Saturday, November 07, 2009

He's not wearing a poppy!

The witch-hunt begins.

Three years ago Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow was inches away from being publicly slain. His crime? Not wearing a poppy on-air.

"There is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there- 'He damned well must wear a poppy!'", he said, adding: "Well, I do, in my private life, but I am not going to wear it or any other symbol on air".

On Wednesday, Mark Steel was called a variety of names for pointing out some of the contradictions of the current poppy hullabaloo and, more recently, the Daily Mail went hysterical at the fact that some Premier League clubs are not wearing poppies on their match-day shirts. "Morally bankrupt" was one of the gentlest comments hurled by their baying mob.

And so here we are again. Remembrance Day, something that originally had a meaning, a day to commemorate the dead (soldiers and civilians) of World War I, is drowned into a sea of triviality by the same brand of people who'd look at you in dismay if you dare say you didn't cry for Princess Diana.

A day that was intended to honour those who lost their lives to rid the world of nazi-fascism, a symbol-ridden ideology that imposed the wearing of labels and badges such as the yellow Star of David or pink triangles, ends up being turned into a witch-hunt where symbols are forced down people's throats.

So we learn that you can only remember people and respect the dead if you wear a badge as ruled by Britain's own breed of Bible Belters.

How's this for an alternative: don't buy the Daily Mail, the only British paper that actively supported Hitler in the 1930s. The money you save, hand over to the Royal British Legion.


Blackbeard said...

Well said. The feeling I get from 'poppies' (why not real flowers?) is not one of solemn remembrance and determination not to let the world slide into totalitarianism again. It is rather the same feeling I get when England are in the World Cup and every moron has a stupid flag on their car. Threatened. Threatened for not being one of them.

Mirrorballs said...

This was nonsense, the Mirror said, the result of ignorance of the reality of "Blackshirt government" in Hitler's Germany: "The notion that a permanent reign of terror exists there has been evolved entirely from their own morbid imaginations, fed by sensational propaganda from opponents of the party now in power."

The paper added that anyone who had visited Germany or Mussolini's Italy "would find that the mood of the vast majority of their inhabitants was not cowed submission but confident enthusiasm."

socialist sam said...

it's true the Mirror flirted with the fascists at some point.
But the Mirror also gave up its support for Mosley and the BUF by 1934, and in fact they were amongst the harshest critics of Chamberlain's policy of appeasement.

Lloyd George writing in the Express, 1936 said...

"The idea of a Germany intimidating Europe with a threat that its irresistible army might march across frontiers forms no part of the new vision. What Hitler said at Nuremberg is true. The Germans will resist to the death every invader at their own country, but they have no longer the desire themselves to invade any other land."

Helen Highwater said...

The comments on Mark's article are... well...

"the troops on the ground deserve better than being spat on in the streets by rioting immigrants"

Wow, the comments are actually being written by fantacists!!!

I choose not to wear a poppy because I never do something if I'm being bullied into it. In the past I've worn them. Oh, and at this very moment, my brother is in basic training in the army. I think I've sacrificed enough....

Laban said...

I knew the Mail had a fling with Mosley, but did they really support Hitler ?

What the Guardian thought of Hitler :

A week later, the newspaper dismissed Hitler as "dramatic, violent and shallow", and "a lightweight", seeing him as "not a man, but a megaphone" of the prevailing discontent, fronting a militarist reaction, which would mean the destruction of peace.

Wrong. Far from being the front man for the miltarists, Hitler frightened the Reichswehr to death with his risk-taking in foreign policy. They, well aware of their military weakness, were a drag on Hitler's ambitions right up until Munich convinced them of Western decadence.

The newspaper went on to claim, remarkably, that Hitler was "definitely Christian in his ideals".

No comment.

The Guardian thought on September 25 1930 that the exclusion of the Nazi party from Reich government, given its electoral success, was not in the best interests of German democracy and that their involvement would "in the long run ... help to perpetuate this democracy".

Just like Hamas, really.

They're so wrong so often it's a pleasure to read - were it not for the fact that their mistakes helped to almost disarm Britain during those crucial years.