SERCO has been called the company that runs Britain, although, like Carillion, that other great product of British outsourcing and procurement, it’s got very little brand recognition. In certain quarters, though, it has gained notoriety (another parallel with Carillion). An offshore law firm called Serco a “high-risk” client with a “history of problems, failures, fatal errors and overcharging”.

That judgement was one revelation from the Paradise Papers. And it wasn’t isolated: few companies have a scandal sheet like Serco. Among the many allegations against them historically include a litany of claims of abuse and sexual assault at Yarl’s Wood detention centre. They also have the dubious honour of running much of Australia’s immigration system, widely regarded as the most racist in the developed world.

READ MORE: 'Where will we go?' ask Glasgow's locked-out asylum seekers

Now, closer to home, Serco plans to lock 300 Glaswegian asylum seekers out of their homes. Previously, when an initial application fails, asylum seekers have been allowed to remain while appeals are heard or until they find alternative arrangements. But that’s about to end. Serco are sending in the heavies to change the locks.

Of course, Serco is a symptom of wider problems, and the blame doesn’t just belong to them. They might be cannibalising the public sector, but the government is gladly serving up the meat.

The National:

By outsourcing responsibility to a private firm, the Home Office gets to evade the moral questions that come with chucking families out on the street. Or so they hope. Clearly, though, contracting out to Serco, a company with an extraordinary list of allegations of brutality against it, pretty much guarantees that the matter will be handled as forcibly as possible. For some, that’s a good thing.

The UK’s asylum housing market is worth around £4 billion, with the Home Office putting provision of services like accommodation for refugees out to the highest bidder. Currently, Serco has a contract to provide housing to asylum seekers in Glasgow until 2019 when the contract will go back out to tender, with bids already planned from Serco and G4S.

The whole system should be a national scandal. It uses the inherent amorality of privatised provision to guarantee that Britain will evade its humanitarian responsibilities.

READ MORE: Read in full the letter sent to Sajid Javid urging him to act on Serco's plans

Harrowing stories of squalid living conditions faced by people awaiting their application outcomes have surfaced time and time again, but as the debate about immigration and asylum grows increasingly more hostile, there’s almost no tangible movement to address the scandal.

There are long-running concerns over what happens to refused asylum seekers when the Home Office stops support and says they should return to their country of origin.

Many fear being killed, tortured or imprisoned. And those fears are far from “bogus”: some reports say that up to 47% of asylum seekers eventually win their appeals, even within the notoriously strict confines of the UK justice system. In other words, we’re planning to chuck a lot of innocent, victimised, terrified people on the street to save a few quid for a private contractor.

The National:

Changing the locks is brutal even for Serco. It is a new stage of escalation in the anti-asylum crusade.

And an email from Serco has confirmed the company “will be commencing with the issuing of lock change notices” for “those former asylum seekers who have received a negative decision as of w/c 30th July 2018”.

Serco argues that they are housing these families at their own expense. The Home Office aren’t paying the bills, so they are just a drain on shareholders’ resources. And that’s the hidden evil of privatised justice right there. The Home Office dodges political responsibility, and pass the brutality buck on to Serco, who are happy to help, for a fee.

Thankfully, campaigners in Glasgow are showing real solidarity in a bid to reverse this. I spoke to Sean Baillie, an organiser for the Living Rent Campaign.

“We have recently been working with the Asylum Seeker Housing Project over the living conditions experienced by those in Serco managed properties, from the abuse and harassment endured to gain simple amenities such as lighting and heating to the dreadful state of disrepair in many,” he told me.

Baillie points out that Serco waited until both the Scottish Parliament and the council were in recess, which he sees as a cynical plot to subvert any democratic intervention.

Can we stop this? There’s still time. City-centre protests taking place tonight and support from politicians may grab headlines but we need people on the streets and in our neighbourhoods.

“Everyone needs to work together,” Baillie told me. “Chap doors, set up neighbourhood groups with the people who live next to you and prepare to show Serco what we think of their abusive practices.”

We rightly marched in our thousands against the horror of Donald Trump and, in particular, the way his administration violently separated Mexican families.

But Serco, that product of a UK state shrivelled by outsourcing and privatisation, are engineering home-grown Trumpisms right here in Glasgow. I’m all for international solidarity with America’s immigrants. But that’s worth little unless we throw ourselves on the line to stop evictions in our own cities.