It’s that time of year again when everybody is asked to wear a Poppy to show remembrance to ordinary people who gave their lives for what they believed was the greater good. It’s also the time of year that Celtic fans get unfairly singled out for abuse and RFC parade UK Armed Forces to claim them as exclusively theirs. Given their fight against paying their Tax it’s good to see that Irony is alive and well at Ibrox.
It’s also a time to feel the hurt of everyone who lost their limbs, lives and family members in wars generated by politicians and the Aristocracy to protect their livelihood, investments and preserve their privileges.
When I was a wee boy you innocently wore the poppy to remember the people who died in the wars. That is fair enough. I doubt there is a family in the British Isles (Including ROI) who were not affected by the two world wars in the 20th Century. However in modern times myself and many others of all political, ethnic and religious backgrounds feel as if we are being forced into commemorating an unacceptable loss of lives for all the wrong reasons.
What was once a genuine remembrance of lives lost has over the past decade been turned into an annual political event. Surely this is not acceptable?
The people who suffered and died in these wars did not give their lives and limbs in order to allow the Politicians and the right wing press in this country to brow beat everyone to wear a Poppy whether they liked it or not. I think they gave their lives to allow people to make their own decisions. You can say that they were misguided in joining the Armed Forces but the truth is most recruits have no other way out of a life of unemployment and dead end jobs. That has always been the case.
The first and second world Wars were a shameful waste of lives covering every nation that were involved. Those wars were the dying embers of European Colonial rule throughout the world. There was a genuine threat especially in the second world war that the British Isles could have been invaded and I doubt with hindsight any of us (except for the Daily Mail) would have welcomed that given the nature of the enemy.
However the sacrifice of those who lived and died through those wars has been used by politicians in this country to legitimise an illegal war and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in IRAQ. Since then Britain has moved on to Afghanistan the ultimate unwinnable war where innocent people have died alongside young service men and women.
This is why I can’t accept Celtic FC or any other football club being bullied by the press and politicians into wearing a Poppy on their shirt. If clubs including Celtic choose to wear a Poppy on their tops then fair enough but they should not be doing it just to avoid a backlash from the ”popular press”.
I accept and I’m proud that Celtic and football players from other clubs gave their lives and careers for what they seen as the greater good. However what I can’t accept is the fact that politicians and the rightwing media in this country are trying to pressurise clubs, supporters and ordinary people into backing and in turn justifying the needless death of innocent people.
If someone disagrees with wearing a Poppy or Remembrance Sunday in general they should be allowed to express that in whichever way they see fit as long as it is not distasteful. Their views should be respected not belittled.
The Celtic support have been singled out for a disproportionate amount of abuse every year that there is a minutes silence held at a football ground. There are always those with keen hearing waiting to hear a crisp poke rattle so they can jump on the bandwagon and insult our supporters. What these people fail to accept is the fact that Celtic are unique in terms of where we draw some of our support from. It has to be acknowledged and respected that we have supporters from Nationalist and Republican communities in N.Ireland and ROI who have legitimate reasons for seeing UK Armed forces as the enemy. This is historic; it goes back hundreds of years and will not change anytime soon.
Those who get on their high horse denounce them should remember that people gave their lives to defend free speech and freedom of expression. Whether you agree with their views or not.
Will I wear a Poppy on the 11th of November ? Well that’s nobody’s business because it is my personal private choice. What I won’t be doing is having a go at those who do or don’t.