I don’t often do this but I’m going to open this post by quoting not some great journalist, author or poet. I’m going to open this post by quoting myself. Far less interesting than the bard, but nonetheless relevant in this case. In my earlier post on the G4S Olympic balls-up, I said the following:
An interesting point about May’s ’24 hour’ claim is that, the same day, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told the Commons he’d known for “around 2 weeks”. May is clearly playing fast and loose with her wording at the despatch box. Something many people have been caught out by before now!
And, lo, it came to pass. It turns out that, while May told the Commons and the world that she’d first been told about the shortfall on July 11th, evidence has, as it always does, come to light that she was warned by LOCOG and G4s 2 weeks before that on June 27th. That playing fast and loose at the despatch box really will come back to haunt her when Parliament returns from the summer recess.
How did that come to light, you might ask. Was it some amazing digging from a future Woodward or Bernstein? Was it the judicious use of a freedom of information request from some intrepid citizen? Was it a civil servant with a grudge leaking from deep within the Home Office?
No. It was none of the above. The person who let slip Theresa May’s advance knowledge of the fiasco and the likely outcome was….. er….. Theresa May. She sent a letter to the chair of the Home Affairs select committee, Labour MP Keith Vaz in which she said “On June 27 G4S and Locog attended an Olympics Security Board meeting at the Home Office and said they were experiencing scheduling problems.”
It says a lot about the Home Secretary that not only could she not manage the situation in the first place, but she managed to leak her own lie to the world. David Cameron must weep over the competence levels of some of his cabinet. Amazing really.
As I opened with a quote from someone far less interesting than the Bard, I’ll close with the Bard himself:
No legacy is so rich as honesty
All’s well that ends well, Act iii, Scene v
Not that this government is going to end well.