CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The poppy has been ambushed

09 November, 2017

• I THOUGHT that the red poppies were optional?

However you wouldn’t think that if you watched the BBC. Their presenters don’t seem to have the freedom to chose not to wear them. Premier League footballers seem to have to wear them as well. Ironic isn’t it?

Does anyone remember what the red poppy actually represents? I ask because the original meaning has been lost and the military public relations machine has ambushed it.

They’ve now turned it into a way of manipulating the public into “supporting the troops”and, by extension, backing current, often illegal and unnecessary, conflicts.

In World War I the vast majority of fatalities were military. A hundred years on, around 90 per cent of conflict casualties are civilian.

It is therefore far more fitting that people buy the white poppy, because that represents all of the people who die in war. The ongoing refugee crisis is a good indicator of this.

If we really want to move towards ending all wars (and we must), we should remember everyone who is killed, from all countries, and not just “our boys”.

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