It’s Poppy Season

Poppy Season is a bit like the Christmas Season. It seems to start earlier every year. I saw my first one of 2012 in Portadown just after I got off the Dublin train.

I personally have no problem with people wearing a poppy. Nor should anyone. And nobody should have a problem with me not wearing one.

This is of course a special time in the Year of the Internet Blogger. Over on another website, old templates for threads will be dusted off.

By next week we might expect the first outbreak of whataboutery.

Some shop manager is going to tell some shop assistant that she cant wear a poppy and she is going to run off to some DUP MLA who will be demanding some action be taken. Or some other worker is going to be told that she has to wear a poppy and we can read all about it the Andytown News.

And pointless posts on a website.

Why not just use last years posts and comments and save us all time?

But thats what I love about Norn Iron. Consistency.

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6 Responses to It’s Poppy Season

  1. bangordub says:

    Interesting stuff on twitter Mr Fitz regarding Poppys.
    A certain ex-Rangers player tweeted:
    “No Poppy, ya Dancer”
    Cue, invective, vitriol and the usual sectarian abuse from the usual quarters.
    Problem?
    “No Poppy” is a Horse he’d just won a few bob on………..;-)

  2. I think your idea of merely repeating previous opinions is a good one, soooooo, in the spirit of repetition I shall merely copy and paste what I said under a different guise (Kevin Barry) many moons ago on a fictitious blog that we know doesn’t exist. Please note, I was deliberately controversial, though I do feel that the essence of what I said is fairly accurate re how I feel on the matter:

    ‘The poppy is a very curious thing to be frank.

    I can fully understand people wanting to wear a poppy to show their respect for those who have fought for their country in what they may think to be wars of necessity.

    Pip notes that we should remember those Irish who fought in WW1 as they fought for us (I would note that they were clearly duped and fighting as part of some grand imperial adventure is certainly not a fight in my name (and as someone will quickly point out, my name sake didn’t think so either)) and also the Irish who fought in WW2 as it was a war of necessity (or cleaning up a mess created thanks to the previous one and was entirely avoidable), ok, fair enough.

    However, my problem with the poppy is that it is an indiscriminate symbol; you are also celebrating those who had a choice whether to join the Crown’s Forces, who went off to wars in foreign lands and killed, raped and plundered their way around the world. In Ireland, we have the infamous Black and Tans, but elsewhere the locals had it way worse than us whether in Africa or elsewhere.

    People will say things such as ‘they’re soldiers, they were only following orders, it’s the generals/politicians who made the orders’ or ‘my wearing of the poppy is in honour of [insert relative] who fought in [insert war] and all he did’, ok, but you cannot wear a symbol commemorating all of those who have fought for the Crown and then say that with all sincerity. The poppy also symbolises the human rights violators, the cold killers who fought to steal the resources of those less fortunate than us and may have even enjoyed it. If you can put some kind of caveat on your poppy then be my guest, otherwise, it is a symbol of all of those who fought for the Crown.

    In Japan, for years Junichiro Koizumi went to the Yasukuni Shrine to pray and was roundly hounded by the Chinese and Koreans as the shrine honours 14 executed class A war criminals who took pleasure out of murdering their countrymen. He said he went to pray for peace and to honour all of the dead.

    The point I’m making is that the poppy may be linked to a lot of good and misguided men, but is also linked to some people who, if they were on a losing side, would be war criminals and are rightly hated in foreign lands. I would much rather this emblem were binned as it is far too divisive and helps glorify imperial adventures by people coming out with tired excuses of ‘people didn’t know better’, ‘they were only following orders’, as we have seen of late, most should have known better and these kind of commemorations only help perpetuate the glory of death and war and allow governments to continue with unnecessary wars.

    Better something to commemorate those killed by the men of arms than celebrating the men of arms’

  3. On second thoughts, none of what I have said above is controversial in any way, shape or form, it represents exactly what I think on the matter and seeing that this happened after WW2 in Kenya, I think my points are largely vindicated.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/23/british-empire-crimes-ignore-atrocities

    • This is more or less the problem with Remembrance.
      I am sixty years old so I suppose back in the day when Remembrance from British Legion event at Royal albert Hall dominated TV on the Saturday night…..it was simply boring. A break from normal Saturday scheduling on cold November nights at a time when there was only two or three TV channels.
      But in say ….1965 …….there were men of 70 years who had fought in the First World War…..and essentially the event was dominated by those men and men of around 40 years of age who had served in WW2.
      Now of course a man who was 18 at the end of WW2 is 85 years of age.
      So in 2012, there are no survivors from WW1.
      The oldest in the parades now are WW2 veterans…then ex-National Servicemen from the 1950s (Kenya, Cyprus, Malaya, Aden etc) and that doesnt seem quite as “noble”.
      And then…..”Norn Iron”
      So in less than two decades the oldest people in these parades will be people who fought “colonial” wars.
      This week David Cameron was at the Imperial War Museum (where else???) to announce plans for how the outbreak of WW1 will be remembered. Which really seems an attempt to keep a more “selfless image” of British military alive.

      • Saw that with ‘just call me Dave’ and WW1 remembrance, clutching at straws as he will be a one term PM and he wraps himself in the flag and bellicose rhetoric.

        Soldiers are an interesting bunch, not mostly from the personal perspective but as a group of people in general; depending on one’s side they can fit either comic book narrative quite easily but for the vast majority (99%) they are all regular human beings who want the same things as us all, including their opponents, yet they are called on to do some absolutely terrible things for their cause and are forced to then jump through mental hoops to justify things that to all of are unjustifiable. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to judge their acts in some idealised world but in many cases, when I’m being cold hearted about it, I can see why certain things have been done. This doesn’t mean I agree with them, but I can see the warped logic behind some measures.

  4. janet says:

    Two other points:
    Poppy wearng raises money for the British Legion to help veterans and their families. I do not know why UK Government s do not look after them adequately.

    Poppy wearing has become ” a form of cultural tyranny that is at odds with the values of freedom in whose name our service personnel have served and died. In a more perfect world, the wearing of the poppy would therefore remain a private voluntary act by the individual, not a public corporate statement from which dissenters are not allowed to deviate
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/12/unthinkable-poppy-week

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