Now then, it's that time of year again. The air is cooler, the light hours are shorter, my plants in the garden are starting to look a little wary. Actually I'm starting to feel a little weary myself. This time of year often does that to me, especially since January 2007. I will get to the reasons why a bit later. Main source of my lowering spirit of late is the emergence of those who wish to score a cheap political point at the expense of a group of people who are carrying an enormous psychological weight with them every single day of the year. Every year these points scorers come out, to make their views known, to dictate to others what their views should be, to denigrate those who quietly choose to go their own way and observe an age old heartfelt tradition.
It has started already this year, i've just this morning read stuff on twitter which heralds the gate opening for a huge group of uninformed people to speak with assumed knowledge and experience about something which is deeply important to some of us. These assumed "experts" actually know nothing of the issue they shout so loudly about. That does not seem to matter to them. I regularly say in my writings that there is no nobler thing to do than extend the hand of help to those who require it. It seems that to far too many that depends upon being seen as being politically correct rather than being actually correct. Since when does helping those who have asked for help have to be sanctioned by uninformed cheap political points scorers?
Before I go any further, I should point out that I am mightily relieved that most people do not have the knowledge and experience that I hint at above.
November the 11th is on the near horizon. Today is October the 7th. I am already reading stuff about the "Poppy Nazis", absolutely so staggeringly insensitive and deeply offensive. Why in the hell do people think it's OK to use those two words so closely together? I stand every year at an out of the way Cenotaph, alone with my thoughts in the cold morning air. I try not to bother anyone. Ever since I got THAT call on the morning of January 13th 2007 I have made a conscious effort not to become an ominous presence when in the company of others. I have been careful not to expect too much from people who I see as being "on the outside" of this awful existence I now endure on a day to day basis. It seems to be becoming too much to expect to be treated with the same respect by so very many people now since it became politically correct to malign wearing a red poppy.
I have stood in Sheffield City Centre and been approached by a wanna be celebrity who informed me that he knew more about the war dead than me, this being the same individual who then went on to wear a white poppy when he had been invited to be the guest of honour at the main Cenotaph in Sheffield. Not doubt many will think he is very clever for doing that. Well, making a political point in those circumstances during the two minutes silence,, CLEVER,,,,, ??
I have seen a small political group hijack Remembrance Day by campaigning outside Sheffield Town Hall day after day with a banner containing the red poppy, the subject they were there about was trees. They used the poppy for their own ends. People do.
There is an organisation which passes itself off as a charity, it is actually a fund raising organisation. Many people who wish to gain traction in the media for whatever reasons use being anti Red Poppy as a stepping to stone. That is what it has become. A vehicle.
Just for balance, I see the whole thing as nothing but cheap street theatre. I see vey little value in the population "Remembering" for two minutes out of 365 days, let me put it this way, some of us remember for all of those 365 days for year after year. I was once at a very poorly attended out of the way Cenotaph, an older bloke was stood alone, wearing his beret. I said to him "i'm sorry there are so few here" he replied "i,m just glad anyone is here" and then proceeded to tell me in sharp detail about the good mates he lost all those harrowing years ago. His eyes grew moist as he was chatting. Then he turned and walked away into the autumn coloured scenery. Here is the thing, he may well have needed help to purchase an electricity card, or stock his cupboards, people like him can get help via the cash that is dropped into those collection tins that are rattled in supermarket doorways or on street corners. I don't even know his name. He may no longer be with us. It disgusts me to my damaged soul that those like him are likely being ill thought of due to the cheap political point scoring that is now so prevalent. Where is the respect?
I have never asked for anything. I have never received anything, I am asking for one thing now, PLEASE SHOW SOME DAMN RESPECT. Don't walk by poppy sellers, if you don't want to wear a poppy fine, don't, if you see an old boy shaking a tin, stop for a minute, chat, stick a couple of quid in the tin (if you can) then shake hands and walk away. The day is fast approaching when there will be no Vets left.
All the politically correct keyboard warriors out there, have a think about this, the UK is now the 2nd largest arms dealer on the planet. Those who make vast fortunes from dealing in death are secretive individuals who live jet set lifestyles and know nothing of needing help to eat or stay warm. They make their fortunes by supplying countries with the means to bomb poor people out of existence. These are your real enemies, not those who want to chip in to funds to help people like the old boy mentioned above.
Philip May has been knighted.
Thanks for looking in, please help by spreading word.
Society not Economy.