5 December 2017

Lord Bassam Steals £260,000 for a Second Home he doesn’t own and then graciously ‘offers’ to pay back a fraction!

If it had been a Single Parent claiming Benefits then they would have been Prosecuted

I have to make a confession.  When I first came to Brighton over 40 years ago and started squatting I ended up alongside the then plain Steve Bassam.  He then called himself an anarchist.  Soon however he joined the Labour Party.  Even when he was nominally on the left I never trusted him and sure enough, when he became leader of the Brighton’s Labour Council  he quickly moved to the Right.

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It wasn’t longed before Tony Blair ennobled Bassam.  This was a reward for having ensured, in 1992 that the whole of Brighton and Hove Labour Party were suspended because we insisted on telling the Council not to make cuts, prosecute Poll Tax defaulters etc.  Many members were expelled and I was  suspended.
One thing and one thing only has characterised Bassam’s career – how best to advance himself. As the title of the satirical pamphlet I wrote put it, it was a ‘career without principle.’  Even when he was on the Left his only concern was seeking peoples’ support to advance his career.

It is no surprise that in the story broken by the Mail on Sunday Bassam stands accused of having claimed for a second home he doesn’t own for the past 7 years in addition to some £41,000 travel expenses in the same period.   Bassam previously was a ‘consultant’ for Capita and KPMG, whilst being the Leader of a Council.  Some might have said that there was a conflict of interest there, especially as Labour under Bassam’s stewardship tried to privatise the Housing Benefit department by getting Capita to run it, in the same way as they mismanaged Lambeth and other borough’s housing benefit operations.
Why hasn't Bassam been suspended by Crooked McNicol? The Mail's suggestion that Bassam is an 'aide' of Corbyn is fanciful - he did his best to overthrow him
What galls me though is that Bassam was a member of Labour governments that called single parents who did a part time job to feed their kids ‘benefit thieves’.  Blair’s government with Bassam’s connivance hounded and pilloried people on benefit who supplemented their income, even though it is impossible to live on benefits and not live in poverty.  Claimants were prosecuted for claiming less than 1% of the amount that Bassam has got away with. 
A letter I wrote to the Argus over 20 years 
It is a sign of the utter hypocrisy of public life in this country that no one has seen fit to call for Bassam’s prosecution.  For 7 years he claimed for a home he didn’t have, in addition to claiming travel expenses.  This is persistent and deliberate fraud.  I have therefore made a complaint to Sussex Police for fraud and my incident number is 1488/7.12.17.  We shall see the mettle of Sussex Police. The offer by Bassam to repay the £41,000 travel expenses whilst keeping £260,000 for a non-existent second home is unacceptable.

Tony Greenstein 

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