The annual poppy rant

This was written in response to a piece that was (to my mind) appalling. It was in the Huff Post and it was an astonishingly ill-informed personal boast by someone who seemed quite pleased with himself for refusing to wear a poppy.  I would normally let you see what provoked me, but I refuse to give the oxygen of publicity to such ignorant nonsense. This was my response.

There is nothing jingoistic about wearing a poppy. It’s a mark of respect. You either show respect for others or you don’t. And that tells me more about you as a person than any pompous tripe you may put into print.

I find it pretty revolting that the author thinks that our soldiers are ‘occupying’ or ‘invading’ anywhere, rather than trying to help the locals against the evils of (a) the Taliban (b) ISIS (c) Assad (d) etc… But BECAUSE those people gave their lives, and please remember, you manifestly ignorant little man, that the vast majority of those who fought in the two World Wars that these poppies are primarily to remember, were not soldiers, they were ordinary blokes, conscripts: your postman, your butcher, the kid who rolls the barrels down the pub steps, the paper boy, schoolchildren some of them, BECAUSE they gave their lives, you have the absolute right to refuse to wear a poppy. You have complete freedom of speech BECAUSE they went to fight and die. The way you choose to abuse that right may nauseate me personally, but, as Voltaire’s biographer once said (no, it wasn’t Voltaire himself!), I disagree with what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it.

Just make sure you deserve that right and use it, don’t abuse it. Because I don’t see you rushing to give your life to help others in need. So I don’t really think you’re in much of a position to start dissing those that do.


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