Remembrance Day travesty: While Corbyn pledges to house homeless veterans, his critics carp about his coat



Anybody catching this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony on television this year will have spotted Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wearing an anoark rather than the black overcoat worn by many of his fellow wreath-laying political leaders – as you can see in the image above

I did. I wasn’t actually taking part in any events this year so I had a chance to sit down and watch it instead. I was pleased to see Mr Corbyn’s choice of coat because it meant he stood out from the crowd that included Vince Cable, Theresa May and John Bercow. Also I dare say it would have protected him from any rain.

So imagine my surprise when I scanned Twitter afterwards and found this:

I did! Fortunately, others had decided to respond before I had a chance, robbing the world of the opportunity to see me letting rip on some poor sap.

Rachael Swindon wrote: “Shocking revelation here. Jeremy Corbyn wore A COAT on a showery day in London today. I think Kev is a bit of a knob.”

So say we all. ‘Gary the opinionated insignificance took it a step further: “Did he do a “jig” on his way there this year or is that lie not being wheeled out this year?”

Remember that silliness? Eoin Clarke does:

This year’s wheeze didn’t seem to be working too well, though – as you can probably tell from the results of the poll in the following tweet:

When I voted and checked, it was clear that the majority support Mr Corbyn’s choice of outdoor wear.

So the loonies doubled down. Going back to the image, can you see that Mr Corbyn was sporting a poppy that was considerably smaller than those worn by his fellow wreath-laying political leaders?

I did. I was pleased to see Mr Corbyn’s choice of poppy because I have one very similar to it. They are metal, and cost considerably more than the normal, disposable poppies worn by most of the other bigwigs.

Imagine my surprise when, still scanning Twitter, I found this:

You have to scroll down quite a way to see all the responses to this one.

Rachael Swindon (again) drew the logical conclusion:

I also liked Cllr Cassi Perry’s rejoinder: “As a veteran I say wind your neck in. Ensuring it never happens again is the best way to honour our service and Corbyn is the one fighting hardest for that. And no we don’t care about the size of a bloody poppy. How old are you?!”

How about this from Sandy S? “Guess what, my 96 yr old Dad who flew Lancs in the war has just been to a rememberence parade, wearing the same poppy JC was wearing. Now stick that up your kite and smoke it. PS, he was wearing a raincoat too. You’re a disgrace.

And Clare Hepworth OBE was glowing in her indignation: “Oh for goodness sake! What a puerile , infantile – just plain STUPID comment to make on a day like this! Do you honestly believe that sensible people will take your comment seriously?”

Some focused on the fact that Mr Corbyn’s critics were focusing on the wrong thing. Remembrance Day is about commemorating our war dead and pledging to put an end to wars. Owen Jones tackled the first matter:

And genuine war veteran Harry Leslie Smith made an excellent point that the person standing next to Mr Corbyn in the image (above) is actually making it possible for wars to take place:

Rachael Swindon made it perfectly clear:

Then there’s this:

And Aleesha related it all to a very specific incident taking place as I type this:

By now, the right-wing mainstream media had jumped on the bandwagon and the Daily Mail was kicking up a song and dance:

… only to get exactly what it deserved:

That’s all very amusing.

But it seems there is another reason right-wingers were trying to distract us with nonsense about Mr Corbyn’s choice of clothing. Here’s Richard O’Neill:

He’s absolutely right.

Only the day before the Remembrance parade, Mr Corbyn pledged to put an end to the “scourge” of homelessness among armed forces veterans.

Here‘s the Independent: “Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to end the “scourge” of rough sleeping among armed forces veterans as he calls on Theresa May to officially register the number of homeless ex-servicemen and women.

“The Labour leader will mark the historic occasion by outlining his party’s “social contract” for veterans, including provisions for free education and treating mental health issues as “seriously as physical health issues”.

“He will also call on ministers to use the government’s “long overdue” Veterans Strategy – due to be published later this month – to officially record the number of homeless veterans in the UK, including statistics on those who take their own lives.

“Mr Corbyn said: “The next Labour government will guarantee armed forces personnel the opportunity to have a home, to heal and to retrain when they complete their time in service.

““We will do the right thing by ending the scourge of rough sleeping and helping veterans embark on new careers.””

And this help is desperately needed – under the Tory government, war veterans are more likely to lose their homes than be given one.

According to Mirror Online: “At least 13,000 of our war heroes are homeless after leaving the military, a Sunday People probe reveals.

“Military charities said the shameful figure is a record high and the Government is failing those who risk their lives for Queen and country.

“They also issued a stark warning that the crisis deepens every month.

“Charity bosses say the problem has been made worse by cuts to the armed forces, which has led to almost 30,000 troops losing their jobs since 2010.

“Homeless numbers have soared, despite the Government outlining its duty to serving and former personnel by enshrining the Armed Forces Covenant in law in 2011.

“The covenant says veterans “should have priority status in applying for Government-sponsored affordable housing schemes, and service leavers should retain this status for a period of discharge”.”

It seems all this fuss about Mr Corbyn’s coat is meant to distract us from his commitment to help service veterans who have been failed by the Conservatives.


  1. Zippi November 12, 2018 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Please, tell me why this is even news? If these poor souls were that interested in Jeremy Corbyn’s coat, or anything else that he was wearing to the extent that they can take to twitter about it, clearly, their focus was in the wrong place and they should look to themselves! What is it that the Bible says? Before you tell your brother about the splinter in his eye, remove the plank from your own!

    • Mike Sivier November 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      I make the point in the article that I think a fuss was made about the coat to distract from the policy Mr Corbyn was presenting – homes for veterans who have been made homeless by Conservative policies.

      I was watching Peter Jackson’s documentary They Shall Not Grow Old yesterday and it stated that World War I veterans were rejected when they returned home – they were refused employment and nothing was done to reintegrate them into society. It seems to me that nothing has changed, because we have a Conservative government that sees our armed forces as a commodity to be used and thrown away – just as the elites who ran WWI saw their soldiers more than 100 years ago.

    • Zippi November 13, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

      Sorry, the comment about why it’s news was sarcastic and rhetorical. I have met homeless veterans, who suffer with Past Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a crying shame! As I said, it says more about those who sought to make it news than it does about Mr. Corbyn’s coat!

  2. nmac064 November 12, 2018 at 8:44 am - Reply

    This is a re-run of the vitriol thrown at Michael Foot when he wore a perfectly respectable and extremely smart Donkey Jacket at the Cenotaph. Hopefully, this time people won’t be fooled by this irrelevant nonsense.

  3. Carol Fraser November 12, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Lots of indignation here on both sides. I thought his coat stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of black. His behaviour was outweighed by this ‘faux pas’. Now do we think he wanted to set the tongues wagging by being controversial?

  4. trev November 12, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Whilst I agree that such banal criticisms are ludicrous, Corbyn (& his advisers) should have known better and seen this coming, he could have avoided putting himself open to such criticism simply by wearing a suitable black overcoat. Even I own one and I’m on the dole (got it from Oxfam).

    • Mike Sivier November 12, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      He made himself highly visible. Perhaps that’s a good thing?

    • Tony Dean November 12, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      The only overcoats I own are yellow reflective ones, or ones with a motorcycle club logo on them.
      That did not stop my wife and I carrying out our own remembrance ceremony laying 15 wooden crosses with poppies at the “corner of a foreign field” in a village cemetery in Brittany. This was on Novemeber the Ist All Saints Day, (Toussaint.)
      With thanks to British Legion Bikers for supplying the crosses and poppies.

  5. Growing Flame November 12, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply

    As a Corbynista myself, I secretly hoped that Corbyn deliberately wore a sensible coat in the rain just to wind up the easily-outraged snowflakes in the Right-Wing media. After all, it’s rather easy to achieve!

    Eventually, of course, we will tire of cheap laughs at the expense of the Mail/Sun/Express/Telegraph/Times etc, especially when we get elected and ,in the words of Emily Thornberry, “the adults have arrived”.

    My only concern with all this is that there are millions of voters out there who read these papers and BELIEVE what they say!!

  6. Dave Davis November 12, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    It wasn’t just the wind and rain during the ceremony that made Corbyn’s coat eminently sensible, but the fact that he doesn’t swan off in a big car to a fancy lunch like most of the people he was standing with, but typically hangs around to meet and talk with war veterans, the very people, along with those who died, the day is supposed to be about.

  7. blackghost55 November 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    My God… The fuss & drama. . .
    How low can they get? a coat a blooming coat?? I suspect to T.May & co it’s just a chore to have to do this as we all know She & Co don’t care. . a simple fact . . . & Jeremy was walking around talking to people & taking the time to listen & not just fobbed, off . . . Can’t wait til he’s in power.. Jeremy Corbyn if you’re reading this Thanks & very good luck to the future..

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