Richard Hawley

Interesting things in the papers...
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Author:  helenwatson [ Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

I think to some a poppy is a fashion appendage. What would people say if the tradition of the white poppy were re-introduced? No doubt there would be a lot of outrage about it but their point is a valid one.

As for Fisk, he has the right to his opinions. His family was shaped by the Great War and he has spent his lifetime reporting on all the wars and conflicts since and their effects on soldiers and civilians alike. I am offended about things in this article too – mainly the fact that a man like Tony Blair, who sent thousands to their deaths on a lie (I'm including troops and innocent women and children in Iraq), could have the balls to wear a poppy. Which dead people are OK to mourn?

My father's parents both lost their fathers in the Great War. My nanny was 18 months old when her father was killed and she grew up in abject rural poverty, in a large family whose kids had to be farmed out to service and labour to survive. And my grandad's father's body was never found. All they have of him is his name on the Menin gate. He was one of a group who signed up after the landowner whose fields he worked offered ten pounds to families who sent their sons to the front. It was a tempting offer to people who had no home of their own and lived in semi-servitude to the lords of the manor. The subject of war and death is far from classless – even today the sons from towns with no work are the ones most likely to be killed in wars in far off countries.

I am not offended by someone having that opinion, Baroness, because I think a horror of war is a healthy thing, raging against the pomp of combat, which rarely recognises the devastation it causes through the generations, is quite gallant in itself.

But, as you say, each to his or her own opinion. My son plays in a brass band and at 8.30 this morning they were playing the last post at a service organised by the British Legion at our local memorial. The dwindling band of old boys with their medals were wiping their tears and I'm sure more than a few of them would agree with Fisk about horrors remembered and lessons to be learned. xx

Author:  Lou [ Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

Each person has a right to their opinion of course. I wear a poppy for three reasons: to remember my grandad who fought in the First World War and never spoke about it but cried when the Second World War was announced on the radio; as a tribute to my dad who fought in the Second World War and was at El Alamein. He recently received a letter from a widow of one of his fellow soldiers who said she owed so much to my dad because her husband said it was he who kept him going when he wanted to end it all during the war; to give money to the British Legion to help those disabled by war.

I agree that wearing a poppy does seem to be a corporate decision by the BBC but to belittle everyone wearing one is not acknowledging each individual's feelings and motivation. Yes, some will be wearing one because they have been told to; others will wear one as a tribute and to remember. And as a totally trivial aside, the leaf is very handy to pin the poppy onto clothing. I am not quite sure why Fisk has such a problem with it.

As a further point of discussion, my dad totally disagrees with the Help for Heroes charity. His reasoning is that people in the army now choose to be in the army. He, and thousands of others, had no choice. I am sure people will disagree with that point of view but it shows his depth of feeling based on his experience. He is too old and ill to attend any services but he will be watching them on television and though he won't speak of it, I know he will be remembering his friends and comrades who didn't make it home.

Author:  Caroline 72 [ Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

Not much poppy wearing done here - I haven't seen one. You don't realise quite how powerful a symbol it is until you don't see it around.

Author:  helenwatson [ Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

That's quite interesting Caroline (btw is dad having a nice time?). Mind you, you do have Anzac Day, which I suppose is sort of the same thing.

And Lou, I'm with your dad, but for different reasons. My sisters all collect for Help for Heroes but I suppose it's your definition of heroic. I don't think people who go to other people's countries and kill civilians in the name of a war on terror can be determined as heroes. I have every sympathy for those who feel they have no choice – economic conscription is rife in the armed forces. But at my school, the choices for boys were become a mechanic, go to borstal or join the army and I always thought that those who chose the later were just stupid. Even the borstal boys had more about them. But, that's just my opinion.

A friend reminded me about Harry Patch, one of the last survivors of WW1, and his comment: "War is organised murder and nothing else....politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder" Private Harry Patch 17 June 1898 – 25 July 2009.


Author:  maggie [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

Really thought provoking stuff.

Having read the articles I do agree that poppies are a fashion appendage and a necessary gung ho adornment for the majority on the tele.

Witness this ... Queen.html

(I know, I know, it's the Mail, and the equally awful Katherine Jenkins but still, please read it) £25k, ..... how fucking obscene is that???

Anyone who's been on Facebook over the past couple of weeks would have seen the plethora of sequinned, tarted up, Photoshopped efforts at poppies that have adorned loads of time lines.

Dumbed down, mass produced images - but I bet anyone who used them would have said that they did so in an effort to remember war 'Heroes' rather than because they'd taken a fancy to a sparkly image of something topical.

Instead of poppies and trotting out now feeble old fellas with a medal or two (and don't forget, they were trained to be killing machines in their day, to kill someone's kids. Like your kids or mine. Or bomb a street. Like yours or mine) I'd quite like it if we were subjected to footage of the horrors of war - some images of soldiers torturing other soldiers maybe - or maybe blowing someone's head off - because THAT is what war is about, NOT this jingoistic idea that I should somehow be grateful to people who choose (and I stand by my mantra that there is always a choice - we don't have conscription) to go to war.

Of course during the first and second world wars there was no choice, I understand that. But we've learned nothing, nothing from those atrocities, have we?

We still have wars, in the name of oil, religion, you name it - because whatever it is that makes people want to hurt and maim each other hasn't been civilised out of us. If it had, you wouldn't have politicians signing the wars off and people willing to fight them for them.

The people who fought in WW1 & 2 wars are few and far between now and I'm certainly not going to support anyone who didn't have to make a sacrifice.

I work in a massive office complex, and every year a few of the cutest, prettiest young girls are chosen to carry the poppy trays around, obviously because they're likely to extract money .

I was, in my halcyon days, :mrgreen: asked to do this myself and I always refused. I refused for the same reasons that, during the two minute silence held at work on Monday, I didn't sit with a faraway look on my face remembering the fallen, instead I ran this through in my head - I heard it for the first time in ages on Sunday and to me, it sums everything up beautifully.

Nick Lowe - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding Lyrics

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

Wear your poppies with pride if you want to, but I won't be wearing one at all.

If anybody wants me I'll be dancing in a field wearing a maxi dress and a flower (not a poppy!) in my hair (*)

Author:  helenwatson [ Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interesting things in the papers...

Efsb put me on to this one – such a brilliant opinion piece, I love it. ... depression

And looking for the place to put this, I re-read some posts on here. I miss that. x

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