petej + poppies   49

This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time | Harry Leslie Smith | Comment is free |
"My uncle and many of my relatives died in that war and they weren't officers or NCOs; they were simple Tommies. They were like the hundreds of thousands of other boys who were sent to their slaughter by a government that didn't care to represent their citizens if they were working poor and under-educated. My family members took the king's shilling because they had little choice, whereas many others from similar economic backgrounds were strong-armed into enlisting by war propaganda or press-ganged into military service by their employers.

For many of you 1914 probably seems like a long time ago but I'll be 91 next year, so it feels recent. Today, we have allowed monolithic corporate institutions to set our national agenda. We have allowed vitriol to replace earnest debate and we have somehow deluded ourselves into thinking that wealth is wisdom. But by far the worst error we have made as a people is to think ourselves as taxpayers first and citizens second.

Next year, I won't wear the poppy but I will until my last breath remember the past and the struggles my generation made to build this country into a civilised state for the working and middle classes. If we are to survive as a progressive nation we have to start tending to our living because the wounded: our poor, our underemployed youth, our hard-pressed middle class and our struggling seniors shouldn't be left to die on the battleground of modern life."
poppies  war  militarism  remembrance  government  poverty  wealth  elitism  class 
november 2013 by petej

related tags

Afghanistan  ArmisticeDay  armsTrade  army  art  authenticity  BAESystems  BartonJoey  BastaniAaron  Brexit  bullying  CameronDavid  cartoon  celebrities  charity  children  class  coercion  commerce  conscientiousObjection  conspicuousCompassion  consumerism  Creggan  culture  dc:contributor=ButlerJames  dc:creator=BelamMartin  dc:creator=FiskRobert  dc:creator=GlentonJoe  dc:creator=PennyLaurie  dc:creator=RamsayAdam  dc:creator=ShortAdrian  dctagged  Derry  discussion  elitism  EU  Europe  FIFA  football  GlentonJoe  Google  government  history  homelessness  humour  identity  Iraq  Ireland  ITV  LabourParty  Leave  LockheedMartin  masculinity  MayTheresa  McCleanJames  media  memorials  MetropolitanPolice  militarism  military  MillerSienna  morality  nationalism  NorthernIreland  Novara  pacifism  patriotism  peace  photograph  police  policing  politics  poppies  poverty  recruitment  remembrance  RemembranceSunday  RoyalBritishLegion  shaming  SkyNews  SmithHarry  sponsorship  students  Sunderland  Telegraph  television  TerryJohn  threats  ToryParty  TowerOfLondon  triumphalism  Twitter  UK  ULU  video  war  warOnTerror  wealth  WiganAthletic  WorldWarI  xenophobia 

Copy this bookmark: