Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Why Penny Red is wrong - its not just a red poppy day

The Royal British Legion is an organisation that cares about more than just veterans of war, especially those of World War I and World War II. What is does is provide financial, social and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces, and their dependants.

Therefore for Laurie Penny aka Penny Red has written something that make my blood boil over on the Stop the War Coalition website. Calling it the "hypocrisy and showbiz of red poppy day".

Now I do have family who fought and some died in the First World War, one of whose names appears on the memorial to the right. I have family who fought in World War II, the first Gulf War, the second Gulf War and who currently are serving in Afghanistan. I also have family and friends who have been stationed in Northern Ireland during the troubles, I know people who were orphaned while their parent was going about their duty within miles of where they were.

I was actually talking to a member of the Royal British Legion the other day, who is younger than my 42 years. Who pointed out to me that wearing a poppy or a badge for the RBL is not just a one day thing for those who benefit from the work. It is year round and he will wear symbols indicating his membership and support of the work year round.

Penny decides to use the lead up to Remembrance Sunday for political point scoring and even then getting her facts incorrect*. I for one wear a poppy not just on November 11th or the Sunday nearest to it. I wear it on other days of remembrance, or to the funerals of those who have served. I'm also aware of other charities for our ex-service men such as Scottish Veteran Residences and the Scottish War Blinded charities both still working with young ex-servicemen as they settle back into life.

To borrow from a phrase used about pets: Money given for a poppy is for life not just November 11th.

*She says that politicians have hypocritically "authorised the decimation of jobs, welfare and public education in order to defend Britain's military spending and nuclear arsenal and offer tax breaks for business." When the truth is of course there are cuts in defense spending and closing down on loopholes in tax breaks for business some of which appeared during the reign of her beloved party. 

1 comment:

  1. Not to forget the Scottish Poppy Appeal administered by poppyscotland (or the Earl Haig fund, as I prefer): http://www.poppyscotland.org.uk/index.php/homepage/show/home/poppyscotland

    And as a footnote to your footnote, "Britain's military spending" also supports a good many jobs throughout the country.