British Legion Poppies

crackerjack

Well-known member
Why would anyone want to remember people who, quite willingly by and large, fought for a white supremacist regime? It is quite clear that the main impulse structuring the UKs involvement and its choice of allies in the WWs was the desire to maintain its empire. It is also quite clear that neither war would have happened at all or at least in the form it did without this.

Why/how could any serious student of history ignore this? I guess conformity with public opinion (produced by apologists of colonialism) is convenient.

Conscription was compulsory for all of WWII and a chunk of WWI. While defence of the British Empire was a crucial motivation for involvement in both, the idea that German (the same race as 'us', remember) victory in either would've led to self-government for the people of, say, Africa is fanciful.

Quite apart from all this, wearing poppies is a way of commemorating compatriots who've died and the impact this has on family and community. It's an acknowledgement that we're bound by ties rather stronger and more meaningful than the crass student politics with which you'd like to draw a line between the 'moral' and the 'immoral'.
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
Conscription was compulsory for all of WWII and a chunk of WWI.

I know. So what? The part of the population that was allowed to vote did generally so for parties that accepted the Empire, hence the voting population voted for Anglo-Saxon supremacy.

While defence of the British Empire was a crucial motivation for involvement in both, the idea that German (the same race as 'us', remember) victory in either would've led to self-government for the people of, say, Africa is fanciful.

This misses the point in several dimensions. As I said before, there were other options: the UK as the leading colonialising power could have offered mutually acceptable reductions in colonial involvement that would have acknowledged the legitimate security interestes of the axis powers (including safe access to natural resources). The axis powers could not have done so in the same way. As I said before, the WWs would not have happened, at least in the form and ferocity they did, if this reduction of colonialism had taken place, as it should have anyway.

Quite apart from all this, wearing poppies is a way of commemorating compatriots who've died and the impact this has on family and community. It's an acknowledgement that we're bound by ties rather stronger and more meaningful

Who is "we"? And what are these ties? Blood, Soil and Honour?

People can remember whomever they want, that's an individual issue. As a political spectacle, rememberance without at the same time being very clear that those being remembered did some terrible things (without maybe individually wanting to) is unacceptable.
 
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bassnation

the abyss
I know. So what? The part of the population that was allowed to vote did generally so for parties that accepted the Empire, hence the voting population voted for Anglo-Saxon supremacy.

and what else were they going to vote for? and wheres these perfect countries which have never committed atrocities against their own people or others?

Who is "we"? And what are these ties? Blood, Soil and Honour?

deliberately obtuse rhetoric. the uk community which lost members of their family and friends, obviously.

People can remember whomever they want, that's an individual issue. As a political spectacle, rememberance without at the same time being very clear that those being remembered did some terrible things (without maybe individually wanting to) is unacceptable.

and also some great heroic things, like stopping the extermination of the jews midflow. you do a great many people a great disservice by labelling them all murderers. this is indeed student politcs.

however, as a spectacle i have qualms, so partly in agreement if not totally buying into your black and white portrait.
 

vimothy

yurp
This misses the point in several dimensions. As I said before, there were other options: the UK as the leading colonialising power could have offered mutually acceptable reductions in colonial involvement that would have acknowledged the legitimate security interestes of the axis powers (including safe access to natural resources). The axis powers could not have done so in the same way. As I said before, the WWs would not have happened, at least in the form and ferocity they did, if this reduction of colonialism had taken place, as it should have anyway.

Be interested to hear (read, I mean) you expand on this.
 

sufi

lala
i was shocked & awed the other day to witness the disruption of peace and quiet in Ipswich by
a. a march by uniformed armed jackbooted soldiers through the centre of town accompanied by the traditional style fancy dress raucous brass band
b. a flyover at very low altitude by 3 very nasty looking attack helicopters right over the shopping area scattering litter everywhere.
as i was on work premises i managed to resist the temptation to moon out of the window at the squaddies, but soon as i got outside i made my point by proudly flicking the high Vs (not in the churchill style of course) at the choppers from the middle of the high st, i don't know whether they would have noticed thru their x-ray vision scopes or not but in any case they did not strafe me with uranium bullets, nevertheless it was still quite an impressive display of militarism.

in a way i was glad to be cofronted by the military in this way; as a country at war it is disturbing that there is no hint of the horrendous suffering that we have caused in the middle east, i feel that a military occupation of sussex towns could go some way to redressing this disparity
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
Originally Posted by borderpolice
Who is "we"? And what are these ties? Blood, Soil and Honour?

If you thnk family, community and country equates to Nazism then you're beyond help. The sad thing is you probably consider your brand of hyper-righteous finger-jabbing to be in sdome way related to socialism, even though your contempt for people oozes with every word.
 

RobJC

Check your weapon
The sad thing is you probably consider your brand of hyper-righteous finger-jabbing to be in some way related to socialism, even though your contempt for people oozes with every word.

I know this is playing into borderpolice's hands, but I would like to have seen his brand of hyper-righteous finger-jabbing around 1940 in Nazi Germany. I find borderpolice's posts in this thread extremely crass and deliberately contentious to the point of being sociopathic. Obviously for effect, but neverless.....

Poppy wearing is a personal choice, not seen to be endorsing, legitimising or supporting millitary action whatever the justification or cause, its just showing support for people who have been involved, through choice or otherwise in state-lead millitary action over the years.

If you don't want a poppie, don't buy one
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
on poppies - yeah i agree you wear a poppy and you support the rape of iraq

Well that's just idiotic. There's no reason why showing support and appreciation for the men (and women) who fought in the World Wars means you necessarily support the war in Iraq, quite apart from the fact that majority of Iraq-raping is being done by Iraqis...
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"on poppies - yeah i agree you wear a poppy and you support the rape of iraq"
No you don't.
I agree with Bassnation, it's nuanced and I personally don't wear popppies but to say anyone doing so is automatically a white supremacist who supports the Iraq war is just childish.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
This misses the point in several dimensions. As I said before, there were other options: the UK as the leading colonialising power could have offered mutually acceptable reductions in colonial involvement that would have acknowledged the legitimate security interestes of the axis powers (including safe access to natural resources). The axis powers could not have done so in the same way. As I said before, the WWs would not have happened, at least in the form and ferocity they did, if this reduction of colonialism had taken place, as it should have anyway.

If you think granting home rule to India in the 30s would have somehow defused Nazism I think you're deluded. Or perhaps you think the rise of Nazism was a perfectly rational and justified response to German jealousy towards Britain's much bigger empire and resentment over WWI?
 

sufi

lala
There's no reason why showing support and appreciation for the men (and women) who fought in the World Wars means you necessarily support the war in Iraq,
sorry but if you support the military then you support the military, glorifying war is glorifying war

you are a white supremicist who supports the iraq war if you unthinkingly wear this symbolic poppy - if you think about these matters then you will not be wearing one.
does anyone here wear one? if not why not??
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
sorry but if you support the military then you support the military, glorifying war is glorifying war

you are a white supremicist who supports the iraq war if you unthinkingly wear this symbolic poppy - if you think about these matters then you will not be wearing one.
does anyone here wear one? if not why not??


I never have (though reading this thread could easily change that), but I know at least one person with whom I went on several anti-war marches who recently took to wearing them.
 

vimothy

yurp
I don't make a special effort, but do buy one if accosted in the street.

People sacrificed their lives so that we might live in freedom. I don't think that there's anything "white supremicist" about remembering that.
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
and what else were they going to vote for? and wheres these perfect countries which have never committed atrocities against their own people or others?

What kind of argument is this? Others were just as bad, so whatever we do is OK? Quaker communities and other pacifists were opposed to colonial wars. So alternatives existed.

In any case, one cannot escape one's time. While I am totally disapproving of the current Irak war, I am nevertheless doing my share in financing it by paying taxes. Hence I am partly responsible for it, as much as I regret to say this. At least I don't deny my involvement. Instead I highlight it, in the hope that that may in the long run improve things somehow.

deliberately obtuse rhetoric. the uk community which lost members of their family and friends, obviously.

They were hardly the only one's who had such losses. This is totally obvious. Not acknowledging it is like Turkey pretending about Armenians. It betrays a lack of honesty that is especially galling when the british army is currently doing a fairly pointless mission in Irak.

and also some great heroic things, like stopping the extermination of the jews midflow.

That was clearly only an accident, rather than policy. The choice whether to side with Stalin or Hitler was made on the basis of which choice is more advantageous for securing the empire. More importantly, the Final Solution happened in the context of the war against stalin. I doubt it would have happened if it had been possible to avert that war.

you do a great many people a great disservice by labelling them all murderers. this is indeed student politcs.

I didn't label them murderes. I'm just pointing out the historically well-established fact that these guys defended an illegitimate empire, and have their fair share of responsibility for the ensuing decolonialisation violence, which is how I interprete the WWs (except the fight against Stalin) and various other wars.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"sorry but if you support the military then you support the military, glorifying war is glorifying war"
You might as well say that if you don't support the war in Iraq you are against the military and thus against Britain's involvement in WWII and thus pro-Nazi.
Of course, I wouldn't say that because I can see how I might agree with something or someone in one action and disagree with them in another and you ought to be able to see that too.
Also of course by wearing a poppy you are not necessarily supporting the military, you might be remembering your conscripted grandfather who fought against his will and was killed - quite a different thing.

"does anyone here wear one? if not why not??"
More interesting and intelligent point. I don't wear one, because I'm aware of the issues you and borderpolice are stating and I think it's complex. I certainly don't want people to think I'm supporting (for instance) the war in Iraq.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
sorry but if you support the military then you support the military, glorifying war is glorifying war
Not at all. The military today is not the military of 60 years ago: it exists for different reasons, fights different wars and is made up of different people.
you are a white supremicist who supports the iraq war if you unthinkingly wear this symbolic poppy - if you think about these matters then you will not be wearing one.
does anyone here wear one? if not why not??
I don't wear one, at least in part because of the dogmatic black-and-white viewpoint you and others are demonstrating here that conflates feeling gratitude towards the people who made enormous sacrifices in a struggle against tyranny with mindless patriotism (and "white supremacism", for fuck's sake!).
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
If you think granting home rule to India in the 30s would have somehow defused Nazism I think you're deluded.

I dont think that at all. At that time the situation was already too screwed.

Or perhaps you think the rise of Nazism was a perfectly rational and justified response to German jealousy towards Britain's much bigger empire and resentment over WWI?

I do think that the Nazi's foreign policy is a fairly predicatble response to the (1) the large number of german deaths in WWI, (2) allied colonialism and, most urgently (3) the soviet union's expected attack attack on germany. While I disapprove of just about anything the Nazis stand for, I find it hard to see the strategic alternative for dealing with the stalinist threat.

Are you telling me that if mexico kills a large number of its citizens and tells everybody: in a few years we are going to invade the US, assembles all its industrial capacity towards arming itself, then there would not be a preemptive strike? You know very well what the answer is.

A similar situation obtains in Japan: exactly what where the allies doing in SE asia?

The moral of the whole story: don't manover your neighbours into a position where there is little they can do other than attack.
 

vimothy

yurp
While I disapprove of just about anything the Nazis stand for, I find it hard to see the strategic alternative for dealing with the stalinist threat.

Are you saying that you can't see a "strategic" alternative to Nazism for pre-WWII Germany as a way of countering the Communist threat?
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
struggle against tyranny with mindless patriotism (and "white supremacism", for fuck's sake!).

I said Anglo-Saxon, not white.

I don't think poppy-wearers explicitly see themselves that way. It's more implicit in the position they take, maybe often against their will. And the UK -- qua empire -- was for all practical purposes a tyranny too. Why is that so hard to acknowledge? The US had Jim Crow laws (effectively till 1965).

I am reminded of these things when I see somebody wearing poppies. Just like I think of all the HIV victims when I hear Catholics talking about the evils of condoms. Maybe I'm too sensitive.
 
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