Chris McGovern: Schools’ white poppies are an affront to our fallen heroes

As Remembrance Day draws closer, white poppies from the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) are, for the first time, on sale in our schools. This is surprising since the United Nations, at the UK’s prompting, has already designated an annual International Day of Peace (September 21). For ‘peace activists’ to trespass on the remembrance territory surrounding November 11 is not only unnecessary, it is, at best, grossly disrespectful and, at worst, a declaration of war on a pillar of our national identity – the armed forces.

Schools will be charged £60 of their taxpayers’ money for each ‘White Poppies for Schools Pack’ they purchase. According to the PPU website the pack includes ‘100 White Poppies in a display box, alongside an information pack with White Poppy information leaflets and Rethinking Remembrance Day resources’. The campaign was embraced by the National Union of Teachers at its conference this year.

It is easy to see the appeal. The seductive arguments of the PPU constitute ‘virtue-signalling’ of a lofty order:

‘The White Poppy symbolises the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts and embodies values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason . . . We strive to ensure that its radical anti-war message of “no to any war” remains firmly embedded in the symbolic meaning of our white poppy.’

Writing in the Morning Star (October 16), the PPU’s co-ordinator, Symon Hill, promotes the white poppy in terms of ‘resisting attempts to glamorise, glorify or sanitise war’. He describes the British Legion’s approach to Remembrance Day as a ‘festival of hypocrisy’. He decries its ‘support for the current British armed forces’ on the grounds that this is ‘support for an institution rooted in violence, coercion and unquestioning obedience’.



Placed before immature and idealistic young people with very limited knowledge, such rhetoric is likely to prove persuasive. With the white poppy presented as the high moral ground the odds are stacked against the British Legion’s red version, tainted as it will be by a PPU interpretation of history that already has a grip on our schools.

The new national curriculum for history leaves it up to schools whether or not they teach any specific event from British history, including the two world wars. Where these wars are taught, the emphasis is too often as much on the social impact as on the military events.

A recent survey by the History Channel revealed that close to half of Brits do not know anything about the Battle of Britain and almost three-quarters could not give a year to D-Day. Around one in ten did not know that Adolf Hitler had anything to do with the war and one in 20 thought we fought on the same side as the Nazis and the Japanese. Similar surveys have indicated that levels of ignorance are particularly high amongst the under-40s.

The Peace Pledge Union is about to plug that ignorance gap.

Chris McGovern

  • hugodegauche

    From Wiki

    “Symon Hill is a British Socialist, Pacifist, queer Christian, activist, and journalist. He is associate director of the left-wing Christian think tank Ekklesia”

    • CRSM

      Sounds to have the correct CV for his job then.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      And they allowed the Q-word?

      • Groan

        In the fast moving world of “diversity” Queer has been “reclaimed” . Its one of the ways that the virtuous maintain their specialness. By constantly shifting language about.

        • Labour_is_bunk

          Thanks, one learns so much in these columns.

        • RingedPlover

          ‘Coloured’ is I think, out and ‘Black’ is I think, in? At least I think so?

          • Reborn

            Some luvvie atone of those wretched Hollywood awards things
            used the word “coloured”
            He made a tearful apology later.
            He should have said “people of colour”.

          • Phil R

            A tearful apology because without it his bank account might suffer.

            Priorities…….

            That is why he was crying

    • Tricia

      As soon as I saw the “y” in his name I knew he was left wing idiot. They do pretension so well. And what is a “queer Christian” – as God made us male and female, he seems to lack faith.

      • Phil R

        A queer Christian is the type that empties churches

        The Anglican Church is full of them. Most of them are already on the Synod

      • Jon Rowett

        as always – scratch a Tory, find a homophobe. So much for the kinder gentler politics!

  • J M

    White poppy – white feather? But then they probably do not understand the significance of the white feather.

  • RingedPlover

    Interesting for him to say that ‘there are better ways to resolve conflicts and embodies values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason’. Despite the occasional terrorist attack we are under peaceful attack at the moment. Mr Hill will have his moment but it won’t last long.

    • Little Black Censored

      A bit like saying that we shall on no account walk away with no deal.

  • AncientPopeye

    NUT, another commie simple minded useful idiot organisation.

  • Shaunr19

    “He decries its ‘support for the current British armed forces’ on the grounds that this is ‘support for an institution rooted in violence, coercion and unquestioning obedience’.”

    I thought that was the whole point of maintaining ‘Armed Forces’.

    I think it was Orwell who said, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.

  • Bik Byro

    Wonder what Tony Blair thinks about this.

  • LoveMeIamALiberal

    More left wing virtue signalling. White poppies should be treated like NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem; booed off the pitch. Any school buying white poppies should be named and shamed.

    • Little Black Censored

      Will there be children actually walking about wearing them? At least we shall now which schools are spreading this fashion.

      • Busy Mum

        Two years ago, one of my daughters said that some children at her school were wearing white poppies; I think they could buy them in school. This is not a new thing, but is probably going to take off now that schools are ‘ready’.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    As a side issue, it demonstrates how useless and feeble the present day Conservative Party is, for doing nothing to counter this kind of evil nonsense.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    Hill would probably describe the Red Army as bring kind to children and animals.

  • Robert Jones

    These sorts of way-out individuals will always exist in our tolerant society. The shameful feature is that the National Union of Teachers has embraced the campaign and that, doubtless, some unthinking head teachers will comply. I hope that the parents are outraged.

    • rubyduck

      My experience of teachers, as a parent, grandparent, school governor and briefly a teacher myself, is that a lot of them are rather thick.

  • evad666

    When my son finished Secondary School he lapped up the History Channel on Freeview and became aware how damned close we came to defeat in WWII.
    Information not covered in History at School.

    • Wise man once said “Britain lost the Second World War but was lucky enough to be occupied by its ally”.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Far from being wise the man who said that insulted everyone from Britain who fought for this country during the war and you should be ashamed of repeating his views.

        By the time the United States entered the war the risk of a German invasion had long passed. By the time that American troops were in action against the Germans the tide was already turning with our victory at Alamein, Bomber Command already undertaking massive raids on German cities and the Germans being sucked into what was to prove to a disaster for them at Stalingrad.

        Do you really think the Americans would have been able to invade France without us? The Battle of the Atlantic was conducted mainly by the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. For D-Day the naval, air and land commanders were all British. The troops who landed on three of the five beaches were British and Canadian. The deception plan was largely British. The artificial pre-fabricated harbours (Mulberries) were a British idea and were constructed in Britain. The code breakers were mainly British and their machines were designed by British engineers and scientists.

        The Americans got radar, code breaking machines (the fore-runners of digital computers), the jet engine and penicillin (which saved the lives of large numbers of soldiers who would otherwise have died of infected wounds) from us. The preliminary work on the atomic bomb was also done in Britain but after Pearl Harbor was transferred to the United States because the Americans had plenty of spare industrial capacity. Support for the various resistance movements in Europe also came mainly from Britain.

        If we had made peace with Germany in 1940 the Germans would have been free to divert all their resources to their planned invasion of the Society Union and the Russians would probably have had to do without the equipment and machines sent to them via the Arctic convoys and through Persia. Germany would probably have become a superpower controlling territory from the Atlantic to the Urals and nobody in the United States would seriously have considered mounting an invasion.

        • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          It may be true that the tide of the War was already turning by the time the US became fully involved in the European theatre, but let us not forget that the US was engaged in a war in the Pacific to which Britain contributed not a whole hell of a lot. It may be argued that the US Navy had told the Royal Navy, “Thanks, but you’d just be in the way,” but it still is true that Britain did not join in the war on Japan meaningfully until the fight was nearing ever closer to the Home Islands. Recriminations of the “You didn’t pull your weight”-type could be and were made by all the Allies, especially the USSR re: the land war in Europe.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I agree that the Americans bore the main burden in the war against Japan (although in terms of casualties I suppose the Chinese could claim they did!) but even so Britain did more than many Americans realise. Who did most of the fighting in Burma and how many men did the Japanese lose there?

            Also, although (as you said) not until late on in the war, there was a sizeable British fleet in the Pacific. By that time the Royal Navy had carriers with steel flight decks and they were much more resistant to Kamikazi attacks than the American carriers were. However you would still have defeated the Japanese without us.

            I did not mean to run down the American contribution in my comments. They were directed at a fellow-countryman who was running down the British contribution. My father fought for 5 years in North Africa, Italy and northwest Europe and naturally deplored the tendency by some historians to downplay the British role. However he did agree that we would not have won without the Americans.

            By that he did not mean we would have lost – the British and the Russians had probably done enough to avoid defeat – but there would have been a danger of stalemate. The Russian supply lines would have got longer and the German’s shorter as the Red Army moved east. The British might have decided to concentrate on Italy, and perhaps also Greece, rather than risk invading Normandy with a smaller force than the Allies were able to muster jointly. The mountainous terrain of Italy favoured the defenders and that would have been true of Greece also.

            Anyway, I think Britain, the United States and Russia can all legitimately claim that World War II would not have been won without their country’s participation. It is possible to argue about who did the most and what could have been done better but each country made an essential contribution.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            As to the Burma fighting, it helped to have a forward base called “India,” but with Subhas Chandra Bose, a certain number would have been needed for “Home Guard duty,” and that would certainly hamper an all-out offensive.

            But oddly, who-did-what-in-the-War discussions have, to my sensitive nose, always had a bit of the odour of the scene in a W.C. Fields film, My Little Chickadee, in which Fields is tending bar in a Western saloon, and relating a story of when he worked as a bouncer in a dive in New York’s Bowery– the story is that he and the fellow bartender in the saloon had an obstreperous female named Chicago Molly come in, and Fields boasts that he knocked her out. The other barkeep says, “No, I was the one who knocked her out.” Fields rejoins with, “That’s right. I was the one who started kicking her, though!”

          • Royinsouthwest

            I was going to add a note continuing the theme of my last two sentences of my reply above. Somewhere, I forget where, Stalin who must have been in an uncharacteristically generous mood, summed up the contribution made by each country by saying something along the lines of “the British gave us time, we Russians gave our blood, and the Americans contributed industry.” As far as one line summaries go I think that is fair enough.

          • Andy

            Stalin more or less hit the nail on the head. There is one country that emerges with honour from the Second World War: the United Kingdom, her King and people.

        • Reborn

          As a great Americaphile I have to agree with you.
          In two World Wars, the US did not raise a hand, even after the Germans sunk the Lusitania, to help those suffering German aggression.
          Until, of course, the last minute.
          The US built up German industry post war with gifts, unlike the loans
          the UK only paid back after Gordon Brown had sold most of our gold at a
          knock down price.
          From WW1 up to Iraq, US foreign policy largely stinks.
          Britain’s supplicant position to the essentially German EU is to some
          extent down to the US.
          Not just Obama’s threats though.
          The whole EU/Fourth Reich project has its origins in US policies in the
          1930s.

          • gunnerbear

            The United Kingdom was the largest recipient of Marshall Aid Plan (MAP) cash. Whether the UK spent the MAP money – which was a grant, not a loan – is a matter of some debate. At the end of the war, the US ended ‘Lend Lease’ and wrote off the bill for kit used or destroyed whilst under UK control. However, the US asked for payments for kit that the UK govt. wanted to keep and also at the request of the UK govt. the US converted assorted UK debts plus lend-lease bill plus a vast credit limit that the UK could draw on post ’45 into a debt that was fixed at a very low rate. Again, HMG could have chosen to spend that cash in all sorts of ways and how the way it was spent is again a matter of debate in terms of whether spending ‘X’ on ‘Y’ was correct. For example, post ’45, for assorted reasons – including shear pride at being an Allied Power on the winning side – the UK chose to aim to maintain a global presence in a world of two superpowers. Perhaps some serious thinking on the part of HMG and HMLO might have prevented the cash being spent by the UK on that aim of being a world power and instead the cash might have spent on other things e.g the modernisation of UK industry.

  • Reborn

    Pacifism is utterly evil.
    Pacifists rely on what’s left of our armed forces to protect their offensive position
    but would not raise a hand to stop invaders massacring themselves & their families.
    If indigenous Londoners were 100% pacifists, then London based jihadists could
    take 12 hour shifts, wandering the streets & picking off indigenes for as long as it took to exterminate them.
    Much quicker than the current method of outbreeding us.

    • Colkitto03

      Well said,
      As the old adage goes, “If you want peace, prepare for war”

    • SimonToo

      No, pacifism is not utterly evil. Consider the Friends Ambulance Service, or the bomb disposal teams of the Non-Combatants Corps.

      • Phil R

        What sort of warped morality is this?

        Read some CS Lewis. He demolishes your argument many times.

      • Reborn

        Those are a tiny subset of [pacifists.
        We respect them a individuals, but if we were all like them we’d be speaking
        German or Arabic.

  • Damaris Tighe

    I think I see a purpose to this. That future generations will refuse to fight wars and hold the armed forces in contempt. That is exactly what the Communist so-called Peace Movement was trying to achieve in the last century – exemption being given, of course, to the armed forces of Communism. Morning Star was – still is? – the voice of the Communist Party of GB. Marxism now works in more subtle ways, through subverting the culture. But these are the antecedents of the White Poppy movement. Marxism has never been more successful in the west than since the end of the USSR.

    • Reborn

      It’s worth remembering that in the 1930s UK socialists were supporters
      of German National Socialists
      The main reason was the pact between the murderous Stalin regime
      & von Ribbentrop.
      Once that was broken by the German socialists, then the foolish UK left
      realised that they had no choice other than to support the USSR which was quite
      as bad as the Nazis.
      Thanks to pacifists, Labour, & cheese paring Tories (who did not like Churchill),
      we did not rearm in the 1930s.
      Has a strangely contemporary ring to it —

      • Simon Platt

        To be fair, not all socialists thought that way. But I’m pretty sure the Morning Star did.

        • Reborn

          The Daily Worker & its followers most certainly did.

      • gunnerbear

        The Nazi’s weren’t socialists in the conventional sense…they used the term socialist as short hand for the thinking behind the philosophy of Volksgemeinschaft. The NASDAP were never socialists, they were, like the Communists, Totalitarian in outlook….just as Islam is today. Islam is, to my mind, a disgusting Totalitarian political philosophy under a wafer thin veneer of religion.

  • PierrePendre

    The red poppy does not “glamorise, glorify or sanitise war”. It represents the terrible sacrifice that war imposes. What does Hill think that the remembrance in Remembrance Day stands for if not the memory of the men who died and the human tragedy that war is even when it claims to be just. I can’t remember ever in my life reading a single word that glamourised the 20th century world wars. Historians are still divided over the reasons that suddenly caused WW1 to break out after decades of peace in Europe. We are still wringing our hands and consciences over WW2 whose origins and consequences still dominate our everyday politics. Mr Hill is deluded if he thinks his peace activism confers on him some kind of moral superiority or insight into the human condition. Very few of us in the West are war activists. Most people are pacifists with a realistic, adult awareness that there are times when war is unavoidable if we are to defend ourselves against evil. Hill’s white poppy is a trite little fraud on any day of the year and not just November 11 because it misrepresents all of the complex dilemmas that go into the recourse to war as something that can be avoided by simply saying no and all will be well. Every worm that ever turned shows that that is a mistake.

    • Simon Platt

      I don’t suppose Mr Hill is deluded. I think it ore likely that he knows exactly what he’s doing, as do the people at the Morning Star.

  • Jon Rowett

    Lazily written Red Scare claptrap which completely fails to make the case for why anyone should *not* be persuaded that militarism is “rooted in violence, coercion and unquestioning obedience”, and it presents the RBL’s poppy campaign in its present form as self-evidently good. Not everybody wants their children encouraged to give uncritical support to those who drop bombs on civilians or murder petty thieves in the dark corners of Abu Ghraib. Not everybody wants to give money to an institution which is generously supported by BAE Systems, a company whose entire business model depends on the manufacture of the very weapons used to kill soldiers. Poppy hysteria has become ever more shrill, with the wearing of the damned things now regarded as mandatory for anyone in public life. The conflation of “reflection and remembrance” with “support for all soldiers”, and with the concept of patriotism, is an indefensible sleight of hand, and one that I don’t want my children exposed to. Claiming, as many do, that the red poppy is “not political” ought to be a huge warning flag to anyone still in possession of their critical faculties: if you’re being told something is apolitical, it almost certainly *is*. The red poppy and its attendant annual orgy of uncritical militarism represents indoctrination of a sort that many ordinary people find deeply distasteful – rancid even. If your own identity is so fragile as to feel affronted and threatened by the existence of a white poppy for those who feel differently to you, I suggest you toughen up a bit.

  • Kelly

    The money raised by selling the red poppy goes towards those who have fought and are still fighting for our country and their families. It is also to keep awareness alive of not just the two world wars but each conflict we have taken part it. It is to say thank you to all those servicemen and servicewomen. It is not about glamorising war and the two need to stop being confused. There is conflict in many parts of the world, we do not live in peace therefore those who say no to conflict for any reason are living in a fantasy world. They are also saying they are happy to leave those who need help defenceless as often armies of other nations defend others due to treaties (how do you think we went to war in the Great War?). To try to end red poppy day with something else is a disgrace. Its about rememberance, especially of our dead. Its not about encouraging war or recruiting or policy making. Purely marking respect for those who protect our country and help other countries. You can be anti-war and still show respect to those who give everything to keep us safe. What will the money be used for from these white poppy sales?

  • UKCitizen

    Get them early and make sure the shame is well embedded so it can be built on through the rest of their indoctrination, sorry education!

  • Colonel Mustard

    It’s more left wing vandalism. Contrived to deconstruct and/or subvert. A negative rather than a positive. Symon Hill and his ilk could campaign for peace with another symbol and on another day. But their game is to stop others from remembering as they choose to, to disrupt that act of remembrance by twisting its meaning to conform to their own prejudices and silly ideas.

    Far from being the “high moral ground” it’s disgraceful, shameful, repugnant and insensitive, making a mockery of their boasts about caring and compassion. And for the NUT to endorse that nonsense demonstrates just how rotten and corrupted the education system is.

    The left, as usual, attempting to destroy that which they disapprove of.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      What happened to the happy leftie chappy who ranted about all the “claptrap” on here a couple of hours ago? His post has disappeared faster than Labour’s economic credibility!

      • Colonel Mustard

        If Conservative Woman are “disappearing” the leftist trolls harassing this site (and that harassment is orchestrated) then it’s fine by me.

        • Jon Rowett

          “trolling” would surely involve some form of personal abuse posted anonymously, no? My original post was neither abusing nor anonymous. Disagreeing with you is not “harassment”.

          • mudlark1

            No, but it was a great cure for insomnia.

          • Jon Rowett

            christ you people are thick.

          • Royinsouthwest

            You are being abusive now.

          • Simon Platt

            Now that really is gratuitous.

          • Colonel Mustard

            It’s not just disagreeing these days though. It is orchestrating attacks against sites that dissent from leftist orthodoxy. It is about the left attempting to secure political supremacy by any means and denying the right of others to disagree and articulate that.

            It is the arrogant presumption that you people always know better and that everyone else should think the same way or be subject to abuse like “christ you people are thick”.

            At the end of the day your typical leftist groupthink behaviour alienates and radicalises. So you only have yourselves to blame for the resistance and hostility you are experiencing and which is only going to get worse.

          • gunnerbear

            And as a non-tribal voter can I throw in a bit… “It is the arrogant presumption that you Tribal voters always know better and that everyone else should think the same way or be subject to abuse like “christ you people are thick”.

            At the end of the day your typical Tribal voter groupthink behaviour alienates and radicalises.” ….because I’m a little bit suspicious of anyone who sees everything through the prism of the ‘Left’ or the prism of the ‘Right’ because I’m of the thought that most people in the UK, if voting results give an indication, are right leaning on some stuff but lean left on other things.

          • Jon Rowett

            Nothing orchestrated pal, I just came on here to exercise my right to disagree and to articulate that

      • Jon Rowett

        hi. my post was removed by the site admins in order to make room for more quality Conservative discourse such as “you can’t even call them ‘coloureds’ these days”. Cheers and all the best

        • Reborn

          Cheers.
          Your sort won’t be missed.
          Just like our sort are no platformed, heckled, spat at & abused by your sort..

        • Phil R

          Perhaps try argument rather than rant for once.

          However it is easy to work out the real reason why the left use rant in place of argument.

          • Jon Rowett

            I think I argued fairly coherently to be honest. A damn site more coherently than the nutters on here barking on about “respect” and other empty signifiers so beloved of war-loving, red-faced proto-fash such as your good self.

          • Phil R

            Extrapolating from no evidence I see.

            You must work for one of our Universities

          • Jon Rowett

            made your minds up lads, am i an “uneducated ignoramus” or a sinister marxist academic?

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I’m all for the White Poppy, but wear it on the more appropriate occasion– 1 May.

  • Jon Rowett

    Lazily written Red Scare claptrap which completely fails to make the case for why anyone should *not* be persuaded that militarism is “rooted in violence, coercion and unquestioning obedience”, and it presents the RBL’s poppy campaign in its present form as self-evidently good. Not everybody wants their children encouraged to give uncritical support to those who drop bombs on civilians or murder petty thieves in the dark corners of Abu Ghraib. Not everybody wants to give money to an institution which is generously supported by BAE Systems, a company whose entire business model depends on the manufacture of the very weapons used to kill soldiers. Poppy hysteria has become ever more shrill, with the wearing of the damned things now regarded as mandatory for anyone in public life. The conflation of “reflection and remembrance” with “support for all soldiers”, and with the concept of patriotism, is an indefensible sleight of hand, and one that I don’t want my children exposed to. Claiming, as many do, that the red poppy is “not political” ought to be a huge warning flag to anyone still in possession of their critical faculties: if you’re being told something is apolitical, it almost certainly *is* political. The red poppy and its attendant annual orgy of unthinking, hooting militarism represents indoctrination of a sort that many ordinary people find deeply distasteful – rancid even. If your own identity is so fragile as to feel affronted and threatened by the existence of a white poppy for those who feel differently to you, I suggest you toughen up a bit.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Your message is an insult to everyone who wishes to remember the enormous sacrifices made by earlier generations for the sake of us all, including people who are ungrateful.

      • Jon Rowett

        Please can you explain precisely how it is an insult? Frothing outrage just doesn’t cut it – so please show how you arrived at this conclusion.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Nothing you have written shows any respect to the people who made the sacrifices or those who wish to remember their sacrifices by wearing poppies the colour of blood. You also criticise the Royal British Legion’s campaign.

          There was a time when parliament was full of men, and it was mainly men, who had fought in the Second World War, and some who had fought in WWI. They knew the reality of war and were cautious about military involvement in foreign countries. Politically correct types like Blair and Cameron were much more ready to send our troops to fight even though they cut back on the military budget.

          I wonder how many of those adults who will wear white poppies wanted us to intervene against Asaad in Syria?

    • Reborn

      You sound like a little Corbynista, fresh from one of Blair’s ghastly “unis”
      You may, of course, be an intelligent, educated, adult, which makes your
      rant all the more offensive.

      • Jon Rowett

        Offensive why? A lot of people around here are throwing around words like “insulting” and “disgraceful” but no-one has actually explained why!

        • Reborn

          Offensive because we know our country’s history & the massive sacrifices
          made by countless service men & women to defend it from becoming what it is becoming thanks, in great part to leftists.
          Ignorant, miseducated leftists, who don’t realise that we are now the dumping ground of the world’s dregs who sleep.8 to a room to undercut our low skilled workers & another set of dregs who seek to normalise islam & slip in sharia law.
          None of the above is racist or xenophobic, I’m very anti racist & very
          pro European.
          It’s just that our forces & their families fought two world wars to defend our
          independence, and right dow we are an unwilling member of the de facto Fourth Reich and are not even allowed by our foreign masters to expel
          terrorists & their supporters.

          • Jon Rowett

            Thankyou sir. Your deranged frothing about “the Fourth Reich….Sharia law…human dregs” demonstrates precisely why an increasing number of people now feel unwilling to touch the poppy appeal with a bargepole.

          • Reborn

            Your should get out more.
            Especially in London.
            I do object to being described as a deranged frother.
            I am a perfectly ranged frother & enjoy teasing ill educated lefties who
            know little of our history & hate our land from a position of ignorance.

          • gunnerbear

            So the current situation is all the fault of Leftists….hmm….since ’45, the Blues have been in power for chunks of the time as well. As to expelling people, the French manage it with ease….HMG choses not to exert the same political effort. I voted Leave but things like the UK being turned into a low wage low skilled economy have everything to with the policies of assorted HMGs and not much to do with the EU.

          • Reborn

            There is a powerful left wing argument for regaining national independence.
            I was a Labour Party member in the 70s & voted out for both left wing
            & right wing reasons.

          • gunnerbear

            I reckon, like most of us, that comment about Left and Right reasons is spot on…I doubt many people are all ‘Right’ on every issue or all ‘Left’ on every issue.

          • Reborn

            Exactly.
            I’m a small c conservative, not a Tory.
            I’ve got more in common with Kate Hoey than with Michael Heseltine.
            The Left/Right dichotomy is a crude generalisation & can be useful
            shorthand on individual issues.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The fact that even has to be explained to shockers like you explains why!

          • Jon Rowett

            not my problem if you can’t coherently explain your objections, pal

        • Simon Platt

          Really? Considering just “insulting”, how about:

          “ever more shrill”
          “the damned things”
          “indefensible sleight of hand”
          “I don’t want my children exposed to [it]”
          “a huge warning flag to anyone still in possession of their [sic] critical faculties”
          “annual orgy of unthinking, hooting militarism”
          “indoctrination of a sort that many ordinary people find rancid”

          For “disgraceful”, I offer in evidence … every word.

          • Jon Rowett

            fantastic work, absolute gold simon [sic]

          • Reborn

            Just though I’d point out to you old chap that your use of “sic” is
            inappropriate
            “Really ?” which it denotes, is only used when quoting someone else’s
            dubious comments.
            You really need a good dictionary up there in your bedroom.

    • Owen_Morgan

      To which bit of fighting fascism do you object?

      • Jon Rowett

        None of it pal. Why else would i be posting on here?

      • My father fought in the Second World War, and his father in the First, so I want to carry on wearing the poppy. But in very recent years it has come to mean the exact opposite of its original and intended meaning. It, and the events associated with it, at least at national level, have become expressions of political support for recent and ongoing military interventions, and of others that might be proposed by the people who brought us those. I had better give the whole thing until next year, the centenary of the Armistice. But if things have not reverted to their original intention by then, then I really could give it all up. I suggest that you adopt the same approach.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Tripe.

          • True, I’m afraid. I wish it weren’t. But it is. And all sorts of people have hijacked the whole thing. Football, for example. At it last year. At it again this year.

            The issue is that military veterans are dying because of benefit sanctions, that they are sleeping on the streets because of the crisis in the mental health system, and so on. The issue is not the wearing of poppies during a football match, which in itself is an extremely recent innovation, and was not seen even when England played on Armistice Day in 1987.

            In 1987, First World War veterans were still alive in numbers comparable to Second World War veterans today, while some Second World War veterans had not even retired. For example, my father. Ho, hum. I assume that all of the gate receipts will be going to the Royal British Legion. Of course. Together with any monies paid for the right to televise the match. Of course.

          • SimonToo

            That some people jump on the bandwagon does not invalidate the concert.

        • Owen_Morgan

          I don’t agree that the poppy has acquired any political symbolism at all. Leftists have always hated the British Legion; they supporrted the n*z*s until 22nd June, 1941, too. Some muslims have also politicised the poppy, because they side with the taliban, or isis, and other characters who want to blow us up.

          It’s the enemies of our society who make the poppy a political symbol. I don’t see why we should follow their example.

        • Royinsouthwest

          I don’t know anyone who thinks that wearing a poppy (a proper one, not a white one) is an endorsement of the policy of whichever government happens to be in power. Politicians come and go. Remembrance Sunday and 11th November are not about them.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It is about Remembrance. The shrill hysteria is coming from idiots like you.

      It is your identity that is so fragile that you feel offended and threatened by an act of Remembrance that you have to disrupt it and demand that people must think of it as you do.

      Show some respect instead.

      • Jon Rowett

        you can’t just bark the word “respect” over and over again and expect it to magically transform into a coherent position. i’m so sorry, take care

    • Simon Platt

      Did you write “Lazily written Red Scare claptrap” deliberately to put people off and undermine your credibility? Because that’s the effect. Surely you must realise that?

      • Jon Rowett

        thankyou simon, god bless

    • Tricia

      My grandfather died at the Somme aged 26 years. I will wear the red poppy to remember him and all the others. My father was separated from my mother and sister for 5 years in WW11 which he spent in Egypt. Life was tough, but he eventually returned – I will remember all the sacrifices. My son in law was sent to Iraq, with insufficient armour and transport, but he served the Army for 15 years. They all need remembering.
      People like you would like us to have no memory – to float in an empty sea.
      You don’t have to buy a red poppy – it’s your choice. Do not denigrate this memorial for others. If you want a white poppy have a special Peace Day and don’t hijack Remembrance.

      • Jon Rowett

        if you want to be a hero, become a fireman or join the coastguard. no-one is forcing you to drop bombs on wedding parties in Afghanistan or murder PoWs on the battlefield

        • Reborn

          contemptible comment from a brainwashed ignoramous.

          • Jon Rowett

            a great point well argued sir

          • Reborn

            From you such a, presumably genuine, compliment is not welcome.

    • Bob

      Remove ‘red’. Replace with ‘white’. And I ask you, peace may be a valiant goal…but at what cost?

      • Jon Rowett

        how’s about half a million iraqi civilians not being dead

        • Reborn

          Hows about invading the true sources of mohammedan terrorism.
          Saudi Arabia & Iran.
          Hows about putting those Labour war criminals on trial.

          • Jon Rowett

            i’d happily see Blair sent to the Hague. not so sure about carpet-bombing a load of innocent Iranian citizens, but whatever gets you off, I guess

    • SimonToo

      The wearing of a poppy is, and should be, voluntary. (Nevertheless, I also think it is rather naff to wear one before Guy Fawkes’ night is over.) It is an act of remembering the dead, not of celebrating the war in which they died. It is certainly not a matter of expressing one’s indiscriminate approval of everything that every other wearer does or represents.

      If there is to be a distinct day devoted to protesting against militarism and war, fine, let the nation unite to wear white poppies that day. The trouble is with the white poppy as an alternative to a red poppy; in that case, it represents an insistent incomprehension of why people are wearing the red one. The thinking of the Peace Pledge Union seems as muddled as yours.

      • Bob

        Excellent comment. Totally agree.

    • Kanaris

      *applause*

    • ro

      The truth, if you can countenance it, is that red poppies were introduced as an means of remembering those who died for their country (and so that you and I can live a relatively free life in the UK), not an excuse for imposing one’s military superiority.

      One of the points in the articles alludes to is the observation that the white poppy is seen as hijacking the red poppy, rather than standing up on it’s own feet. Did you not pick up on that?

      I get that people question war, but what is war except one party* defending themselves against another? It’s one thing to suggest that parties* do not rise up an attack others, but such pleas fall on deaf ears, since the aggressor’s heads are buzzing with conquest. But to suggest that parties* cannot defend themselves, because to do so would be war? And war involves killing. That’s another way of saying that your way of life isn’t worth defending. How sad. Maybe you need to toughen up a bit.

      * nation/country/army/terrorist group/rogue faction/ideological movement masquerading as a religion

      PS – I am wondering if you are one of those people McGovern talks about in his penultimate paragraph.

  • The poppy has stopped meaning what is used to. It now means quite the reverse, in fact.

    • Two-steps-forward

      It was sadly only a matter of time.

    • Harley Quin

      I agree that there is some truth in that. In my opinion, by far the majority of those
      politicians who now turn up at the Cenotaph wreath laying ceremony would have been comprehensively despised for their views by most of those who the ceremony is meant to remember.

      Just as those who lay the wreaths would despise the dead for their patriotic motivation which they would describe as ‘racism’ etc.

      The ceremony is an exercise in hypocrisy.

      • But then, in its way, so was the first one. Look how we treat veterans now. And look how we treated them then.

        • Reborn

          In te US they’re all heroes (a somewhat debased term now), in the
          UK they get poor post service support.
          Certainly not the scholarships etc the US gives its vets.
          Thanks to the Blairs & their foul “human rights act” our ex troops are
          likely to be subject to taxpayer funded harassment by leftist
          shysters.
          The Tories did promise to replace the Blairs’ act with a UK
          Declaration of Rights & Responsibilities.
          That one went the way of tens of thousands of immigrants annually.

      • Andy

        Totally wrong. Remembrance Sunday is one of the most moving ceremonies held anywhere in the world. I’ve seen the same thing in the USA for example and it has none of the simple power of the Cenotaph.

        And further I have visited Commonwealth War Grave Commission Cemeteries. For example, the one at Souda Bay on Crete as you walk toward the Great Cross to right and left are rows of grave stones with the simple inscription ‘A Solider of the Second World War: Known unto God’. It is, like the simple dignity of the Cenotaph, incredibly moving and a powerful testament to mans inhumanity to man.

        • Harley Quin

          I’ve been to Souda Bay. I remember one inscription on a cross particularly. It read ,

          ‘My only son’

          Heartbreaking. Still I stand by what I said: Those who died, by far the majority of them, would despise the politicians who lay wreaths in their memory.

          Incidentally, my father in law fought in Crete.

          Politicians aren’t the only ones who lay wreaths at the Ceremony,

      • Reborn

        The fact that so many of our politicians are self serving hypocrites in no way invalidates the importance & significance of the ceremony to those millions who actually love the UK despite its rotten governance.
        Those who died in two World Wars should still be respected even though
        most current political types believe we should governed by our erstwhile enemies.

        • Harley Quin

          I quite agree. I should have said that the ceremony is an exercise in hypocrisy so far as the politicians are concerned.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Not to me it doesn’t, nor to my friends.

  • Harley Quin

    Anyone who writes in the Morning Star is looking forward to the overthrow of the state, bloodily if necessary.

    • Jon Rowett

      hell yes

  • KilowattTyler

    “The White Poppy symbolises the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts and embodies values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason…”

    Perhaps the Peace Pledge Union could explain how they would have dealt with Hitler. If they can come up with a convincing alternative history, in which the advance of the Third Reich was halted not by war but “…better ways to resolve conflict…” then they have a case. If they cannot, then they have to explain why the killings in the Holocaust would be a lesser evil than the deaths caused by war (and if the Third Reich had met no military opposition it would have grown much, much bigger and probably systematically exterminated the Slavs as well as the Jews).

    Perhaps their chums at the Morning Star could remind the PPU of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and Operation Barbarossa.

    • Harley Quin

      Chamberlain had a better way. Only, it didn’t work, did it?

  • Sean Toddington

    I must say I’ve never worn a poppy. I kind of get that from my dad, who had little time for militarism, and no tolerance whatsoever of the British Legion. Personally I believe if you want to wear a poppy that’s fine. If you want to wear a white poppy that’s fine too. We are not, after all, North Korea.

    • Jon Rowett

      show some respect, traitor. show some respeeeeeeeeect

      *million year long farting noise*

    • Jolly Roger

      We’re not North Korea. That’s fine. If we were North Korea, that would be fine too?

      Your father may have had good reasons for disliking The Royal British Legion. However, militarism before both world wars was not a feature of Britain. Some of the British generals of the Great War were blunderers, but that’s a different reason for disliking them.

      In some cultures the colour white is one used in the rituals of mourning. In Britain and Europe the colour is black. In military affairs in Europe the colour white is associated with surrender.

      The Peace Pledge Union want a negative answer to be given to any war. This would include wars of self defence. What answer would the PPU have to an attack on the Baltic States by the Russian Federation, if it ever happened? Perhaps it would be a white poppy.

      • Sean Toddington

        I think the colour white in this context signifies and absence of bloodshed. My father’s problem was not militarism before or during the war, but militarism as the war’s reality receded into the past. He thought warfare was sordid and vile and he had plenty of first hand experience of it. I’m not a pacifist, and I don’t agree with the PPU, but I don’t have a problem with them holding and promoting their point of view. Equally I dislike the pressure that can be applied to wear a red poppy – for example in the case of James McClean. I like it that we are an open pluralist society, so North Korea most certainly not fine.