It is. Thank god for Baldrick.
He’s no Ledwidge though!
That he is not.
it’s easy to ask questions looking backwards.
Exactly, as the saying goes, ‘hindsight is the foresight of a gobshite’. It’s impossible to judge people from the past on todays knowledge. The same applies whether it’s the hunger strikers or Irishmen enlisting in WW1 we are talking about.
With a gun?
Im not quite there yet. Anyway all the grassy knolls are wet as ■■■■. Don’t want to ruin me good runners.
That’s one objection I have to it.
Another is that the wearing of the poppy has become far more than just a commemorative gesture – it’s a political one too. It’s an implicit endorsement of British Military policy past and present. There is a sizeable and powerful conservative (don’t mean the political party though they’d be part of it) lobby in Britain that wishes to present British involvement in foreign wars as being as right and as naturally British as the Queen, the Proms, red post boxes and Yorkshire pudding. That the survival of ‘Britishness’ itself depends on Britain being a military power. The poppy is just one manifestation of the pervasive promotion of one single, unquestionable interpretation of what it means to be British peddled by this set, inherent in which is the expectation that young men (and women, but mostly men) from working class or disadvantaged backgrounds should go overseas and fight and often get themselves killed for the enrichment of the wealthiest 2% in the country and for little or no benefit to their own class. Any dissent or even questioning of this viewpoint will have you branded a dangerous traitor or a loony lefty in the right-wing media (ie most of the British media) – see where as simple a gesture as not wearing the poppy would land a TV presenter. There are millions of people in Britain who are very proud to be British and utterly respect those who died in any of their wars but resent being presented with a choice of having to endorse this system or be seen as completely ungrateful and disrespectful to the memory of brave and selfless people of their own class who genuinely did pay for their freedom with their lives.
There’s another, I believe related, matter about all of this that I’ve never heard raised in the British mainstream media. Why, when the First World War ended a hundred years ago and The Second World War ended over 70 years ago, has the poppy and Remembrance Sunday become such an all encompassing event in the media only in the last 15 years or so? in the 1990’s there were not such massive displays before Premiership games for instance. The Poppy was often worn then but not for 2-3 weeks beforehand.
I believe the answer to that question exposes the real motivation behind this surge in popularity, as I have no doubt that the reverence afforded to Britain’s war dead and the hushed tones of admiration in which dead soldiers are always spoken of serve another purpose – recruitment. What impressionable young man wouldn’t like to think he’d be remembered like that in his town or village too? Joining up to defend freedom and democracy and fight against terrorism sounds so noble to a lad of 18 - that the actual objective of those commanding him is more likely to keep Shell and BP in Iraq rather than let the likes of Total in is something he may never be given the opportunity to grow old enough to even contemplate. That is genuinely tragic in my view and any system that expends its youth in such a manner ought to be challenged. If that entails refusing to wear the poppy and risk offending people, so be it. There is a duty to the dead of past wars; there is also a duty to the youth of the present day to see that they don’t needlessly become the dead of future wars.
The poppy has become a sort of substitute for a British sense of themselves. But one that has become almost obligatory.
It is also interesting that the poppy has become almost totally associated with World War I, although it ostensibly commemorates all British forces including as you say the Tans and the Derry paras.
World War II, and British contribution, does deserve to be remembered as it was war in west against Nazism. World War I was just a meaningless slaughter of millions. If people with relatives who were involved think they should be remembered in that way, then that is their right.
I have no time, however, for non unionist Irish people who wear a poppy as a political symbol of their self hating anti-nationalism. Something that was ironically made trendy by alleged lefties in the degenerate wing of the stickies and passed into their new host of the Labour Party.
Excellent points Uroy.
Wear a poppy or you’re not British.
There’s an army of people stalking TV screens on the look out for presenters who don’t wear theirs.
Just last week, ITV presenter Charlene White was trolled with racist abuse because she didn’t wear one. The article below does better justice to her story…than I ever can.
Jon Snow (C4 News)…takes the same abuse every year. He called them Poppy Fascists. Best description there is.
Do you remember the case with news presenter Donna Traynor ?
One year in the 90’s she chose not to wear one.
Reaction was predictable.
BBC NI then made it a regulation that all news presenters should wear one.
As usual, Bill nails it.
Yeah, she was actually the first person I thought off.
How dare a catholic tv presenter not wear a poppy. Unionists went mad.
She received sectarian hate mail and was pretty much bullied into wearing one.
Now every presenter & guest on BBC wears one. Even Elmo from Sesame Street. No joking.
I was watching an adult movie at the weekend and even they were wearing them.
I studied with her in NIHE ( Now DCU).
I didn’t realise she was that old.
Thought you were in the H Blocks at that time
(Just bustin’ your balls!)
There’s some people on here who really know their history and current affairs.
And a lot more who don’t.
I didn’t want to be embarrassing you.