The writers of the brilliant TV show Twenty-Twelve couldn't have made up a character like Nick Buckles, or the level of fiasco caused by G4S. It's beyond parody.
Facing a panel of MPs, Mr Buckles looked ill-prepared and confused, which is exactly the image that his company G4S now has. He was asked by Labour MP David Winnick whether the problems of G4S represented a "humiliating shambles for the company", Mr Buckles responded: "I could not disagree with you." He also remarked that keeping track of the 100,000 job applicants had proved to be "a challenge". He admitted that he couldn't be sure how many of the 7,000 staff contracted to provide security at the games would turn up on the opening day. There have already been examples of huge shortfalls of security staff at several pre-games events, requiring either police or army personnel to fill the gap at very short notice.
Remarkably, Mr Buckles admitted that his company regarded security contract as a vanity project with little prospect of a profit. He's been proved right on that one. He also said "We did it to boost our reputation". Wrong there, then. However, he feels that G4S is entitled to keep their £57 million management fee. Hands up who agrees. No-one at all, then.
This won't be an end to the matter. It beggars belief that it took until a few weeks before the games until someone in the Government learned that there was a problem. As it happens, the influx of army and police personnel may strengthen, rather than weaken security, and there are some who argue this was always the desired outcome. I'm not so sure. It seems to me that someone knew a lot more than they have so far admitted. Heads will most certainly roll. I suspect that several government ministers seated in the Olympic stadium in the next few weeks will spend more time looking over their shoulders than watching the athletes.
Lastly, apparently no-one thought of asking Mr Buckles about the rumour that the G4S staff party, due to be held in a local brewery, has had to be cancelled due to lack of bar staff.