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  • Paul Starling

'The blood red poppy is racist' -How this country has gone mad

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of people dragging others down in order to raise themselves up? Am I the only one on these insane islands who is sick to the stomach of fools and knaves who puncture debate by pinning false badges on others? You know the sort of thing, "You are a 'racist' ... 'sexist' ... 'fascist' ... 'misogynist' ... blah, blah, blah ... just because you hold a different view to them!

The best weapon of a dictatorship is to divide all against each other. The best friend of freedom is vigorous, open, debate.

If ever we reach the point where we are too afraid to express an opinion, a deathly silence will descend, the power-mad will grab the spoils, and we stupid, divided, sheep will be herded like lambs to the slaughter. Penned-in, rounded-up, then sacrificed on the altar of greed ... because we bickered between ourselves while Britain burned!

We are dangerously close to that place now on a Britain drowning in a sea of false 'labels'.

So-called 'social media' has the capacity to unite millions around great ideas and fine causes. It also has the capacity to create millions of solitary confinement cells where silence rules.

Trying to raise yourself up by dragging someone else down, stabbing me in the chest with a 'badge' in order to 'win' a point is ... err ... pointless ... divisive, and deeply damaging.


I felt bound to write this article after reading that comment by the so-called 'liberal' journalist Robert Fisk. He has every right to express his view. I have every right to challenge that view if I think it and he are wrong.

Fisk argues that the Red Poppy is a symbol of Britain's bloody past in 'foreign fields'. (The 'foreign' bit is where he gets the notion of 'race' from). It is my view that he is quite wrong.

The fact is that the Red Poppy first became linked to bloody fighting in the Flanders fields of the First World War. A Canadian soldier was inspired to write his poem 'In Flanders Fields' after seeing thousands of red poppies sprouting amongst the trenches, the mud, the blood, the shit, the rats, and the carnage of dead bodies.

The Canadian poet knew what he he was writing about. He saw it all up close, and personal as a battlefield surgeon. Red poppies thrive where the earth has been disturbed. This Earth has never been the same since the slaughters of the Somme, and never more 'disturbed'.

The Red Poppy became, right there right then, a symbol of sacrifice.

Those bombarding us, in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, with their claim that the Red Poppy is a celebration of war, are also wrong! They are as wrong-headed as those who pinned white feathers on the lapels of 'pacifists' who refused to fight in that War.

It is a terrible irony that 'pacifists' now are the ones calling on us all to wear WHITE poppies. It may well make them feel 'worthy', as they pin their 'badge' of 'peace-maker' to their chests. They must defend their actions.

Robert Fisk must defend his own words.

As he does that, he would do well to reflect on the fact that the freedoms he and we have to express our opinions, and his 'right' to be 'liberal-minded' were freedoms that had to be fought for.

I, for one, will wear my Red Poppy on Remembrance Sunday in sorrow, in memory of all those who sacrificed their lives to secure our rights and our freedoms.

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