Poppy Fascism

A considered appraisal of this blog will reveal that I am 100% in support of our armed services and also vehemently anti-war - especially the one in Iraq. I am very concerned about the level of courtesy we afford to armed service personnel in public, and I once dared to suggest that it should be an offense to disrespect someone in uniform. On that, a regular commenter, Richard, reminded me of my libertarian "credentials" and pointed out that we already have far too many laws like this.

But, as usual, I digress. Broadcaster Jon Snow has been criticised for not wearing a poppy on television, and then criticised again for declaring:

Compelling people to wear poppies because YOU think they OUGHT to is precisely the Poppy fascism, or intolerance, that I have complained of in the past. 

I am with Jon on this. It must be a matter of choice. I am assuming of course, that he does likewise with little ribbons, bangles and all the other crap that is turned out to assuage middle class white guilt.

I shall be wearing a poppy, in the next day or two, and I shall remember those for whom it is a symbol of bravery, self-sacrifice and freedom.  You do what you like.


strapworld said...

WW I am with you on this.To see al an sundry in television studios wearing the poppy may appear nice. I find it hypocritical in many ways.

That said, years ago I used to be extremely proud to be part of the police contingent which marched and stood by the cenotaph in London and took part in the ceremony.

We would all meet up at about 7am in the Foreign Office yard and be marched around. They would be police/Fire personnel from all over the UK and the Chief of the Fire Brigade alternated with the Chief HMI of Constabulary to take the salute and present the wreath at the actual ceremony.

What always amazed me the number of senior personnel and ministers who had large poppies (like the ones you place on your vehicle!) pinned to their chest. As if their grief was greater than the common herd.
They are still at it. Just observe (not the Queen who has a posyie) at the ceremony. Even in Parliament.

I note they are wearing jewelled ones now.

Snow used to wear a white poppy! I think he has Italian blood!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Strapworld. I don't forget PC Yvonne Fletcher, either, or P.C Trevor Lock, for that matter. I wonder what happened to him?

Rebel Saint said...

It would be great if everyone wearing a poppy was doing so out of solidarity to our armed forces - past & present. But the poppy - along with all the bangles & ribbons & badges & pins you mention - are more often than not displays of self-righteousness. As I read your post I couldn't help but think of these words, "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Rebel Saint said...

Or in the words of Smashy, "I do a lot of good work for charrytee, but I don't like to talk about it"!!!
Enjoy this.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Re your first post, I agree with the Biblical position.

As to your second, I do very little good work for charrydee, and the little bit I do do is so mean and penny pinching that I certainly don't want to talk about it.

Rebel Saint said...

Don't worry WW - wasn't pointing fingers at you in particular, more the self-righteous, poppy fascists.

Jim Baxter said...

But you still give in order to be rewarded, RS. Ultimately. Is that the message there?

Dave said...

I hate the idea of wearing a poppy just because evryone else does. Blindly following the herd is what got us into this mess.
As someone said almost a hundred years ago- "it'll all be over by Christmas".
I hate public displays of grief, of bouquets laid at school gates, of roadside shrines. They are the modern day equivalent of holy indulgences- lay a wreath, wear a poppy, light a candle.
The BBC and others who insist on wearing poppies two weeks before the official launch are the worst.

Paul wrote "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

What would he think about the obligatory wearing of poppies and the shedding of crocodile tears?