People and Politics by Patrick Roberts
Poppy fascism used against Irish leaders in politics and sport -- No reason to glorify horrific deaths in World War I
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 07:18 AM
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|Irish leader Enda Kenny made the decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy|
I see Irish leader Enda Kenny, Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, rugby star Brian O’Driscoll, and soccer star James McClean have all been attacked for not wearing the poppy on Remembrance Day.
That is poppy fascism at its finest.
John Snow, the distinguished British commentator, refuses to wear a poppy for that very reason, as he rails against the Poppy fanatics who regard not wearing one in honor of Britain’s war dead as close to treason.
I’ll wear my own poppy when the British wear an Easter Lily remembering the Easter Rising of 1916 dead – that is it, pure and simple.
The First World War was a complete abomination, a blood filled massacre on a thousand battlefields that left millions dead and ravaged and led to the even bloodier Second World War conflict.
Thirty seven million died including 8 million soldiers in the bloodiest war in history to that point – and we are supposed to celebrate that?
Beside that, Patrick Pearse’s 1916 Rebellion with 446 killed was like a rounding error for the First World War casualties.
Read more: Enda Kenny and sports stars Brian O’Driscoll and James McClean criticised over Poppy Day snub
On a point of principle I would not want to commemorate it, no more than I would the Vietnam War here which I regard as the closing kick of American paranoia about communism in Southeast Asia.
Very few wars are just, as the churches and your common sense will tell you, and World War One, which has its origins in a series of utterly obscure events in the Balkans, will never be in that category.
Of course there were brave men who fought in it and died, lions led by donkeys as the Ulster Volunteers called it, but that does not excuse its utter uselessness.
For any Irish leader to wear the poppy would be to ennoble that dreadful struggle where the upper class Brits sent millions of working-class men to their deaths.
No way say I that it should be remembered and treated as some kind of antiseptic heroic deed from long ago.
The men who died so needlessly would surely not want it so.
So count me out poppy fascists -- unless you wear the Easter Lily too.
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