In the UK we’re coming up to Remembrance Day, and that means we’re seeing people wearing poppies earlier and earlier. This year I’ve spotted people (mainly on TV, but a few in real life) wearing a poppy at the start of October which if this carries on will mean poppy season will start just after Easter by 2030.
In recent years there’s those who not only try to show how much they ‘care’ about ‘our boys’ by wearing the most ostentatious poppy you can buy, but will rip the head off and shite down the neck of anyone not wearing one. One of those people is Kay Burley who said this about the Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire.
When asked what business it is of her, Burley said this.
Actually it is none of her business, or anyone’s business if anyone choose not to wear a poppy, or wear it during Remembrance Week as used to be the case before this insane poppy fascism crept in some time during the early 21st century.
I sometimes wear a poppy, sometimes I don’t. Some years I wear a white poppy, some years I don’t. I have that choice because during WW2 soldiers died for the right of people to have that freedom, and we’re to believe that in subsequent wars they died for the freedoms we had in the post war period. Yet all the Poppy Stasi do is insult the idea that men and women died for freedoms by imposing their own authoritarian will upon others in this annual burst of media bullying where anyone not wearing one is metaphorically lynched by harridans like Burley.
But people like Burley get misty eyed about ‘our boys’ yet they work for organisations who gleefully cheered on sending British troops to die in the Middle East for no reason at all. Rupert Murdoch (who Burley works for) has helped the UK go to war many, many times by ensuring a section of public support for that war, and for a decade and a half has cheered on troops dying overseas in a fetishisation of war, and the act of serving in the armed forces unquestioningly. That for me, is fascism, and to subvert the idea of the poppy to make it almost a celebration of war is repulsive. See, Burley sees herself as an enforcer, which is as said, entirely not what the poppy is there for or how it should be intended so if you want to remember the dead, then do it in the way you want. If you don’t want to or even protest it, then that’s fine too. People may hate you for it, but this is your right and it hasn’t past my attention that many of the people leaping up in faux offence for those not wearing a poppy are also those who cry ‘free speech’ when their own bigotry or xenophobia is called out.
So lets not take note of the poppy fascists. Going with the masses isn’t always the best, or the right thing and populist neo-fascist shills like Burley should be treated with the contempt they deserve along with anyone questioning why you don’t wear a poppy. That’s your right, use it as you see fit.