first turn up for the job (and stop pretending to be sick) and second preferably turn up a few minutes before time.

  • Anonymous

    Since I posted Picketywhitch from 1970, how about some Swansea jackland brilliant music from the same year, brilliant it is,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkAu3ijigeA

    Good, ey?

  • reaguns

    There is how things should be and how things are unfortunately. I remember reading about a law firm in the city who announced a dress code, stating that woman had to wear skirts and heels, men had to wear jackets and ties, and there were loads more stipulations. Women were up in arms. If I had been a woman I would have been too – because that ruling would have levelled the playing field. Without that ruling, women (and men) had more scope to look smarter and better than their rivals, and therefore get raises, promotions etc.

  • Anonymous

    oops, bit of unfortunate vid I posted there, before….

    Crazy going ons again….

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a couple of russian lady singers from about ten odd years ago, but can’t for the life of me remember their name,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18932234

    Will have a search, see if I come across them, they were interesting, predicting the explosion of eastern europe porn online, here goes…. start with my friend youtubby first… I might be a while,

    Well, that didn’t take long, wiki mainly it was, when I remembered the detail that one of them was “underage”, for them in the US especially. But fifteen when the video was made was taking the piss slightly, but your average fifteen year old GB daughter would no doubt think not, t.a.T.u., my memory still works, just, online technology affects around the garden village becoming smaller globe,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mGBaXPlri8

    29 mill hits, still stirs.

  • Anonymous

    yes PhD student he was, but it looks his brain exploded, in a, ummm, ummm, can’t find the words…

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore, discovered a soldering iron when I was about eight, repairing my Scaletrix cars – I have never been the same. Leaded petrol? sniff this then…

  • Anonymous

    reminds as the garb they are wearing, right out of an english excusive public/private school, skirts a bit too short for the male masters/fathers teaching there, for their blood pressure.

    What do you say Father Jack?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzgT-fg01vY

    Come on Father Jack, you can say more than that, by feck?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USkCsrO9sz4

    That’s better Father, knew you could see sense, eventually…

  • G4S to you too!

    Sorry my skin irritated you. Your crotch smelt awful, don’t you ever wash? I know you don’t know where to go, the whole Lobor movement doesn’t know where to go! But I am always willing to make a suggestion.