Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Know Your Enemy

"Of course, there are those for whom the paper poppy is undesirable by virtue of being rather too declasse. If you're one of them, you might consider going all out and purchasing a poppy pin encrusted with Swarovski crystals, as Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole have just done. What more fashionable way could there be to pay tribute to the unnecessary slaughter of millions than with a sparkly bit of political bling?"

A bit late, perhaps, and first published in 2010, but Laurie Penny's New Statesman article is a stinging yet thought-provoking attack on the hypocrisy surrounding the ostentatious public wearing of poppies. She's got a point.

And she's also got a point when she notes "There are good reasons to donate to the Royal British Legion, especially with government support for veterans so notoriously constipated". How is it that more focus is not given to the fundamental lack of financial support provided for veterans? Those who've fought in combat, and their widows, widowers and families, want more than to be simply venerated for their sacrifice. The fact that Help for Heroes needs to exist is appalling - the state shouldn't be expecting and relying upon a charitable organisation to do its work and mop up afterwards.

(Thanks to Alex for the link.)

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