Lest we forget

Respect doesn’t need a badge.

According to a story in the Independent i (6/11/17) one of the judges on the X Factor was seen not wearing a poppy for the first half of the show, but one appeared in the second half.
The story goes on to allege that the judge succumbed to pressure on social media so as not to be perceived as being ‘disrespectful’. This was just one example of what can happen when those dubbed as ‘The Poppy Police’ get to work on you.

A letter in the same edition was bemoaning the fact that under 25’s, as a demographic group, are turned off by “poppy fever” (my phrase) and see its purpose to glorify war rather than commemorate the dead.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of all that, the Remembrance industry has for some time been at a point where some organisations and people are made to feel pressured into wearing a poppy rather than wearing one because they want to. Like it or not, competing interests have politicised Remembrance Day and all that goes with it, and inadvertently sullied the memories of those who deserve to be remembered. The move from a genuine act of reflective remembrance to that of being a politically correct social bonding ritual appears to me to be an act of failure and an insult to the memory of the fallen.

Lest we forget.

I’ve not bought a poppy this year
But I am not a star
So I will not be noticed
And one thing that is clear
It pays to be so bland

When in the public eye
If you are a star
Your actions will be noticed
Respect for you will die
You are on shifting sand

The poppy police are out
An annual excursion
To bully and cajole
To harass those who flout
And make you join the band

How many wear the flower
That says “I’m in”
“I’m one of you”
But wish they had the power
To freely make a stand

A memory won’t fade
If hearts and minds are won
But pressure has a price
Respect is then not paid
To those who saved our land

Many people who
Wish to remember
Would not wish the act
To be an obligation
Lacking true respect
But they have lost this battle
And the next generation’s
Memories will fade
An unintended consequence
Of the poppy police brigade

Nov 2017.



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