Reckless MPs contribute to Bastani outrage that puts activist and innocents at risk


Labour activist and journalist Aaron Bastani has been the subject of widespread attacks by politicians and the media because of comments he made last week about the poppy appeal and the scandal of 13,000 homeless ex-services personnel. The issue even featured on Sky News this morning:

Predictably, Tory MPs were quick to jump into the attack:

mercer bastaniclev bastani

But disgracefully, Labour MPs and one faux-Labour bile-rag behaved similarly:

watson bastani

mann wilson bastani

Interestingly, none of them chose to engage with Bastani’s point about thirteen thousand homeless veterans – even after multiple prompts and challenges from respondents on Twitter.

A contribution by a winner of the Military Cross that underscored Bastani’s point was similarly ignored:

coult forces

Bastani’s points are his own, but who could disagree that if thirteen thousand people are homeless, including many sleeping rough – around one in nine of those sleeping on the streets – then something is badly broken in our society and in the outcomes of efforts, or in the government’s case lack of effort, to help them.

But the politicians and media looking to score cheap points have behaved with utter recklessness – not only toward a Labour activist but to people who have nothing to do with the discussion.

Last week, as politicians and others stoked outrage, supporters of the far right were sharing what they thought was Aaron Bastani’s home address on social media. At least one turned up at the London address in question.

That is horrifying enough – but the right-wingers got the wrong address, putting at risk a person or family with no connection to the comments.

Clearly the politicians above would not be able to predict exactly this course of events, but it’s hardly rocket science to work out that stoking outrage about Bastani’s comments might lead to a backlash, including possible physical threat. They have been contacted for comment about the risk and Bastani’s point about homeless veterans.

Bastani told the SKWAWKBOX:

I’m saddened that they have greater concern for my comments taken out of context than than they do for thousands of homeless veterans let down by this government. That veterans depend so much on charitable donations after leaving the army is nothing short of a national disgrace.

The Metropolitan Police Service is aware.

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  1. Just amazed at how deliberately misleading the responses to Aaron has been. His point was simply to highlight that the living Veteran’s are not being well looked after by society as a whole and that the RBL seems to have money to burn – fair point! Tom Watson and John Mann are a particular embarrassment – both Zionist Warmongers!

  2. This just in from CCHQ:

    “Yeah but… Yeah but… if we help homeless ex-servicemen to get back on their feet all the other homeless people will expect homes too, won’t they?
    Can’t have that.
    There’ll be people cheating the system left, right and centre if we show the least weakness or humanity.”

  3. Sorry but..some of our best on the left are clueless about how this comment at this time affects perceptions of Jeremy Corbyn. The point that the RBL has £300 million is well made but appallingly badly used and badly times. Think strategically . Always about impact on Jeremy. Clear lines please. Be disciplined. When I bought a poppy yesterday and made a contribution I asked the veteran who was collecting about why the RBL does not care for homeless veterans. He shot back that Councils have a statutory duty to rehouse. I shot back that with £300 million paid for by people like me, the RBL could afford to do a fantastic lobbying campaign to raise awareness of the Central Governments complete abrogation of duty to fund Councils, including Conservative Councils and support our veterans. Austerity meant there was no housing to offer. The way to help elect Labour is to ensure there is no negative perception of Jeremy created by ourselves. There is enough fake stuff out theter as it is. Aaron has created a fuss that was not needed and has had negative impact and was deeply unhelpful at this time.

    1. If we have to stop making comments about the incredible injustice being done to people because “someone” will use it to attack Corbyn, then I suggest we go home and forget about the world and all the shit that is going on.
      It makes no difference when, and what comments we make or activities we take part in, these ‘someones” will atways find a way to attack Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Exactly, Nasir.

        I must say I’m gobsmacked at Watson’s comment (the only thing appaling here is the fact that these charities have so many millions in the bank and yet so many servicemen are living rough. What on earth are they planning to spend this money on, if not re-housing them?). Not so much by Mann’s.

        This ignorant Mann needs throwing out of the Labour party today!

  4. It would be interesting to look at salary expenditure of these & other charities as it seems to me charity es have just become a vehicle for recycling public donations into a very hefty salary for those at the top like the RSPCA for example.

    Charity salaries need looking at as CEOs are often paid ludicrous amounts. I haven’t investigated those mentioned here.

  5. Aaron Bastini has echoed what I myself have been thinking. Remember those who perished in two World Wars by all means, but it surely unnecessary to spend such an obscene amount of money on so much pomp and ceremony when there are ex-servicemen in dire need of help. There seems to be quite a lot of money willingly donated by the public, but it would be put to better use in helping the survivors rather than mourning the dead.

  6. I think Jeremy Corbyn would be very vocal himself in criticising the uncaring neglect of ex-servicemen in need of support, by our present Government.

  7. Tom f***king watson…

    …You can reverse your Type II diabetes, but you’re forever lumbered with your idiocy. Cretin’d make private pike look like rambo.

    As for cleverly, it says a lot for the sorry state of the armed forces if that f***ing imbecile can become a Lt. Col.

    The callous way a lot of (ex)servicemen & women are treated upon (and even during – the state of the digs some are given) leaving the forces really ought to be enough to discourage anybody from joining up.

    I certainly wouldn’t fight for this country to perpetuate the toerags self-entitled carte-blanche to shaft me & mine and then discard me. And you’re royally f**ked if you think I’d take orders from cleverly.

  8. Bastini having his membership threatened for calling out complacency and lack of action by one of our biggest charities? Pathetic attempt to prevent honest criticism by the right of the party – yet again!

    1. The Labour Right-Wing wear their Tory-Lite badge with obvious pride – Warmongering and Establishment with the best of them!

  9. It’s the hypocrisy of all those po faced Tories making sanctimonious speeches about glory and suffering negotiating arms deals with repressive regimes tomorrow that really turns my stomach.

  10. I am a Labour party member and ex squaddie. The point was well made. Ex servicemen living on the streets is not good enough. But you know how it is. Wellington refered to his troops as the scum of the earth. The council estates of Britain provide the cannon fodder for politicians military adventures. Their reward is not a place in Elysium just a doorway in a former BHS. We need a General Election now. Let’s get the Tories out- especially the former Ruperts( short service commission officers) sitting as Tory Members of the house. By the way, I never wear a poppy.

  11. I have always believed military personnel should have a trade union (with retired members too) for non-battle matters then perhaps they would sort all this out.
    Anyone done any research on the ratio of ex- officers to rank and file personnel now in hardship?
    As someone said when they have used you if you are the rank and file you are dumped like working people in general who created the wealth and made societies work, once you get old to the rich and powerful you are surplus to requirements.
    And all of this is why we need a JC Labour Govt. to rule for working people!

    1. The Dutch Army have been represented by Trade Unions since at least the early 70s.


      “Unlike many other military organizations, Dutch Army soldiers are represented by various unions. The four main unions are:
      General Christian Union for Military personnel (ACOM);
      General Federation for Military Personnel (AFMP)
      Joint Officers Associations | Mid- & Highlevel Civilian Personnel (GOV|MHB);
      Association for Civil and Military personnel (VBM).”

  12. JC the only way forward, I am not ex service personnel, an NHS worker one week away from the BHS doorway. For the many not the few, I say.

  13. The Royal British Legion do som fantastic work but you can always do more. They have nursing and retirement homes for ex servicemen/women and their dependents. But they could use some funds to build flats for the homeless. I’m sure if they did they would get a great deal of support. Here’s a link to their details on the Charity Commission website.

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