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Saturday, 11 November 2017 10:45

Lest We Forget to Honour the Past

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No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history   Enough of Remembrance Day. This weekend’s memorial to “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” has become a synthetic festival whose time has passed. The wars of the 20th century are beyond the experience of the overwhelming majority of Britons. The composite of the Last Post, “lest we forget” and Oh! What a Lovely War is impregnated with enmity, atonement, forgiveness and self-congratulation. It has been reduced to the compulsory “corporate poppy”.   We really ought to get over it. Next year we should draw down the curtain and have a Forgetting Day, a Move On Day, a Fresh Start Day.


Standing at the village war memorial, we are bidden to recall those who died for king and country. This was appropriate when those present, or the local community as a whole, had suffered a personal loss. Nationalised, it loses meaning. There is no collective grief that can reasonably be shared. Remembrance Day has become another charity event, a military parade, a validation of war by embracing its horrors in religiosity. I have a passion for history and am shocked at how badly it is taught, in particular the neglect of chronological narrative. When my son was learning that now-obsessive school topic, Hitler, he said: “I know about the second world war, but what was the first?”

  Well, son, it is not much use asking your dad.  

We can be thankful though that not all are as crass. First Leicester bus service is offering free travel to any service personnel wearing their uniform on Remembrance Sunday. The company is also encouraging its staff, who have previously served in the forces, to wear their military uniforms on 12 November. Good for them. Matt Born though looks to that Great British Institution, the BBC, and what do we find?  

BBC defends ban on TV presenters wearing poppies   THE BBC was accused of "insane" political correctness yesterday after it admitted that presenters on its international television news channel were banned from wearing Remembrance Day poppies.   BBC World presenters were not allowed to wear poppies because the symbol, worn to remember British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in war, was not recognised abroad and was therefore inappropriate for an international channel, the corporation said.   But politicians and war veterans groups condemned the ban as an insult to those who had fought and died.   The policy came to light after a guest on BBC World was asked to remove his poppy before he went on air.    Robert Fox, a reporter for the London Evening Standard, said he was "furious" after being told he had to take it off before he was interviewed. In a statement yesterday the BBC promised to apologise to Fox, saying the programme's producer had been wrong to ask him to remove his poppy.

  But the Producer did. Didn't he. He had no sensitivity: no history; no honour.  The BBC's man. That fellow will not get a pint in this Tavern. Even jumped-up Sporting bodies get in on this act as though they want to compete with the Americal NFL's  dishonourable fiasco. Just who do these people think they are? Just which soccer supremos made such a nasty, undignified decision to ban the Poppy? No pints for them either. Let them howl beyond the hedge.  

 Ban on poppies for international games scrapped in major victory for the British game

The ban on poppies being worn during England and other home nations matches is to be scrapped in a major victory for the British game.   A climbdown by Fifa will allow all four countries to commemorate Armistice Day during international week in November without being punished for doing so, including at a planned Wembley friendly between England and Germany.Punished? Punished?  Judge and bloody jury on a trumped-up 'crime'.   The Football Association and its Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts were fined over their remembrance activities last year, despite having previously been permitted to mark the occasion.

And was any Fifa executive hanged?  Did the ref waive a 'Rule 303' card?

Following a backlash against Fifa’s change of stance – which the Prime Minister branded “utterly outrageous” – and a set of appeals which threatened to go all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the world governing body has finally agreed to allow countries to commemorate “a significant national or international event”.   Pending ratification by the International Football Association Board next month, a rule banning “political, religious or commercial messages” during matches will be tweaked to exempt certain political symbols if both teams are in agreement. Fines issued to the four home nations in December, yet to be paid while appeals were being pursued, are expected to be waived.

And finally before I start reaching for my sword we have Robert Fisk. He is the multi-award winning Middle East correspondent of The Independent, (another lefty rag)  based in Beirut. He has lived in the Arab world for more than 40 years. It shows. He has ceased to be British. HTTP://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/VOICES/POPPY-SYMBOL-OF-RACISM-NEVER-WORN-ONE-NEVER-WILL-ROBERT-FISK-REMEMBRANCE-DAY-FIRST-WORLD-WAR-SECOND-A7394976.HTML GOOD. Any Englishman who can play the WAAAAYCIST ! card over remembering those who sacrificed their lives for your freedom to say stupid things, can get knotted. You do not DESERVE to wear a poppy.

The poppy has become a symbol of racism – I will never wear one again

The Entente Cordiale which sent my father to France is now trash beneath the high heels of Theresa May, yet this wretched woman dares to wear a poppy.   Yes, the boys and girls of the BBC and ITV, and all our lively media and sports personalities and politicians, are at it again. They’re flaunting their silly poppies once more to show their super-correctness in the face of history, as ignorant or forgetful as ever that their tired fashion accessory was inspired by a poem which urged the soldiers of the Great War of 1914-18 to go on killing and slaughtering. But that’s no longer quite the point, for I fear there are now darker reasons why these TV chumps and their MP interviewees sport their red compassion badges on their clothes.

For who are they commemorating? The dead of Sarajevo? Of Srebrenica? Of Aleppo? Nope. The television bumpkins only shed their crocodile tears for the dead of First and Second World Wars, who were (save for a colonial war or two) the last generation of Britons to get the chop before the new age of “we-bomb-you-die” technology ensured that their chaps – brown-eyed, for the most part, often Muslims, usually dark skinned – got blown to bits while our chaps flew safely home to the mess for breakfast.

50,000 bomber crewmen who died fighting white germans would spit in your eye. So would I.

Yes, I rage against the poppy disgrace every year. And yes, my father – 12th Battalion The King’s Liverpool Regiment, Third Battle of the Somme, the liberation of burning Cambrai 1918 – finally abandoned the poppy charade when he learned of the hypocrisy and lies behind the war in which he fought. His schoolboy son followed his father’s example and never wore his wretched Flanders flower again.

  Such an educated and experienced man and yet so thick and stupid that he sees only hypocrisy where decent people see the sacrifice of BETTER Men. We shall Remember them in the Tavern. Raise your glasses. Pax   


Knackered Old Knight and blogger/innkeeper at The Knight & Drummer

An Australian now, he was born and bred an Englishman but has stood on a town-hall stage, raised a hand and said ‘G’Day’. A respect for the social fabric is tempered by a fine sense of judgement and foolhardiness which sees him defying immoral and anti-Christian Laws. He may be found every week outside the Hobart Abortuary saying his Rosary, despite the threats of jail. Fines are no good for one so poor. The police no longer even tell him to ‘move along’ as he moves very slowly anyway.