In the Olympic bid, five promises were made regarding the long-term benefits of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:
1. To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation
2. To transform the heart of East London
3. To inspire a generation of young people
4. To make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living
5. To demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in, to visit and for business.
One business indeed set to do very well from the Olympics is G4S (previously Group 4), probably still best known in the UK for its cornering 20 years ago of the market in transporting prisoners between court and detention.
G4S will generate £284 million in turnover from the Olympics. According to the company website: “As the Official Security Services Provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games we will be working alongside the police, local authorities, venue and London Organising Committee Olympic Games (LOCOG) volunteer workforce to provide a range of security solutions including:
• Search and screening
• Perimeter protection
• Mobile and river patrol protection
• CCTV monitoring
• Command & control”
The company as a whole reports trading as follows:
Annual turnover £7 billion
Annual profit £300 million
Highest paid director’s salary: £1,656,000
Increase over last 5 years: 22.12%
Among the non-executive directors Lord Condon (previously Metropolitan Police Commissioner) alone trousers £125,000k p/a as a non-exec director – i.e. for presumably less than a full day’s work a week.
Condon has not been the only prominent person on G4S’s payroll. The company has a track record of offering jobs to washed-up former politicians: John Reid from New Labour and Norman Fowler, in a previous generation.
No doubt they have considered offering Seb Coe a similar sinecure post-Olympics.