Monday, November 15, 2010

The poppy – symbol of peace or war?

After the first world war a weary population greeted the end
of the war and celebrated peace. Armistice day became a day
for commemoration of those who had died in that senseless
slaughter. The Flanders poppy was a symbol of that. Millions
still commemorate the fallen in that way.

The politicians who send better people than themselves off
to die have a different view. For them remembrance is a
celebration of war and hypocrisy.

At the same time as they stand in the house of commons
patriotically wearing their poppies and grieving for the
fallen, they vote to cut the pensions of all public service
workers including of course the gallant heroes they pretend
to celebrate.

By switching from one measure of prices to another (RPI to
CPI) they intend by sleight of hand to attack those most
vulnerable and cut thousands of pounds from the widows of
war and those who have retired injured from the field of

The shadowy defence spokesman Jim Murphy was called out of a
remembrance service. Proudly wearing his poppy he didn’t
speak about ending war or putting an end to the killing. No
he protested about the cutting of the harrier jump jet.
“Serious people have raised serious concerns about the
government's decision to scrap Harriers and all ministers
have succeeded in doing is add to the confusion.”

Obviously in place of “blessed are the peacemakers” his
service included “blessed are the warmakers” and more
particular the merchants of death who produce these horrible
weapons for profit.

It is all grist to the mill for this star in the New Labour
firmament. More weapons, more deaths, more heroes for him to
shed crocodile tears over.

Socialists take no issue with those who genuinely want to
commemorate the fallen or celebrate the end of a war. Those
who use remembrance to score cheap political points while
doing nothing to put an end to war are beneath contempt.

Derek McMillan

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