LEAK: Labour Conference Security Crisis

IAN MCNICOL G4S

Labour are at risk of having no security for their party conference, Guido can reveal. Leaked memos sent to General Secretary Iain McNicol reveal that the party’s HQ is even worried the police could cancel conference entirely. How has this clusterf**k happened?

Following the Labour NEC decision to boycott G4S last year, the party approached five security firms to bid for the 2016 conference contract. Three immediately declined the job. Of the remaining two, one announced that “following completion of a risk assessment, they wished to retract their bid.” This left Liverpool-based Showsec as the sole bidder. Which raised a major problem…

Showsec are embroiled in a furious row with the GMB union after the GMB accused them of preventing their workforce from unionising. The GMB have protested to Labour that Showsec are not a suitable conference security provider. This has created a crisis in Labour HQ, who have warned McNicol in desperation that the police could “stop conference taking place” unless a security provider is found:

conf

“We are therefore in the very difficult position of having to appoint a potentially anti-union organisation to a high profile role at annual conference. We do not have other options to pursue and are under pressure from the Home Office to make an appointment very soon. It must be noted that should we be unable to appoint a security contractor it is within the power of the Home Office/police to stop conference taking place.”

How do HQ suggest tackling the dilemma? They have asked McNicol if there is “a possibility of the G4S decision being reversed”. So the choice for Labour: end the boycott of G4S, employ a union-busting contractor or risk the police shutting the entire conference down. The words piss up and brewery spring to mind…




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The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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