We live quite close to the big fire at Buncefield fuel depot (from the top of our village you can see the flames). Like everyone, I’m amazed that so few people were hurt but I find myself thinking about the poor sods who were right there, on site, at 6 O’Clock on Sunday morning. Britain’s most ignored group of workers: the security guards. Dozens of men working twelve hour shifts, men who work alone, watching assets that aren’t theirs and never will be and for minimum wage or thereabouts.
Security guards have been so thoroughly outsourced they’re practically invisible, disowned by the people whose premises they look after and ignored by everyone else. I think it’s a crime to have so alienated such a basic (and often directly customer-facing) business resource as the people who guard your shop or office by essentially dumping them on low-quality employers. I’d like to start a campaign to bring security guards back into the fold and make proper use of the resilience and resourcefulness on show before dawn on Sunday.