So as not to trick you into reading something which will potentially offend you, I will start off by being blunt: I hate the charade that surrounds Armistice Day. If this idea offends you, and your mind is closed; then by all means click the “x” on the tab and away yourself to enjoy your day. That is your prerogative. As it is mine to not wear a poppy, and to not support the British Legion or Help for Heroes.

The problem emanates with people, unfortunately. In Britain, it is the correct thing to “support our boys” as “heroes”. Most of the time, people who do not engage with, and participate in; such behaviour tend to be viewed as subversive, as outsiders, as inflammatory. I’m none of these things, I’m merely anti-War. People say that Remembrance Day is about showing “respect” and “honouring the dead” of wars. It would be great, except that isn’t what it has become.

Really showing respect and honouring those who have died in wars, would be to either ultimately end all war or to live as the society they died to defend. One where to have a contrary opinion is not a crime, is not going to be a dark mark against your name and character, is not going to paint you in the most noticeable of colours.

I detest war. I detest the capitalist state because its end function is war. War generates revenue. War acquires resources to sell. War is capitalism.

But it is not only that. The Red Poppy is the fundraising tactic of the British Legion. They in turn give the monies to British soldiers. They make no distinction between the Conscripts of the First World War, the Anti-Fascist War of the thirties and forties – and wars like the Falklands and Afghanistan and Éire. The Red Poppy crowd want to whitewash over history, to paint an image of the archetypal British Soldier as somebody who only engages in conflict with the very best of intentions and as a very last resort. Somebody who would never kill unarmed civilians who are fleeing, would never skink a ship sailing away and outside the conflict zone, somebody who would never attempt to cover up a massacre in a “British” city.

The truth is, it is not that simple. The British Armed Forces are neither heroes nor villains. They do what they are told. There is no heroic spirit. Merely killing as a result of killing. Which begets more killing. Also, there is the question of whether or not the British Army is in fact even an army anymore, when it is deployed more as a paramilitary police force. It is pre-emptive, first to strike and heavy-handed. Ask the Irish people, if you want to have your views challenged.

War is not a nice little abstract idea that happens “elsewhere”. That is what people who organise them would like us to believe, as it is good for morale; and there’s less chance of people turning against it if it isn’t on their doorstep; people other than british soldiers die in War. Where is their remembrance? Is there room for the civilians of Dresden on the Poppy? For the Fourteen murdered in Doire? Baile Átha Cliath? Muineachán? The Argentinians on the Belgrano? The Mau Mau?

See, the problem is, the Red Poppy is about normalising war and reducing dissent. It encourages people to think only in terms of “black and white” wherein the army is on the side of the Angels, and the Enemy is Satan reincarnate. It encourages people to forget that civilians, too; are damaged beyond repair by shrapnel, by poor planning and by callousness.

Remembrance Day has become a propaganda tool. Wear a White Poppy to remember all War dead. Or wear none at all to show that you are living in a country that the men and women from the Second World War would recognise. One where dissent is considered a vital part of the due process of “democracy”.

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