19 July 2012
The Weekly WHIP 19 July 2012
The swashbuckling select committee interrogations continued this week with G4S chief Nick Buckles dragged before the Home Affairs committee. Following the admission last week that the company would fail to meet the target for security forces for the games, and the army was being called up to make up the short fall, he admitted that it was a "humiliating shambles".
Predictably, especially with the fiasco coming less than weeks before the Olympics begin, it soon became a political row with Ed Miliband calling on G4S to forfeit the £57million management fee and not get any future contracts. Sensing the mounting outrage the Prime Minister vowed to "go after" the firm for additional costs to the taxpayer.
But they won't worry about that, after all: "We'll back him down and make him run, we'll never leave our post til the job is done".
Olympic-sized advertising rules
While using the word 'Olympic' as a noun may infringe numerous trademark and branding regulations, the Whip is sure it can still be used as a verb. McDonalds are stopping any other food outlets in the Olympic park selling chips (unless with fish) in order to protect their investment.
But in the war of PR stunts McDonalds, along with Coca-Cola and Visa, hit back by declining the tax break they were entitled to. British Airways have got in on the advertising bandwagon, by encouraging customers to, well, stop being customers.
The Church Mouse helpfully debunked the fanciful beliefs of the zealous campaigners, showing that simply believing God created the earth, is now enough to be branded a creationist, which ironically is how it should be. Whether this is the twenty-first century witch hunt or the thin end of the wedge remains to be seen.
The government announced this week that they are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorians. Unfortunately this transport revolution will be no consolation for the American Olympians lost in London for four hours.
Whip whipping off for the summer
It is the summer and apparently the sun will soon be shining, without the need for firing rockets into the sky. But parliament has risen for the Olympics, and to let Ministers use the special Olympic lanes. The Whip will be taking a break over the next month or so but stay tuned as there may be a couple of special updates coming your way.