Jon Grayson, today writing for open democracy.net, has revived pressure on the national media to start 'speaking out' about the changes to asylum seekers' social housing. In his brilliant article, Grayson analyses which groups have stayed quiet about G4S' proposed takeover and considers why this silence may have occurred.
With the contract signing date looming, this is not a reason to slow down the campaign. Even if the contract is signed, resistance must continue. G4S cannot be allowed to masquerade as social landlords.
G4S is the UK's biggest private security company, with its government contracts alone worth over £600 million. Responsible for security services, managing detention centres, prisons, and 675 court and police station holding cells, G4S have also just been granted the £100 million contract for providing 10,000 security guards for the upcoming olympics.
Whilst G4S still seem to be government favourites, their record is far from spotless. The firm lost their previous 'forcible deportation' contract last September after receiving 773 complaints of abuse – both verbal and physical. The final straw came with the death of Jimmy Mubenga in October 2010, an Angolan asylum seeker who died as a result of his forced deportation by G4S guards. Two of the guards are on bail facing criminal charges, whilst G4S is still waiting to hear whether they are to face corporate manslaughter charges.
Now, asylum seekers in Yorkshire and Humberside are expected to accept this multi-national, money-hungry, security company as their landlords.