Why I No Longer Feel Comfortable Wearing a Poppy

(1001 Posts)
Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:21:50


very eloquently put. Exactly how I feel about the whole debacle.

November 11th should be for those who selflessly gave their lives in the World Wars, not those who chose to fight dubious campaigns abroad.

DontCallMeDaughter Thu 31-Oct-13 13:30:58

But that's no reason for an individual not to wear a poppy. You wear one for your own reasons - to thank the men that gave their lives to keep us free, to thank the ones that still continue to do so. The charity that poppies support is still doing essential work. The service men and ex-service men I know who see people wearing poppies know that we care about what they are doing.

Sure - if you choose to donate to the charity or send your respects to the fallen in some other way, then that's your prerogative, but that's not what the article is suggesting. It's just taking an opt-out and ignore stance and that irks me.

And besides, where I live, the poppies are all sold by handsome men in uniform, I tend to end up with about 30 grin

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:33:10

I dont buy poppies because I dont want to support servicemen who have gone off to dubious wars and are doing the very opposite of 'keeping us free'

the biggest threat to my safety is from people in countries that we have chosen to invade, attack and occupy.

They do the very opposite of 'keep me free'

I would prefer November 11th to be about the WW veterans who gave their lives selflessly because Britain was being attacked. Not those who chose to go and attack for a living.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:37:06

I suppose the point is, I shouldnt have to support current service men in order to support those who gave their lives and limbs in the WW's

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 13:37:28

It was the Govenrment who issued legal orders who sent our Forces into (what I totally agree were) dubious operations.

I wasn't the Armed Forces themselves who "chose to go and attack".

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:40:07

Sorry, I dont agree with the 'I dont believe in war I do believe in soldiers' stance.

i think if you are prepared to accept money to go abroad to invade, attack, occupy and kill people then you are not necessarily deserving of my respect.

Its certainly not something I would want to give money to. I would be happy to give money to the last remaining verterans and their families though.

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 13:42:17

As there are more surviving limbless veterans from WW2 than from recent conflicts, then perhaps donate to BLESMA?

CocoCha Thu 31-Oct-13 13:44:16

I wear my poppy with pride.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:45:58

Do the veterans of the two world wars not deserve their 'own' day though?

I think they do.

ColinFirthsGirth Thu 31-Oct-13 13:46:41

Gecko I totally agree with you.

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 13:48:46

Ok - I look forward to seeing your campaign for one.

I don't agree, but if there is widespread support for that then I hope you make it happen.

There are of course no WW1 veterans left, so presumably you'll be covering WW2 only? Or will it include National Service personnel who ended up fighting in say Malaya?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:48:49

Thank you Colin

I am pleased someone is daring to come out and say it in the press. It makes a pleasant change from all the 'heroes' stuff that gets bandied about meaninglessly.

However, whether people agree with me or not (I know it is a contentious issue) surely people can agree that those who fought in the first and second world war, with conscription, not through choice, deserve a day of remembrance of their own?

I wear a poppy because I think it is important to remember the horror of war and what it does to people. Any war and any people.

I wear a poppy as much in remembrance of the German dead of WW2 as the British dead. As much in remembrance of the dead Iraqi civilians as the BNP voting squaddie (to stereotype wildly).

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:49:50

There are still widows and family of WW1 veterans.

They fought and lost as much.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:50:45

Does it not bother you, think that the money you donate with your poppy goes only on British soldiers? would it not be better to donate to action aid?

ColinFirthsGirth Thu 31-Oct-13 13:52:40

I believe there is a big difference between those conscripted and those that choose to join the armed forces.

I do donate to action aid. It's a bit by the by to me that there is a charity attached - for me it is a non religious act of remembrance more than it is a charity

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 13:53:27

Actually, the Legion supports veterans of all nationalities as long as they are resident in UK.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:55:03

Not sure that makes me anymore willing to support them Auntie

Colin I absolutely agree, I also think there is a big difference in fighting a war when your country is being attacked and just going around in big tanks blowing people up because you fancy it (basically)

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 13:56:13

Dubious wars to YOU. Not to those of us that were actually there. You weren't, you don't know or understand.

The RBL donates to and helps soldiers, and families of soldiers and always will.

I wear my poppy with pride, and always will - one day I might need their help, or my DH might, or my DD might. I believe in and am proud of our Military.

ColinFirthsGirth Thu 31-Oct-13 13:56:21

I wear a white poppy - the money from that helps to promote peaceful alternatives to war.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 13:57:43

Ohhh Colin I LOVE that idea!

FannyFifer Thu 31-Oct-13 13:58:22

I have felt increasingly uncomfortable in recent years.
That article makes a lot of sense to me.

FannyFifer Thu 31-Oct-13 13:59:51

LtAllHallowsEve, of course the recent conflicts have been dubious, how can you say otherwise?

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 14:00:59

I think you might like to check the antecedents of the White Poppy a little more carefully. It's not a 'promote peace by other means' organisation, it's a "abolish the British Armed Forces" organisation. Which is fine as a viewpoint, but tasteless around Remembrance Day.

(The BBC article so oft cited about it ignores the founding principles and instead starts several years after its inception).

trish5000 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:01:00

I wear a poppy to show respect to the brave people who go to whereever. Would I always give money to a Governement who sent them if I had a choice. Not always. Because I dont agree with every war fought in our name. Not that we know all the ins and outs of all of them.
The two world wars, as far as I am concerned very needed to be fought. The rest since, not so sure.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:01:05

Because I was there FannyFifer, I know what I did and why I did it. Those reasons were not dubious.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:01:20

I LOVE the White Poppy Appeal.

I have bought 25 and will be distributing them.

Dubious campaigns like the Falklands war you mean, OP?

And fancy riding around in tanks blowing stuff up, my arse. Do you actually know any service personnel?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:03:06
Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:04:06

You cite 'ownership' of a piece of land we STOLE from the country it is all but attached to as an example of a non dubious war?


STOLE from what country, OP?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:05:18

Anyway, regardless of whether you agree or don't agree

surely we can ALL agree that the veterans of the first and second world wars (and their families) should have their own day of remembrance?

Rather than having this contention?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:05:40

I would suggest looking at a map.

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 14:06:24

No, I don't agree with you.

I would suggest reading a little history.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:06:41

just going around in big tanks blowing people up because you fancy it (basically)

What a ridiculous and ignorant thing to say.

FannyFifer Thu 31-Oct-13 14:07:26

All the weapons of mass destruction were the reason excuse to go into Iraq, didn't find any though.
You don't think that was dubious at all?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:07:57

You don't believe the WW veterans 'earned' their own day of remembrance?

Wow, Just Wow

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:09:33

I honestly thought people had more respect for those who gave their lives to keep this country safe from attack.

I really did.

I am totally behind the idea of their being a separate day for those others who have fought in wars but I dont agree with them all being on November 11th. That is a special day for the WW veterans, as should the poppies be.

Buying and wearing a poppy while condoning the opposite of peace in the world is just so amoral.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:10:37

The Falklands is not the only war we have fought (for goodness sake it was 20 odd years ago) and I did not agree with it nor do I agree with it now.

We 'owned' the Falklands like we 'owned' India. The moral thing would have been to make it independent or return it.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:11:46

I honestly thought people had more respect for those who gave their lives to keep this country safe from attack.

I have plenty of respect, thanks.

Bleating by someone who spouts ignorant nonsense won't change that.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:11:55

I remember all soldiers that fought to make the world a better place. Whether that is the veterans of WWI and II, the soldiers fighting terrorism in NI, the soldiers in FRY where everyone was then enemy, the soldiers who went to Iraq and deposed a genocidal manic or the soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan, trying to stop the Taliban and Sharia Law.

I support the families of those soldiers who may have suffered hardships due to their soldiers' sacrifice.

The RBL is a bloody fabulous organisation that helps ALL military, ex military, spouses and dependants - no matter their service, creed, colour, religion et al. They do NOT put conditions on their support, they just give it. Oh and the Poppy production itself is completed by able bodied and disabled ex servicemen and their families. People who couldn't get jobs elsewhere - Remploy (something else the Government has now fucked).

those who gave their lives to keep this country safe from attack.

Like the 200-odd British personnel who died in the Falklands you mean, not to mention the severely injured survivors.

Jakebullet Thu 31-Oct-13 14:13:18

I understand how you feel but given that so many WW1 ad WW2 veterans are now dying I feel we should still be supporting those who re sent abroad by the Govt to fight during campaigns (however dubious these campaigns might be).

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:14:02

Why don't you ask those veterans what they think rather than trying to "campaign" on their behalf?

From what I've seen, most seem to think they were just doing their job. Much the same as veterans of more recent wars.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:14:05

You think the lady who wrote the article above is 'spouting ignorant nonsense' she seems pretty far from that to me.

I can't believe people dont agree that the WW veterans deserve their own day, or that people who dont agree with war as it stands now should not have a day where they can give thanks to those who gave us our freedoms all those years ago.

Regardless of your stance, you must see that it makes sense.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 14:14:07

I have lots of reasons for not wearing a poppy. I have worn one in the past.

I'm uncomfortable at the elision between the world wars and more recent conflicts. The recent revelations about collusion in Northern Ireland, for instance, make it clear that these are vastly different situations, incomparable in my opinions. I think to lump them all in with the WW1 memorial day (as Poppy Day originally started out) is ill-judged and historically insensitive.

I also think that the RBL and Help for Heroes etc, while admirable institutions in their own right, distract attention from the fact that ex-servicemen should be treated better by the governments that send them into conflict zones. This should be part of military budgets in my opinion, and not shifted over to the responsibility and generosity of the public.

LtAllHallows I'm sure you don't mean to suggest that only service personnel can understand the whys or wherefores of armed conflicts. Do you?

I wear my poppy with proud I also have a poppy necklace my dp wears his poppy with pride we both ex army and proud of it

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:14:38

I thought that there are no WW1 veterans alive.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:15:36

Regardless of your stance, you must see that it makes sense.

I don't have to see anything. I do not agree with you. End of story.

And what about those evil war mongers who were killed because they fancied driving a tank around the Balkans?

snakeweave Thu 31-Oct-13 14:17:21

you might feel that we should support them, but i don't. i agree with the author of the huff post piece. i'm a pacifist and would prefer to withdraw all my financial support for our military.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:27

OP you cannot compare the Falklands to India, particularly as the Falklands were uninhabited and

This is key...

The vast, vast majority of the Falkland Islanders view themselves as British and wish to stay that way.

You are on dubious ground to deny the right of a people to self-determination.

I say that as someone who hugely disagreed with British foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:37

I believe there is one left and he speaks out very harshly about current conflicts.

it must be so hard to hear 'lest we forget' in line with people starting wars with no provocation.

There are plenty of relatives of WW1 veterans alive, memorials to keep clean and so on.

I also dont think we should forget the sacrifice made in the WW's just because the veterans aren't around anymore. It is a day we should always remember because of those wars, not tainted by current conflict (which it is)

harryhausen Thu 31-Oct-13 14:19:09

I wear my poppy with pride every year. I do so to remember all the dead from war. This is very personal to me for many reasons.

I think people over complicate Remembrance Day. It's rememberance. What's so bloody awful about that?

cantdoalgebra Thu 31-Oct-13 14:20:19

The Falklands are not like India! We could not "return" it as it was not owned by anyone in the first place and we did not "steal" it. Please read your history and don't try and re-invent history to suit an argument.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 14:21:10

I think it's incredibly naive to think it's simply about remembrance. All historical commemorations are more complicated than that.

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:21:27

Oh for heaven's sake. Every year someone makes baseless allegations about the White Poppy movement. The PPU is a pacifist organisation. It makes no bones about that. The White Poppy movement is most certainly not tasteless around remembrance day - its the red poppy that is tasteless.

If you're interested in the PPU you can read about it here www.ppu.org.uk

Yup, do away with the British Armed Forces.

Not entirely sure who we'd send out should there be another crisis somewhere close-ish to home like the Balkans though. I suppose we could leave counter piracy and getting people out of places like Sierra Leone entirely to private enterprise or something. That'd work hmm

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:22:14

I just think the WW's deserve their own day.

I think the people deserve their own day to remember those wars without supporting further conflicts.

I dont think that a war fought over a rock belonging to a different country is an adequate example of when we had to go to war and kill our own. We were not under threat. People may now (on that rock) think they are British but they weren't there before that war.

We should not be sending our young men to die over bits of rocks connected to other peoples countries.

We should not have tried to take over the whole bloody world. We should own that we did and make things right as best we can.

But most of all, we should be able to honour the dead from the WW's (which include vast numbers of women and children who also fought their own battles on the Home Front) rather it being about the whole armed forces.

We could return the Falklands to the penguins.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:23:10

Is that what I said skylerwhite? Are you having problems understanding me as you did on the last Anti-Military thread you were on?

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 14:25:08

I'm not being aggressive LtEve, I'm interested in your opinions and so asked for clarification.

This is what you said:
Dubious wars to YOU. Not to those of us that were actually there. You weren't, you don't know or understand.

This implies that you think that only those who were there can really understand what wars were about. If I've taken you up wrongly, then I'm happy to hear what you actually meant.

They do have their own days! Fair enough 11/11 has had other conflicts hoisted on it, but for WWII there's VE day and VJ day - people can and do mark these if they so wish.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:26:49

Or we could have not lost 200 lives over a rock... Seriously.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:27:12

The poppy is about Remembrance. It is NOT political. It is not about supporting or glorifying wars, conflicts or operations. The money raised by the selling of poppies goes towards the military, ex military and their families who need it. Those who need more support than the government gives them.

Laceyshoes Thu 31-Oct-13 14:27:57

I believe there is a big difference between those conscripted and those that choose to join the armed forces.

Yes, this.

OP, I agree with you. And I hate the general trend towards sentimentality about and blind worship of our armed forces. Being in the military doesn't automatically make someone a hero.

Which rock is this, OP?

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 31-Oct-13 14:28:57

Gecko What do you mean the Falklanders weren't there before that war?

You are starting to sound like you don't actually know what you are talking about. I find your conflation of colonial India with the Falklands to be grossly offensive to those who suffered in such colonialism.

Awks Thu 31-Oct-13 14:29:52

Calling the Poppy Appeal a debacle is offensive, in my view.

cantdoalgebra Thu 31-Oct-13 14:30:22

The Falklands are not a rock - this is a fact. They are not connected to another country - they are islands. British people (and Australian and New Zealanders) and lived on the Falkland Islands before the war with Argentina.

ben5 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:30:31

A day to remember that today, you can have these thoughts and speak them. Lets remember those who gave and still give so you can have the freedom of speech .
Yes those who join the forces today have a choice but that's because they believe in protecting what we have. If our shores are invaded today and we have no army how will we fight back?
My poppy is a small way of saying thanks

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:30:33

I totally agree lacey and I refuse to acknowledge the charity 'help for heroes' for that reason. I agree with the work they do, but not with the barstardisation of the word 'hero' nor the brainwashing of our young and their assistance in that.

I dont want my sons to think that joining the armed forces and going abroad to invade people makes them a 'hero' thank you very much!

November 11th is symbolic to WW11 as we all know. It is important that remembrance day is marked on that day. It is not important that all armed forces are remembered on that day.

KayHarker Thu 31-Oct-13 14:30:53

I used to be quite vehemently for the red poppy, coming from a forces family. But I have found the fetishizing of all soldiers as ipso facto heroes somewhat distasteful. I still donate to the RBL because they do good work, but I don't wear a poppy.

Gecko, I'm sorry, are you saying no one lived on the Falklands before the conflict?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:32:42

It was another poster who described it as a 'rock' not me (though I did re-use the phrase)

I think that you have to go further back, we should not have be colonising the world and that INCLUDES the Falkland Islands.

They were not ours to take or defend.

Anyway, this thread is not about the Falklands and trust me, you wont change my view on it, this thread is about Rememberence day being for those veterans of the WW's

And how important that is in our society.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:33:38

I think we should remember all the dead. I'm not convinced that fighting to defend our country is the main reason people join the armed forces. But they get put in a tough position and do the job professionally and at great cost.

You may not agree with the Forces role in Afghanistan and Iraq but they do a good job in difficult circumstances.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:33:49

No I just dont think people go back far enough. Yes there were people there before the war but we didnt 'own' the Falklands and we never should have acted like we did. It was part of our 'British empire' and that is something i completely disagree with.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:34:08

I feel the same way about 'Northern' Ireland, if it helps.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:34:08

Skylerwhite, I was there for Bosnia and Iraq. I know why I was there. I know what I did when I was there. My reasons for going were not 'dubious', my actions were not 'dubious'

You were not there. You may feel that my reasons for being there were 'dubious', you may feel my actions whilst I was there were 'dubious' but you cannot know, because you were not there.

You are quite entitled to think that these wars were 'dubious' but you cannot say the same for me.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:34:52

What about Korea, Sierra Leone, Suez - I don't think there's been a single year since WW2 that a British soldier has not been killed in action.

Do they count?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:34:59

I don't know how ANYONE can label what happened in Iraq as a 'good job'

we destroyed a country... Wayhay for us.

What should we have done when Argentina invaded then? Left the Falklanders to it?

trish5000 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:37:29

It is a thought provoking link and thread though. If poppy donations were split into two, ie the two world wars and the Fauklands[ie defending land that we "own"] andthe other conflicts eg Iraqwould people donate to both or maybe just to the first?

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:37:37

At the same time, LtEve, you were there because of orders. You could not refuse to go.

You might have believed in the campaign. But I am sure that a lot of soldiers would not understand the complexity, arguments etc behind the reasons for the conflict and were there because that's what you do when you join the Forces.

And unfortunately, after Bosnia and Somalia, we are a lot more cautious. We're ignoring Syria. And that is a shame. But as a soldier, you are not allowed to go there. Because of orders.

Sorry but I don't think I agree that WW1 was fought to 'keep us safe and free'. My history (bit intertwined with blackadder goes forth) always led me to believe that WW1 was a clash of fading imperial powers.

This makes the millions who died in that war all the more tragic loses but I'm not comfortable that the people fighting were fighting for some greater good.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 14:38:03

Thanks LtEve - I agree actually, we should separate out our judgement of overall conflicts and actions/motivations of individual soldiers.

Presumably, though, your judgement of whether Bosnia and Iraq were dubious or not made no difference to you: as a soldier, you merely follow orders.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 31-Oct-13 14:40:29

Gecko - your feelings appear not to be based on facts.

They ignore important concepts such as the right to self-determination.

The way you've put the Northern part of Northern Ireland in commas is a big indication that if you've even heard of the Good Friday Agreement, you probably think it's a Biblical event.

I find the way people are happy to mouth off about conflicts and situations they have no idea about to be far more abhorrent then supporting a charity once a year.

I have not read this article and have no interest.
I wear my Poppy for my Granddad.
My Granddad who lied to go to France aged 15, spent many months up to his knees in mud in the trenches of the Somme, who was blinded by gas, had his hearing impaired and a piece of shrapnel embedded in his leg. Who's mental state was never quite right again.
That man suffered his whole life for this country (yet never complained or really spoke of his experience) and I wear my Poppy with pride.

And in the OPs defense I think the split of remembrance from current military support makes more sense in the context of help for heroes. There IS a charity that focusses quite successfully on the here and now military wounded.

Just to balance this off though I'm not sure what the poppy money would then go to if it is about keeping memorials clean that's not a great charitable cause is it?

KayHarker Thu 31-Oct-13 14:41:23

I agree Thinkaboutit WW1 was a pointless, mud and blood soaked fiasco.

WW2 was a noble war, by and large, Hitler needed to be stopped (BUt even then, there were things done that were reprehensible)

OP, regardless of one's views on Northern Ireland's sovereignty - what would you suggest ought to have happened when the IRA started murdering all and sundry? Should we have left them to it?

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 14:43:16

The point is made because the Peace Pledge Union is not the creator nor sole user of the white poppy (became involved in 1934), Nor was it introduced in 1933 by the Women's Co-operative Guild.

That is why I suggest that people look at its origins, beyond the first two Goggle hits.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 31-Oct-13 14:45:38

I wear a red poppy.

I remember those (both members of the armed forces and civilians) who have lost their lives and have life changing injuries as a result of conflicts.

That's the bare bones of it imo,and whatever my views on wars and politics and governments,I still choose to remember the individual men and women affected by war.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:45:54

WW1 was complicated. I still think people disagree about how it started and were sold a lie about patriotism and defending the country.

It's incredible to think how many died. We mourn the death of a soldier nowadays. 6 in an event is shocking, The first day of the Somme. 20,000 died. In one day.

WW2 - millions died. 1000s in single battles.

And many people were conscripted. Plus all the civillian casualties.

War is awful. We spend too much time solving problems with guns. But at the same time, conflicts happen and the UK has helped prevent a bad situation getting worse.

But we fuck up. Look at Srebenica. Syria. Rwanda. We ignore and don't get involved.

I would love to live in a world without conflict. We remember but we haven't learned.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:49:03

In Bosnia my job was to protect the Serbs from the Croats from the Muslims and the IFOR and the UNPROFOR and the Aid workers and so on. Everyone was in danger from everyone else. It didn't matter to me who I was protecting, just that I was. I did that in my name, in your name, in the name of every decent person on earth that was against ethnic cleansing and the rape and murder of men, women and children. It didn't bother me who they were.

In Iraq I was there as part of the force that were providing food, medicines, clothing, shelter and safety for the Displaced Persons - those displaced by SH, deserted and captured soldiers, terrorised and damaged families. I was also very proud of being able to help the Red Cross and MSF get to areas they hadn't been able to reach for the previous 10 years.

I lost one friend in Bosnia, four in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. I wear my poppy to remember them, and to donate to the charity that is supporting their families, now and forever.

AuntieStella Thu 31-Oct-13 14:51:00

The Movement for the Abolition of War is the originator of white poppies, and the major beneficiary.

The RBL, btw, does reference it (and its work) in some of its material.

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 14:53:31

Auntie Stella The PPU distribute the white poppy now. The White Poppy that we wear today links back to the one first produced by the cooperative women's movement but nods to the proposal (which wasn't widely distributed if at all) made in 1926 by the No More War movement. That's a PROUD history, not one to be ashamed of. And please don't accuse people of jut doing a quick google - my father, a second world war veteran who served on Malta and also in Burma in the last months of the war - wore a white poppy for as long as I knew him. I don't know when he started wearing it - whether it was before the outbreak of the second world war or after. But I've been wearing a white poppy since the 70s.

MrsGSR Thu 31-Oct-13 14:54:10

Out of interest, do you differentiate between conscripted and voluntary soliders in the world wars? IIRC conscription in the UK for WW1 didn't start until 1916, and many volunteered in WW2.

I also think some people don't understand the extent of what the armed forces do today, there is much more to it than overseas tours, and tours aren't just about fighting.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 14:54:13

AuntieStella if the MAW was formed in 2001 (according to its website), how can it be the originator of white poppies?

Yeah but you joined up because you fancied driving around in a tank, blowing stuff up LtEve hmm

Actually if you did join solely for that reason I'm still bloody grateful. I imagine blowing things up on exercise is pretty good fun. We need people who are into that kind of thing.

Agree kim147 sad

but surely it is still better to remember than forget?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:59:33

That was actually a particularly ignorant statement wasn't it Johnny? The tanks in Iraq proved so useless that they didn't take any to Afghanistan!

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 15:00:49

I wear a poppy. I grew up in a Forces background. But it's so sad that we still have so many conflicts around the world. Syria is hardly in the news and the world seems to have washed its hands of that country.

ZombieMonkeyButler Thu 31-Oct-13 15:03:51

I do not support (and have never supported) the Iraq & Afghan wars.

However, I do support the armed forces who have been sent there (under orders) to fight.

How many of them joined up thinking "oh, yippee, we might get sent to be killed in a pointless oil-related war" or, at their interview, "well, I'm really hoping to get my legs blown off by a bomb laid by Al-Qaeda".

Governments, rightly or wrongly, will send troops to wars. They will not ask the general public whether they consider that war to be just (see Iraq conflict). Young men & women have no way of being aware when they sign up whether the future war they might be expected to fight in is going to be "pointless" or a "matter of national security". However, once they have signed up, they have no choice about going where they are sent (please correct me if they do in fact have a get out clause). They deserve no less respect because their government were twats and sent them somewhere they should not have.

How do people feel about the soldiers who lost their lives in more "pointless" wars whilst on National Service? National Service being akin to conscription.

I am not for a moment, wanting to undermine or lessen the actions or sacrifices of those conscripted to serve in the WWs. As a mother of 2 teenage boys now, the whole scenario is just too horrific for words. It goes without saying they have my complete respect.

However, what would happen if young people no longer joined the armed forces? The government would not stop getting involved in pointless wars so where would the troops come from? National Service again? Conscription again? I am exceedingly grateful that there are people willing to sign up so that those who do not want to do not have to.

Someone killed whilst performing the duties ordered of them by their government deserves respect & recognition in my world.

To me, the red Poppy is a simple sign of remembrance for lost service personnel. Not something to start a debate about.

Morgause Thu 31-Oct-13 15:04:23

I wear a white Poppy as well.

My father lost 3 cousins in WW1 and he would never wear a red poppy and none of my family do. It used to have Haig's name on it and they all blamed him for the deaths of their children.

He was a volunteer in WW2 because he believed that Hitler had to be stopped, he was in a reserved occupation and didn't have to go. After he came home but he would never wear a red poppy or parade with his medals which, he felt, glorified war.

He believed WW2 was a "just war" but no war we've been involved with since has been "just" in his eyes, or mine.

I would support a day to remember the 2 world wars.

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 15:06:13

AuntieStella You're wrong, it was the No More War movement which formerly merged with the PPU in the 1930s. Fenner Brockway was one of the main leaders. A great man. Unashamedly pacifist. But the never actually produced any white poppies and since they don't exist any more they aren't 'beneficiaries'. You seem to have lapped up some propaganda. Incidentally - the total amount raised by the white poppy appeal is about the same as the salary earned by the CEO of the RBL. And the beneficiaries of the white poppy appeal are potentially everyone - if the dream of no more war ever becomes a reality. Who wouldn't want that? The only way we can get it is changing hearts and minds.

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 15:08:38

skyler It;s not. She's just spouting propaganda. So sad because it's perfectly possible for the two poppies to be complementary if you want to view things in that way - if you genuinely feel the only way to adequately remember the awful loss of life from conflicts round the world is to wear the symbol irrevocably associated with the Haig Fund then you can still also support the dream of no MORE war by wearing a white poppy too. I know people who wear both.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 15:08:48

The only beneficiaries of the funds raised by the PPU are the PPU themselves, as it says on their website and as you were informed when you posted the same this time last year.

Laceyshoes Thu 31-Oct-13 15:10:59

November 11th is symbolic to WW11 as we all know. It is important that remembrance day is marked on that day. It is not important that all armed forces are remembered on that day.

Yes, it is Armistice Day. Originally intended to commemorate the millions of conscripted men who lost their lives in World War 1. The loss of a whole generation of young men, from many nations, most of whom had no choice as to whether they took part in the fighting or not.

It's the same with the casualties of World War 2. Most of those millions of young men had no option as they were conscripted.

This exceptional loss of life and the impact it had on every generation and section of our society is what Remembrance Day has always been about, in my view. Not about later, smaller and more controversial conflicts that have only involved professional soldiers.

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 15:12:56

The PPU uses the funds raised from the poppies to fund its pacifist work. Rather better than paying the RBL chief executive, I'd say. The PPU is a campaigning and education charity and it uses the funds raised to further its campaigns and education work.

Younger people may have some excuse for not knowing these things, but we went to Iraq the first time because they were invading other countries we were obligated to defend.
We went to The Falklands when they were invaded by another country with no rights to their land at all. The people of the Falklands have affirmed several times that they wish to remain part of the UK and the Argentinians have made it clear they don't want the people there, just the land.

Those claiming the Falklands war was wrong because of distance should read a map that shows which islands and territories belong to which nation. Lots of countries have islands that belong to them. Some of the islands round our coast may well be closer to another country than to us, but I hear no clamour to give them up.

There have been wars I've been far from happy about, but if you want people to fight to the death for your safety you can't pick and choose when to honor them. They don't get to pick which conflicts they are sent to.

For those who wish to split soldiers into those who enlisted and those who were conscripted then what about those who volunteered and died in WW1 and WW2? Can we spit on their graves since clearly they were in it for the fun of shooting people right?

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 15:16:42

Another Remembrance Sunday, another shitty article written by another leftist unable to grasp the difference between the members of the forces who died in wars and the governments who started them.

Why do we have to go through this every year?

Cop out. And as someone who worked very closely with both WW1 and WW2 veterans for years, a cop out that massively pisses me off. I wish you could have spoken to some of those WW1 veterans and seen how important the poppy was to them.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 15:17:04

The Poppy Appeal raises millions more than the £95K you are complaining about. Why don't you google the wages of all the other major charities of the UK - if you do you will see that the CEs of those charities are on similar amounts. Do you work for free, or do you draw a wage?

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 31-Oct-13 15:19:38

"Those who ‘abjure’ violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf."

OP, I believe George Orwell had people like you in mind when he wrote this ^

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Oct-13 15:25:22

Come off it OP!

If you think its ok to wear a poppy for WW1 and WWII why not the more recent conflicts?

Have you bought into the romantic notion that all those men went to war willingly and because our great nation was in peril?

What bollocks. None of them had a clue and a huge amount of them didn't want to go.

Don't kid yourself that we got involved in WW1 because of anything other than good old fashioned imperialism.

If all that doesn't stop you wanting to wear a poppy why should anything else?

I will wear a poppy for the waste of lives then and now and in the future. Its my protest against the bastards that sit behind desks and send boys to their deaths.

I support RBL because they do good work for all but you won't catch me wearing a H4H band/badge/t-shirt.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Oct-13 15:26:54

I think Poppies should be banned before November though.
I hate competitive poppy wearing more than 6th form political spouting about not wearing them.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 15:27:21

Seconded MrsDV

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 15:29:47

My grandfather used to refuse to wear a poppy. Originally when the poppy appeal started, the money only helped Officers or seniors. It did not help the ordinary soldier.

I know it is no longer like that. But the poppy appeal's history is extremely classist.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Oct-13 15:34:54

I think that the origin of the Poppy was pretty dodgy Grennie. IMO it did glorify war and did little to assist the common soldier.

I think people would have been far more justified in NOT wearing one as a protest back then.

I dislike the way the Poppy has now been co-opted by jingoistic fuckwits you use it as a measure of how bloody great they are.

If someone doesn't want to wear one or even forgets I am not going to get all self righteous on their arse.

It would be more than ironic to force someone to wear something in honour of people who believed they were fighting for our freedom.

Wear on, don't wear one, I just wish people would stop being so ME ME ME ME about them.

Pretty much defeats the entire object of them

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 15:36:59

i personally find all of it highly problematic, and i feel uncomfortable wearing a poppy

i can appreciate why others choose to, and would hope that they could respect my choice similarly, as it harms none.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Oct-13 15:44:17

You are right chibi. It is your choice and it should be respected.

Unfortunately we live in a world populated by attention seeking child-adults who find it difficult to approach any sort of issue without making it all about them.

There seems to be the need to compete for who can be the most caring, most patriotic, most sad etc.

I am sure there are many out there who can be all of those things without feeling the need to prove it to the world but of course they are not the ones who vomit their emotions all over facebook and twitter.

ZombieMonkeyButler Thu 31-Oct-13 15:44:51

"Competitive poppy wearing" grin. Ha.

ZombieMonkeyButler Thu 31-Oct-13 15:50:19

"vomit their emotions all over facebook and twitter". You really are on form today MrsDV grin

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 15:52:09


My grandfather used to refuse to wear a poppy. Originally when the poppy appeal started, the money only helped Officers or seniors. It did not help the ordinary soldier.

I know it is no longer like that. But the poppy appeal's history is extremely classist.

I can't find any evidence of that extraordinary claim anywhere.

scarevola Thu 31-Oct-13 15:53:27

"I support RBL because they do good work for all but you won't catch me wearing a H4H band/badge/t-shirt."


Though I tend to support SSAFA year round, rather than RBL once a year.

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 15:57:58

indeed. i find many (most?) types of collective remembrance problematic for this reason, they often seem in part at least to contain an element of display

i should emphasise i have reasons beyond this for my poppy discomfort

it is difficult, i am in a public kind of job and wearing a poppy is expected. i do while working, but not in my own time. this is probably hypocritical but i do not want to share my reasons while being harangued and told i must love hitler/saddam/fascism because i don't like to wear one confused

scarevola Thu 31-Oct-13 15:59:11

"I know it is no longer like that. But the poppy appeal's history is extremely classist.

The red poppy appeal started for the Haig Fund in 1921, and Lord again certainly spoke against 'class-based' welfare and I had thout he had veto'ed it from the outset for the Haig Fund. If it wasn't like that, I'm interested in finding our more. Any references?

trish5000 Thu 31-Oct-13 16:00:56

Our nation was in peril in ww2. Hugely so.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:04:00

scarevola Niall Barr's The Lion and the Poppy is a good place to start: it has a chapter on comradeship and class in the British Legion.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 16:04:03

Depends which view of history you take. Would Hitler have kept Europe and we'd have kept our Empire as has been suggested by some?

Or would he have attacked us despite such an agreement?

It took a long time for us to get involved.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:06:24

The war in the East (ie the Soviet Union) is where WW2 was won and lost. And was always Hitler's priority.

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 16:07:15

i cannot imagine any situation in which you wouldn't lose your empire, it was only a matter of when

territt Thu 31-Oct-13 16:14:51

empires rise and fall all the time. just looking at America now. I bet within a 100years some of the states will separate off.

But England can always be proud that we had the largest empire the world has ever seen :-)

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 16:15:04

scare - I don't know anything about it. Just what my Grandad used to say. He was extremely vocal about it.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:16:06

England can always be proud that we had the largest empire the world has ever seen :-)


SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 16:22:48

Well said, MrsDeVere. If you don't feel comfortable wearing one then don't wear one, it is optional! I always hate the way one person makes up their mind about something and wants to apply it to everyone. I shall wear a red poppy, the way that I always do, but not until nearer the 11th. I hate the way they now appear on TV in October.
There is freedom of choice! Make up your own mind! Wear a poppy in October, wear a red one, wear a white one, wear both, wear none BUT do whatever quietly.

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 16:25:12

yes indeed

genocide slavery rape starvation concentration camps

loads to be proud of (spoiler: these thinfs are shitty enough to cancel out any good that may have arisen inadvertently. this system of empire was never intended to benifit the people crushed by it)

i do tend to find that those most proud of empire are those who have nothing personally to be proud of

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 16:26:45

but whatever, i don't want to derail what has largely been an interesting discussion, but i could not let that pass without comment

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 16:30:03


The war in the East (ie the Soviet Union) is where WW2 was won and lost. And was always Hitler's priority.

Up to a point. The significance of the defeat of Hitler's airpower in the west and its consequences for the war in the east shouldn't be overlooked. The war was (IMO) destined to be lost by the Axis the moment Hitler failed to negotiate or bomb Britain out of it.

I'm wondering if the OP has confused the Falklands with Gibraltar confused

elfycat Thu 31-Oct-13 16:31:39

If you don't want to wear one, then don't. It's one of the best bits about having freedom of choice.

I will be wearing my poppy (they do great wrist ones this year) and DH will, and my too-young-to-choose DDs will be have enamel pins on their coats.

But I won't worry about non-poppy wearers if you don't bother me i.e. shut up and do what you do without bashing us over the head about it

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 16:33:18


I'm wondering if the OP has confused the Falklands with Gibraltar

Because the OP doesn't know any history.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:34:19

The war was (IMO) destined to be lost by the Axis the moment Hitler failed to negotiate or bomb Britain out of it.

I'm afraid most historians of WW2 would disagree with that, flatpack.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 16:35:17

I think they were fighting for freedom of choice! Be thankful we aren't all forced to wear one, or not allowed to wear one! We are also allowed to talk about it, whatever our views.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 31-Oct-13 16:37:57

I don't buy a Poppy because just like every other charity I have first hand experience on how they work.
For instance do people realise that all the BL clubs and societies that are run throughout the country work at premises where the charity give their name only? The main work is done by volunteers including all the maintenance, licensing, management etc, for which they have to fund raise. A general manager collects the money from the volunteers, this manager is 90k per year, from one locality shock He had a lovely new flash car, last time I saw him.
This is where the money from the poppies goes, and old joe and Ethel do all the work for newt. They don't mind they enjoy it, but at times they worry their club will close as they just can't fund raise for everything they need.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 16:40:42


The war was (IMO) destined to be lost by the Axis the moment Hitler failed to negotiate or bomb Britain out of it.

I'm afraid most historians of WW2 would disagree with that, flatpack.

Ahh, the appeal to the higher authority. Shame we can't ask them all.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 16:41:21

I don't think that is just BL. I could name other charities that are similar.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 16:43:54

I love MN because of the sweeping statements, as if anyone can say what most historians of WW2 would say.grin

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:45:11

Them's the breaks, flatpack. Richard Evans, Timothy Snyder, Ian Kershaw, to name a few, if you're interested in doing some reading.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 16:45:43

Morethanpotatoprints. You are wrong, mistaken or lying. Take your pick.

Poppy selling donations DO NOT go to British Leigion Clubs. The clubs are run very much the same way as British Military Messes are run. The money the club has comes from its members subscriptions, and every penny is scrupulously accounted for.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:47:25

Ok, perhaps I could have phrased it better: the most recent trends in the historiography of WW2, based on newly-available archival sources and benefiting from increased linguistic skills among historians, support the view that the war in the east was the decisive turning point in WW2, not the Battle of Britain.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 16:48:32

I didn't think they went to clubs.

If I bothered to go into it I could find historians with different views. Luckily they can think and print whatever they like and we are free to agree or disagree.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 16:50:15

Losing a lot of soldiers at Stalingrad was a major blow to Hitler.

Declaring war on the USA probably didn't help either.

SparklyFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 16:54:57

Haven't read the entirety of the thread I admit, but whether or not you agree with the Government's position on 'dubious foreign campaigns', none of thos soldiers who fight and die far away from home and family have a choice in what they do. When they sign up they write a blank cheque to the government for their lives. They die in their hundreds every year and the Royal British Legion does an amazing job in supporting bereaved families, wounded and retired soldiers when the government washes it's hands of them. We need the Legion, we really do.

That's why I wear a poppy.

Laceyshoes Thu 31-Oct-13 16:55:04

I won't worry about non-poppy wearers if you don't bother me i.e. shut up and do what you do without bashing us over the head about it

No-one's bashing you over the head. Nobody even forced you to read this thread. The subject matter was clear enough from the title smile

This is a discussion forum where people exchange their views about things that are happening in the outside world. It's perfectly natural to have an opinion on a news article like the one linked to in the OP and to want to discuss it with others. I don't see why anyone should be told to shut up.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 16:57:42

The Cold War distorted much of the earlier histories of WW2, and older historical work has been fundamentally revised in light of new material.

BarbarianMum Thu 31-Oct-13 17:06:32

I don't personally agree with the military campaigns in the Middle East and Afganistan. But as a voting member of a democratic country, I feel partially culpable - both for our armed forces and their actions - even if personally didn't vote for war/the political party (ies) who sanctioned it.

So I wear a poppy. And give money to humanitarian charities who help civilians caught up in the fighting. And feel a bit crap over the whole thing tbh but I don't think not wearing a poppy, all by itself, achieves anything.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 17:14:00


Ok, perhaps I could have phrased it better: the most recent trends in the historiography of WW2, based on newly-available archival sources and benefiting from increased linguistic skills among historians, support the view that the war in the east was the decisive turning point in WW2, not the Battle of Britain.

I have shelves of books on WW2 history, thank you, and there will be complaints if I buy any more on the subject.

I didn't say that the BoB was the decisive turning point in WW2. I said that Hitler's failure to negotiate or bomb Britain out of the war guaranteed the defeat of the Axis.

If Britain is still in the war, that means the USA is going to turn up at some point. It means Lend-Lease happens, sending 400,000 trucks to Russia. It means that, by 1944 a million German men are serving in the Luftwaffe as AA gunners to try to defeat the vast aerial armadas bombing (to limited effect) the Reich - a million men who were needed on the Eastern Front.

The BoB isn't a turning point, because there aren't really that many turning points in WW2. Lots of stuff is cited as a turning point (Alamein, Stalingrad) but in reality the turn had already been taken.

If you're looking for one, then Hitler's decision to move his Panzers from Army Group North to the Ukraine in Sep '41 is a good one. At that point, Hitler loses the war because he loses the chance to take Moscow and Leningrad in '41.

PS - Historiography is bunk.

My great-grandad lied about his age so he could fight in WW1. He fought in WW2, was captured and spent years in a concentration camp. He returned home traumatised and injured and was never fully healthy again. He wore a poppy every year.

I wear my poppy in remembrance of him, and of all armed forces personnel who are killed or injured (physically or mentally) during conflicts. I have friends and family in the forces and I have the greatest respect for anyone willing to sign up and risk their life; I couldn't do it. As someone said upthread, if these individuals didn't volunteer then we would be back in the days of conscription.

I will be wearing my poppy. I don't give a damn whether anyone else does, that's their business.

I AM PROUD to wear my poppy.

I support all those from the WWs. I support all those injured in recent British skirmishes. I support all our soldiers.

If your in service I personally wish u well.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 17:20:09

flatpack I'm interested in your thoughts, but historiography is bunk - I'm afraid that merely demonstrates that you don't understand what historiography is.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 17:27:25


flatpack I'm interested in your thoughts, but historiography is bunk - I'm afraid that merely demonstrates that you don't understand what historiography is.

Never heard of the phrase 'history is bunk'?

Henry Ford, 1916.

It was meant to be an amusing reference to Ford's comment rather than the denunciation of an area of research. But never mind, you're clearly more interested in demonstrating your intellectual superiority without actually demonstrating any knowledge.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 17:27:28

There would be no war if people refused to fight them.

Peaceful nations Rarely get targeted, after WW11 it was Very unlikely that we would be targeted, we have proven that when pushed we will stand up and fight

Running into countless wars under the guise of 'human rights' (which it never is, the economic reasons for the Falklands run very deep) is a complete insult to the people (not just armed forces PEOPLE) who gave their lives for our safety.

Safety which has been nothing but destroyed by our 'ministry of defence'

Its awful and in no way, shape or form do I support it. Not the people who engineer it (politicians) nor the people who CHOOSE to go and fight in it (soldiers) because there would not be war without either of them.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 17:32:28

Not in the slightest, flatpack I'm not claiming to be a specialist in WW2. Some of my colleagues are, I heard a paper this week by on of the historians I've mentioned above, and I'm simply reporting what appears to be the emerging consensus based on the most cutting-edge research. But if you're determined to cling to older, more occidentalist versions, that is, of course, your prerogative.

This is an interesting survey of opinion on these issues, actually.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 17:32:35

So how do propose to differentiate between the conscripted soldiers of the first and second world wars, and those who were professional soldiers?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 17:34:15

I think that the sacrifices in the WW's were so great, took so many lives and changed so many lives that they deserve there own day.

I dont think we need to muddy the waters with other soldiers involved in other conflicts. 11th November should be about those two wars.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 17:37:37

But an earlier point you made was that some modern day soldiers CHOSE to fight.
This was true in WW1 and WW2.

Some people then thought that those conflicts were pointless operations on foreign soil too.

They do have their own day. Nov 11th.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 17:41:49

There would be no war if people refused to fight them

Idealistic and NEVER gonna happen.

Like the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. The British Military and it's NATO counterparts HAD to go in and show force, because the UN were powerless. If NATO had gone in first, as it did in Kosovo it would have been over in months rather than years and millions of deaths later.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 17:50:59

So the young soldiers, young enough to be my dads sons,, that died as my dad held them don't have the right to be remembered because they joined up during peace time? Or the young soldier who was shot in the head, next to my brother in Bosnia shouldn't be remembered because he chose to join the Army? Is that what you're saying op?

scarevola Thu 31-Oct-13 17:51:22

"There would be no war if people refused to fight them"

And Caco would be running Sarajevo, and the rest of Bosnia. Those trying not to fight were massacred. Refusing to fight might mean no war, but that's not synonymous with a happy or secure peace.

Hear, hear LtEve.

Please read a little about the Balkans and Kosovo, OP.

and coco and scare.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 17:53:40

If people refused to go to war what state do you think the world would be in? It would be over run by despots.

I mean hear, hear. Not read up on the Balkans blush

I'm on holiday and have had a wine

OP do you really think that if people refused to serve in the armed forces that there would be no war? Anywhere? Ever? Because to me that sounds startlingly naive. It's a nice idea but it would never work because of human nature (much like communism grin).

You say that Remembrance Day should be only about the individuals who fought in WW1 and WW2 (or was it only the conscripted personnel?). But WW2 ended almost 70 years ago. It won't be long before there is no-one alive who remembers it. But there will still be plenty of veterans of other wars and conflicts, and there are many who have died in service since 1945. Regardless of whether you agree with the conflicts or not, aren't they worth remembering too? Aren't their lives worth a moment of your time?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 17:59:25

Well. That was shit.

Today, 31 Oct 2013, the Council for Bosnia Missing Persons have confirmed the discovery of the remains of 360 bodies in a Mass Grave in a town in Northern Bosnia. They are still looking for the graves of the other 1200 persons missing from this town.

Today. More than 20 years since the start of that war. Fucking hell.

You know what - I'll wear my poppy for them. RIP.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 17:59:38


Not in the slightest, flatpack I'm not claiming to be a specialist in WW2.

Your constant refusal to wave any actual knowledge proved that. I don't even think we could use the term 'generalist' to cover your knowledge of WW2.

Some of my colleagues are, I heard a paper this week by on of the historians I've mentioned above, and I'm simply reporting what appears to be the emerging consensus based on the most cutting-edge research.

Except that you haven't, really, have you? You've said that the 'turning point' for WW2 was on the Eastern front but you've not actually told me anything at all. Feel free to 'simply report', but don't report simply. Outside academia, we don't tolerate such low standards.

But if you're determined to cling to older, more occidentalist versions, that is, of course, your prerogative.

Gosh. Could you be any more patronising? I'd be prepared to take it if you knew the square root of fuck all about the subject you're smugly hectoring me about.


Peaceful nations Rarely get targeted,

Seriously? What about Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway and Denmark by Nazi Germany? What about Finland by Soviet Russia? Were they aggressive? What about Greece? Did they attack Fascist Italy?

All peaceful nations. All targeted.

after WW11 it was Very unlikely that we would be targeted,

What about the Soviets? What stopped the Cold War turning hot? Was it the CND?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:07:09

You have talked solely about attacks that happened years and years ago!

Yes there will always be times when force is needed, but that hasn't been the case for a long, long time.

I think maintaining an understanding that if needed, we will fight, rather than having a huge armed forces who we have to 'find' work for, which really is all that Afghanistan was about... finding stuff for the army to do and has done nothing for the country.

Our armed forces is a shambles and our activities abroad create terrorists.

That's awful LtEve. sad

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 18:08:00

Gee, flatpack your aggression is alarming. I note you haven't bothered to comment on the link I posted which actually demonstrates what historians who spend their careers working on this area think. Not sure what your point about 'low standards' in academia refers to, I'm afraid.

So you'd wait until someone attacks us and then scramble about training people and hoping the rifles haven't gone rusty? hmm

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:10:13

As shit as the millions dead in Iraq?

I will not wear a poppy for them. Poor sods, killed by US. We can't change arseholes existing in the world but we can stop being one of the biggest ones.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:11:06

There is far more warning of attack before it gets to troops on the ground. Sorting out world trade would be a big start.

If people have enough, if the arms trade is regulated and folk are allowed to farm, live and grow, then there will be no war.

Isthiscorrect Thu 31-Oct-13 18:12:02

OP maybe you should support Peace One Day, a global campaign to encourage peace. www.peacedirect.org/landing-page/peace-day/?gclid=CMX7pI3VwboCFebMtAod3xcABw Peace One Day

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:12:30

So in short, I would stop fighting with wars and start fighting with peace...

Its so sad that people cannot see anything BUT war as being an option. Nazi Germany sprung out of gross mistreatment of the Germans after WW1

those are the lessons we should have learned. Not to continue fighting, making terrorists abroad and coming home with blood on our hands.

Its just not the way we should be operating as a nation.

Years and years ago? Really? So the stuff LtEve is talking about is ancient history? As relevant as, I dunno, Trafalgar?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:15:17

There are MORE options than war. I really wish people could see that.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:16:10

Link to the report on Tomasica. God, the youngest is an 18 month old child

The British Military ARE NOT a shambles. It was the bloody UN not letting us go in as a Fighting Force that lead to these atrocities. The UN learned their lesson though, and let us go in immediately when Kosovo kicked off - result? A conflict that was over as soon as it started.

Our activities abroad help people. Terrorists don't need a reason to commit atrocities. Their whole aim is to create terror.

bigbrick Thu 31-Oct-13 18:17:07

I have a poppy and this is to remember the terrible events of the world wars. We must never forget

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:17:24

Our activities abroad do NOT help people. Ask the people of Iraq, their country was destroyed by our 'help' all for lies.

I bet the youngest killed under that guise was younger than 18months old.

bloody emotive claptrap.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:18:44

List of (probable) dead in Iraq en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

Of course its hard to get a complete number because we only take note of our own dead, other casualties dont matter to our armed forces.

Exactly, LtEve, well said.

I shall bow out now as I think the OP likes the sound of her voice more than actually considering other people's views.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:19:18

Millions were dead in Iraq before we got involved - Saddam Hussein was a Genocidal Manaic who killed his own people, the Kurds, and anyone who disagreed with him.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:20:14

How have we helped the people of Libya?

We had free reign there and we destroyed their country too

For cheaper oil and nothing else.

Anyone who believes our military work for 'human rights' issues is seriously deluded.

Human rights are NEVER improved by war, just like an act of domestic violence would not be improved by burning a house down with kids asleep inside it.

there are Other Ways.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:21:15

Saddam Hussein was hanged for killing 14 people not for mass genocide.

I think it is others who need the history lesson. Namely who put Saddam in power in the first place, who trained him and who gave him the weapons to kill

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 18:22:28

Terrorists don't need a reason to commit atrocities. Their whole aim is to create terror.

LtEve I agree with much of what you're posting about Bosnia and Kosovo, but the above statement is really too simplistic and sort of presents the view of terrorists as psychopaths, committed to violence at all costs, irrational etc. Most terrorists do have reasons for their actions - we might not agree with their reasoning, but their activities are rational and justifiable in their world-view.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:23:19

"terrorists dont need reasons to commit atrocities'

I agree, our armed forces prove that almost yearly.

'Our activities abroad do NOT help people'

Jesus Christ, OP. Do you really, really believe that?

Awks Thu 31-Oct-13 18:25:06

"There would be no war if people refused to fight them"

Wear your poppy, donate to TRBL/SSAFA/H4H or dont, but please spare me from simplistic nonsense like that.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:27:11

Yes, I really believe that. I do not think that bombarding countries with weapons and bomb helps people.

I think you would agree if it were our country being bombarded with weapons and bombs.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:28:20

Er, I wont be wearing a red poppy and I most certainly will NEVER donate to 'help for heroes'

I dont know how you can be against war but for soldiers. I dont get it at all.

November 11th should be for the WW's, thats my point of view.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:29:37

There were 900,000 Iraqis killed between 1980 and 2009. 800,000 of them were killed before the invasion of 2003. 100,000 after.

Who knows, if we hadn't intervened in 2003, maybe there would have been another 400,000 instead.

Awks Thu 31-Oct-13 18:29:38

I think you aren't someone I have much in common with really.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:30:30

The UN is weak. Or else they would be trying to sort Syria out. War is awful. But look at how much the world spends on arms. Look at what the arms industry means to the UK. lteve have you ever put on a display for for foreign arms buyers.

How much good could all that money do?

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 18:30:38

I would say that 99.9% of people that join the Forces don't do so in the hope they can go off and kill someone hmm.

My Dad is 70. He left school at 14 barely being able to read and write. He joined the Army as soon as he could.He did 22 years, was in the Radfan, the Falklands ,UN work in Cyprus etc. He got exams, saw places he'd never have got to see, helped many, many people. He also saw horrific sights. He would never have got the opportunities that he did if he had stayed working in thefactory. In fact he would probably have been out if a job. All the factories in this town are long gone.

My brother joined up from school. He left school with a handful of cses and O Levels, at the absolute height of unemployment. He also did 22 years. He is a highly qualified engineer now. Again because of the Army.

Like or not it is seen as a career.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:31:43

How many Iraqis and Iranians were killed with weapons we supplied in their war

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:32:02

Ah yes, the elephant in the room.

The bombs that we sell to barstards.

The training that we gave to Saddam.

Regulating the arms trade would save lives. Bombing people (oddly) does not.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:32:29

Saddam was our ally once.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 18:32:51

Oh and I live in Northern Ireland and we don't put ' ' around the word Northern when filling in forms etc. Just so you know.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:33:00

Oh well if it gives people careers! Lets just carry on bombing the world!

I mean its worth it, if it gives people careers (never mind the lives it destroys)

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:33:43

Saddam wasn't just our ally, Saddam was trained by us and put there by us.

When Saddam started increasing the prices of oil and goods, thats when we started fight him. It was nothing to do with human rights.

TwitTwooShoe Thu 31-Oct-13 18:33:50

Thousands were dying before the world got involved. I'm Iraqi (from the wrong side, for Saddam) and many, many relatives of mine were killed. My dad was killed. Whole villages wiped out. Many of my male relatives were in concentration camps ffs. I don't really want to talk about stuff like this on MN, but I just want to say that I wear the poppy to remember the people who died and who saved us. I also remember the people who died in WW1 and 2, especially because they had no choice whatsoever in fighting, and no choice whatsoever in risking their lives. Our country was destroyed by Saddam LONG before the war, and the war devastated Iraq too, but ultimately it freed us.

War should ALWAYS be the last option. Peace first. Diplomacy before everything. Ensuring businesses and country leaders aren't allowing and enabling horrors for the sake of money (selling arms, and so on), but sometimes I think war is the last but correct resort.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:36:01

But Saddam was there and supported and funded by us.

You cannot separate the two just because we decided to turn on him.

he wouldnt have had the power or the weapons had it not been for us.

trish5000 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:36:17

The UN will always be weak. 10 mumsnetters dont agree with each other, so 10 countries are not going to.
The concept is good though.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 18:36:40

Yes it was a career for my Dad, whats wrong with that? He did more good in those 22 years than some thieving banker would do in his chosen career.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:37:15

We have supplied a lot of regimes with weapons. It's not easy to control where they end up. Like with the Taliban because they were on the West side in the 80s.

Defending human rights and abuses is great. A lot of good work goes on
Our country also has its hands in dirty business and turns a blind eye.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:39:53

I dont think we ever defend human rights abuses, that is evident from our history. We are interested in personal gain and capitalism.

Bombing people (?) does not save lives.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:40:17

We should have tackled Saddam after Kuwait. But politics got in the way. We let a lot of people die because we gave them false hope.

TwitTwooShoe Thu 31-Oct-13 18:40:21

I agree. He was funded by us. Not by the soldiers though, they joined up and fought the war which helped us. I disagree with pretty much everything the UK/other countries did up until they joined the war (and the pretty much helped create the situation- it could so easily have been stopped beforehand, before a war tbh) but the soldiers deserve to be remembered. I can the the leaders and thank the soldiers.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 18:42:45

'Farm, live and grow'

Then accuse others of 'bloody emotive claptrap'.

Naive and insulting.
But your right to these opinions is what ALL British Armed Forces, conscripted and professional, modern and historic, Army, Navy or RAF, have been fighting for.

Worth a poppy?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:44:50

Nobody has fought for my 'freedom of speech' since the second world war.

Because nobody has tried to invade us, since the second world war.

I would like November 11th to be about that freedom.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:45:27

I'm glad to hear you say that Twit, and I'm very sorry for the loss of your father. I am proud of the work that I and my fellow soldiers and friends did in Iraq, and I am glad you think it was worth it. One life saved, one female educated, one baby innoculated is enough for me.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:45:38

Please explain to me how one other war since WW11 was fought 'for my freedom of speech'

please give me one example of an act of terrorism on British soil committed for any other reason than the wars we are involved in abroad?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:48:35


Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:51:57

The IRA attacks are because of our occupation of Northern Ireland.

It is not considered a war only because the other side dont have the weapons.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:52:12

How much did the army contribute to the IRA and their views of the British? Bloody Sunday for example.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 18:52:22

Maybe nobody has invaded us because we have The Forces?
Thank you for sharing your story Twit, I'm sorry for your loss.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:52:46

And another war defending my 'freedom of speech'?

I should say 'any terrorist activity not connected to our war on or occupation of a foreign nation' to be more specific.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:53:20

London 1972 Black September
London 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege
London 1980 Abu Nidal
London 1982 Animal Rights Militia
1988 Lockerbie

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 18:53:55

I think you'll find that a lot of people in NI consider The Troubles to be a war. Been in many bombings have you op?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:53:59

Maybe nobody has invaded us because after WW11 we had shown that we would stand up and fight, plus we are generally a multi-cultural society.

That gives us far more protection than our armed forces does.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:55:21

I consider the troubles to be a war too.

Many people don't however.

I've been to war-torn countries. I know what war does. I know how we leave things. Its not pretty.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 18:58:01

London 1999, David Copeland
2007 Pavlo Lapshyn (to incite a race war)

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:58:17

Have the West's attitude helped or hindered terrorists? I am not convinced Afghanistan will be ok after the handover. It's great women are treated better but look at the Middle East and how women are treated there. Our silence is deafening.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:00:28

lteve what have your examples got to do with the army. Race relations and homophobia ? Look at the AArse website.

NCISaddict Thu 31-Oct-13 19:00:30

My Father fought on the Atlantic convoys in WWII. He wore his poppy with pride and would have been disgusted at the attitudes expressed by the OP. i hope the OP will refuse to accept any help or protection offered by our armed forces in the event of any attack

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:00:59

We have helped terrorists. More people have joined terrorist organisations since we invaded Afghanistan.

We are basically a walking advertisement for them.

We wont leave Afghanistan stable and I am sure America will continue to send in drones. Really puts us in a great light doesnt it?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:01:54

Shes clutching at straws kim, quite clearly...

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 19:02:04

I think LtEve is responding to the OP's challenge to name a terrorist incident unconnected to the UK's wars overseas. Pretty comprehensively demolished, IMO.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 19:02:36

I should say 'any terrorist activity not connected to our war on or occupation of a foreign nation' to be more specific

So I've given you 7 not including attacks by the IRA, PIRA, RIRA, CIRA, UVF, UFF and INLA.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:05:59

I do think the Forces do a good job. In difficult places.

But they are used by governments. The reasons for being there are not humanitarian or else we would be much more proactive.

and the arms industry is important to us. Unfortunately our actions give us enemies.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 19:06:20

Yes Skylerwhite, exactly (and quite clearly NOT clutching at straws) grin

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 19:06:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:06:43

7 examples in what, 65 years?

I don't see your point really.

Unfortunately we can't stop all nutters and actually, our home office is far more responsible for sorting them out than our activities abroad.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:08:48

I would say a number of those terrorist are there because of the general attitude we as a nation have to have for different countries in order to justify us going in and freeing the crap out of them.

Awks Thu 31-Oct-13 19:09:22

If the OP found something ticking at the bottom of her garden who would she call? Ghostbusters?

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:09:44

I would disagree with the IRA. A war that dragged on and lives ruined. I am sure we were trying to do the right thing but we met bullets with bullets. Were we peacekeepers?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 19:12:01

Geckos, you do realise that you put out a challenge and I answered that challenge dont you? Every time you say something that I refute you change track - it makes you sound weak.

You said "any" not a specific number, and not in a specific timeline.

So I'll pass it back to you. How many terrorist atrocities do you think there have been in UK since 2003 that are directly attributed to our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:13:11

How many have been foiled?

cjel Thu 31-Oct-13 19:13:53

Geko. No I don't agree with you either. I think we have been involved in conflist to protest ourselves and have either been attacked or their is a threat of attack that we don't hear about because our government has to keep some things secret exactly for our security.

I will wear my poppy with pride and think that white poppies are offensive to the dead and injured.

NCISaddict Thu 31-Oct-13 19:15:26

She sure as hell wouldn't call the army if she found something ticking as by her argument they shouldnt exist. The same argument will apply when we have a shooter rampaging round a shopping centre( something which has a very high probability of happening). I hope she wont expect the forces to rescue her.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:16:08

Lee Rigby.
Other plans to kidnap soldiers.
British citizens kidnapped and beheaded.
Many plots foiled.

chibi Thu 31-Oct-13 19:19:52

this is a weird argument. no one 'calls' the army- they are deployed by the government. the availability of an army doesn't depend on how much citizens live and support them afaik confused

Awks Thu 31-Oct-13 19:20:21

This thread happens every year. I'm glad they are minority views.

You've name changed OP but still spouting the same anti military shite since your last anti military thread I see.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 19:22:35

Many other plots foiled too Kim, RSWP, ALF, Algerian Freedom Fighters, Moinal Abedin to name a few.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 19:27:44


7 examples in what, 65 years?

No, those were the ones off the top of my head.

I don't see your point really.

Then let me refresh your memory. You claimed that peaceful countries "generally don't get attacked." I then gave you eight examples in World War 2 and seven examples after WW2. So it is not the case that peaceful countries "generally don't get attacked" at all.

Do you understand now?

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:27:55

It's a nasty world out there. But will we ever have a time where we aren't killing each other or trying to stop people being killed?

We need people who will do these things for us. But it's a shame we do.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:30:24

We are a country that gets involved. Countries like Switzerland have it easier.

Ill wear my red poppy with pride, donate and think of the soldiers past and present who do a job that might just end their lives yet save others.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 19:31:40


It's a nasty world out there. But will we ever have a time where we aren't killing each other or trying to stop people being killed?

There's a pretty good correlation between poverty and warfare. (I mean real poverty, not the "OMG The Torays just took away free corsets for the under-5s" poverty). The richer people are, the more likely they are to demand access to the political process and the more likely they are to want a democratic government, and democracies tend not to go to war. (I said tend)

That isn't the sole correlation, of course. You get your Hitlers and your Stalins. But they are given power through poverty. Hitler would be nowhere had it not been for the economic disaster in Germany after WW1. And that's why the EU-created economic disaster in southern Europe is so worrying.

We need people who will do these things for us. But it's a shame we do.


Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:46:56

The 7/7 bombings

Lee Rigby

Countless foiled plans.

I listened to a radio 4 documentary on it just a few weeks ago.

I am not 'changing course and sounding weak' I am having a conversation with you, it doesnt need to be about someone 'winning'

Which it couldnt be anyway, you wont change my mind and I wont change yours.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:48:07

flatpack I completely agree with your last post.

Perhaps if some Western countries such as the US (the politicians rather than the citizens of course) with the UK providing support a lot of the time, had not been so prone to interfering in other countries because they didn't like their politics we could probably have avoided some of the more recent wars.

The US helped arm the rebel groups in Afghanistan that went onto become Al-Qaeda and the Taliban because they wanted to fight the USSR but couldn't. Same with Cambodia - the US government, and quite a few others, supported the coup which removed the ruling party and aided the Khmer Rouge, because they couldn't use Cambodia as a route into Vietnam. Iraq - didn't they use to be friends with Saddam them when they were trying to destroy Iran?

Politicians start wars for their own ends (usually for economic reasons) and leave the cannon-fodder to die in them.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 19:58:35

2 after, 7 before and countless foiled attacks both before and after. So your assertion that UK is more dangerous since our deployment to Iraq is incorrect.

There have also been terrorist attacks in countries that arent involved in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The world is simply dangerous - all over and I wear my poppy in Remembrance of all those who died.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:05:10

I think the UK is more dangerous. The IRA gave some warnings. Modern terrorists think big and want to kill as many as possible.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:07:03

Kenya. Attacked for troops in Somalia. Will France be next for Mali?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:12:31

Only some though Kim, and quite often not in time to do anything about it. If we are counting the IRA (and all their namechanges) then I would say that the UK, and especially NI was far more dangerous in the 90s then at any other time.

I see it in a personal way as well - after Lee Rigby was killed there was an official order to NOT wear our uniforms in public with immediate effect. Didn't affect me at all because I have NEVER felt comfortable doing so - I spent 3 years in NI at the height of the 'troubles' and it was drummed into me so much to NEVER let on that I was a soldier, in NI or anywhere else across the UK, that I just couldn't change when the situation changed - even after the Good Friday agreement.

I firmly believe that the UK is less dangerous now than it was then.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 31-Oct-13 20:13:44

Kim147 - A look over the stats surrounding IRA bombings does not back that theory up, you might want to look up Bloody Friday for starters. Also, IRA warnings were frequently inadequate.

The 7/7 bombings were 4 men with rucksacks, that's actually far less "high-tech" then the IRA's activities.

The scary fact is that it is very easy to make a bomb and create a lot of casualties. David Coupland, as already mentioned on this thread, is a chilling example of that.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:16:54

'The world is a dangerous place'

the world is a lot more dangerous, for a lot more people because of us.

I really cannot abide that. We could do so much good and instead we build bombs, build armies and go abroad 'freeing the shit' out of people.

for a country that COULD do such good, we really are atrocious.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:20:21

I think we have been really lucky to avoid a massacre like in Kenya and Mumbai. Gunmen in Tesco's who do not care if they live or die. That scares me.

WildThongsHeartString Thu 31-Oct-13 20:22:04

I will wear my poppy with pride and think that white poppies are offensive to the dead and injured


Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:22:10

It scares me too sad

The fact that we are on shakier and shakier ground on the world stage really scares me.

I only hope that when the time comes, those who come for us are kinder that when we went for them sad

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:22:30

Why are white poppies offensive?

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 20:22:42

The Cain website has some useful stats on deaths during the Troubles here, you can tabulate by responsibility, status, year, age, gender etc etc, as well as doing more complicated cross-tabulations.

The years 1971-1976 are by some considerable distance the bloodiest of the Troubles, both in Britain and Northern Ireland. The 1990s don't compare (although the financial cost of somewhere like Canary Wharf and the psychological effects of the mortaring of Downing Street are, obviously, important).

scarevola Thu 31-Oct-13 20:24:35

Points about the white poppy have been asked and answered earlier in the thread.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:24:47

Scares me too Kim. The world is such a violent place, guns are too easy to get hold of, bomb making instructions can be found with a swift bit of googling, as can town hall/shopping centre/hotel plans. The terrorists are getting cleverer and sneakier and we need to be ahead of the game.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:24:58

Veterans against war

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:25:27

Or we could stop selling them guns and giving them reason to hate us?

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:26:55

Ahh yes Skylerwhite, I suppose I meant 'in my lifetime' or at least 'in my adult lifetime'. The figures are horrible aren't they, and of course there are still so many missing bodies sad

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:29:29

Why have you posted an American video Geckos? Are we talking about the USAs involvement now? I can't keep up with all your track changes grin

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:33:22

'track changes' what are you talking about?

If you've been to Iraq you will surely remember seeing some Americans there? And, you know, fighting with them?

Anyway, the video gives a good view point on the war and how it has affected veterans.

kim147 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:35:01

I think we were right to do something about Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is so easy to start a war but difficult to deal with the consequences. Post Iraq left a power vacuum and people are killed daily in car bombs.

We have made enemies. It does not mean we were wrong to intervene. It is not wrong to hate war. But soldiers are dying and sometimes not for good reasons.

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 20:35:18

Yep, exceedingly grim.

I think there were 17 or so original 'disappeared' or missing bodies, although some of those have since been found. Some small comfort to their families.

The fact that over 3,000 unsolved murders remain is a scandal in my opinion.

Matsikula Thu 31-Oct-13 20:37:18

I do think we are going a bit poppy overboard these days (look at all the defendants in the phone hacking trials dutifully wearing their poppies - yet it is not even November yet). I think it's become almost a signifier of being part of the establishment, an insider, rather than a meaningful act of remembrance.

I also don't think we have a recent military record of which we can be hugely proud.

And yet I do think that current servicemen and recent veterans deserve our respect. Most of us believe that we need an army (fair enough if you are an out and out pacifist I think the author of this article is probably a Quaker). We are also a democracy, and the government we elect decides what our servicemen and women do, they do not get a choice in it. In my view that means we need to either support our troops altogether or not at all, not pick and choose to support the veterans of conflicts we feel good about.

(There is also a separate discussion to be had about WWI, hundreds of thousands of men volunteered for what was a really rather dubious and pointless cause).

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:40:56

I would change that to 'people are dying and not for good reasons'

I think that having no clear way of supporting a country after we have toppled it is so awful. We are not making anything better and just creating hatred for ourselves.

As the economic stability of a country improves, the human rights improve. Imagine if Britain had been bombed and destroyed by a 'well meaning' foreign country in the Victorian times? Would we be any better now?

Is Iraq better now that we have destroyed the infrastructure and toppled ancient monuments?

I dont think it is. Someone once said to me it takes 30 years for a country to 'recover' from the tragedy of war, but yet we dont wait 30 years to see whether countries will grow out of human rights issues. We were given that opportunity and we did it. We can't then turn around and wage war on people for following the same course that we did.

Imagine Britain without its monuments, old buildings, history and books. Thats what the people of Iraq face, because we destroyed it. We did not 'bring them peace' we forced it upon them and at what cost? People are still dying and economic recovery is no closer than it was when we first bombarded our way in.

We have to learn from OUR mistakes and allow others to learn from their own.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:45:29

Kim, were you on the thread (another anti-military one) in August when I spoke of my experiences in Iraq and in Bosnia? For me it was always more about the civilians than the actual 'wars'. I think the British Military are fantastic at peacekeeping and stabilisation. They make friends with people, they sympathise and help. They listen and ask rather than simply ordering. I am still in touch with people I helped in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq - and I know a lot of soldiers that are the same.

As good as the training is, I don't think the American Military are as good at that. Theirs is more 'Force' whereas we are more 'persuasion'. We are highly trained, and good fighters - but we use our minds as well as our might.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:48:00

I remember that thread, you said that the war in Iraq was worthwhile because you built a school and taught some kids Welsh.

catfood Thu 31-Oct-13 20:48:32

Hopefully government cuts will eventually prevent the UK from intervening and creating more deaths to commemorate.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:50:13

That would be amazing catfood

I heard someone say we couldnt afford another war. If its a matter of affording, we shouldn't be going in the first place!

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 20:50:59

We didn't really support Germany after WW2. It got carved up and used up for decades.

A previous poster has just made a v good point. Many of the battles of WW1 were spectacularly pointless and wasteful...OP, I feel that you have romanticised both world wars, viewing with hindsight. I really don't believe you can separate the armed forces then from the armed forces now.

How do you feel about British inaction with regards to Syria? I personally am glad we didn't intervene because I don't believe Britain should always be the planets police. But that stems from my respect for the lives of the British forces.

mignonnette Thu 31-Oct-13 20:51:50

All this debate ignores the real issue and is a convenient diversionary tactic for a government (whoever is in power) that will not look after serving and ex service people in an acceptable manner.

Why should charity fund this regardless of whether one approves of funds going to career service people or not?

More effort into highlighting this disgraceful neglect might be a start.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 20:53:50

Ahh, you are the namechanger I thought you were. Good oh.

Actually I said:

I have seen active service in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. I am extremely proud of the things I have done in those countries, and for the persecuted people of those countries. I am pleased to still be in contact with people from those war zones, people I have helped and formed friendships with. I was humbled and over the moon to be asked to attend the British Citizenship ceremony and celebrations in 2002 for the family of a young lady that I spent 6 months with back in 1996 following the destruction and devastation of her village, including the murder of a number of her immediate family

I've never killed any one. In fact, quite the opposite, I helped to deliver the baby of a child who had been raped and tourtured. I arranged for that child and her baby to be treated by the British Military (more soldiers) and was instrumental in getting that child, her baby and her remaining family into safe accommodation. That baby is now an adult itself and I am proud to be an 'honorary auntie' that loves hearing from them


I'm proud of the school I helped to build. Proud of the female children getting their first education at the age of 12. Proud of the removal of the 'village elder' who had his 'pick of the girls' as soon as they had their first period. Proud of helping one family escape. Proud of getting innoculations and vaccinations to areas that were previously 'no go' and children routinely died of things like chicken pox and measles. Proud of the doctors and nurses that were able to treat the men women and children injured by mines and IED planted by their own 'people', long before NATO stepped in. Proud of the engineers that inserted a full drainage system and one working flush toilet (actually that was just as a bit of fun, as the villagers wouldn't use the toilet but found it funny to have it sitting in the square...it worked too!). Prouder still at the engineers who bridged a river that enabled families to come together for the first time in over 5 years. Even proud of the soldier that punched someone rather important in the nose for hitting a child across the face with a religious text, breaking his cheekbone in the process (soldier was disciplined for his action, but said Orders that he would do exactly the same again). Oh and proud for leaving behind my DVD player and a stack of Disney DVDs...even though I wasn't supposed to

and I'm proud to have been part of a force that deposed a cruel and sadistic murderer. Someone who committed genocide. Someone who ordered the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians simply because he didn't like their creed and religion. Thousands of people....more than were killed by NATO forces and in far more horrifying and excruciating ways

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 20:56:02

^All this debate ignores the real issue and is a convenient diversionary tactic for a government (whoever is in power) that will not look after serving and ex service people in an acceptable manner.

Why should charity fund this regardless of whether one approves of funds going to career service people or not?

More effort into highlighting this disgraceful neglect might be a start.^

YY Mignonette, I pointed that out upthread.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 20:57:00

I know you don't really NEED my support in this thread LtAllHallowsEve, (you've got it covered!)
But I'm proud of you and your colleagues too.
And I'll be wearing my poppy.

Matsikula Thu 31-Oct-13 20:58:02

That's very true Mignonette, I have been appalled to hear how little support very seriously injured soldiers are entitled to.

mignonnette Thu 31-Oct-13 20:58:48

I remember your post LtEve and it made me think again and revise some of my opinions- as I have posted to you before smile

skylerwhite Thu 31-Oct-13 21:01:20

I don't doubt that LtEve's point about the hearts and minds approach of the British Army is accurate now, but let's not kid ourselves that this was always the case. That was a long and slow realisation on the part of the British Army, driven principally IMO by their experiences in Ireland, north and south, over the course of the 20th century.

WickedPlans Thu 31-Oct-13 21:01:50

I wear my poppy with pride and will continue to do so. I have a huge amount of respect for the servicemen and women who have died or been injured in the line of duty, in whatever conflicts they have been sent to, wherever in the world.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 21:03:50

Thanks Thursday, very much appreciated smile

Yes Mignonette, I agree. I was especially pleased when RBL acknowledged CombatStress (the mental health charity) as they do amazing work. But it's bloody shameful that the Government let charities do what is essentially their responsibility.

RBL & SSAFA in my area were able to assist to move a soldier left without legs from his Council Housed 3rd floor flat without a bathroom he could use into an especially adapted suitable ground floor flat. But how shameful that they had to get involved in the first place sad and angry

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:03:59

I agree that the government should support their armies after service.

I dont not agree that I should.

I think that we could build 10 schools for every bomb we build and we dont, we still build bombs.

Building a school and teaching some kids Welsh in Iraq is akin to feeding the cat after trashing a family home and killing all the residents.

MrPricklepants Thu 31-Oct-13 21:06:36

Every year... Without fail. I'm not going to bite this year.

I personally find your attitude offensive OP.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 21:08:38

But what about when the alternative is the children die, no school is built and nobody learns anything?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:08:39

Do you find the article offensive?

mignonnette Thu 31-Oct-13 21:09:45

Combat Stress do sterling work and of course research and gained knowledge of combat caused PTSD trickles down into all areas of MH.

I have nursed a fair few ex service people w/ MH problems in my time and one of my nurse lecturers/tutors was ex Falklands and an RMN. Bloody disgusting that charity has to fund treatment.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:09:53

Please read above post RE economic structure and human rights.

We cannot pretend that war improves human rights because it doesnt. We cannot expect countries to take a different course to us. We developed our human rights record after years of building up our economy and other countries deserve that same respect.

Bombing people does not solve things.

Frightchen Thu 31-Oct-13 21:13:22

This argument just saddens me.

I will be buying my poppy this weekend and wearing it proudly. I won't be judging those who choose not to wear one, and I would hope that they extended me the same courtesy.

I know good men who have fought in the recent wars in the Middle East, who are still affected by their experiences. I wear my poppy for them just as much as for my grandparents and great grandparents.

As a PP said, the poppy is not political; it's about respect and remembrance.

Chubfuddler Thu 31-Oct-13 21:16:05

WW1 was highly dubious, far more so than Iraq or Afghanistan. The point is the individuals had no choice. Soldiers don't get to choose. They are conscripts, or they joined up and they do as they are told.

Failing to see your point tbh

TwitTwooShoe Thu 31-Oct-13 21:16:56

Thanks Lt - my family/I are grateful for everything the AF has done for us. I don't know anyone in the British army (despite living here now) but I will always be thankful! I think many people see the AF as just killing people. They do so, so much more.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 21:17:13

As you said on the other thread Gecko, I just don't agree. I think a school that is now bonded and conversing with another school in Wales is a lovely thing and something to be proud of. If you could see how happy the children are, maybe you would feel differently.

I also think the loss of 100,000 people is horrible, but the loss of 700,000 people is worse. We did what we had to do, and in doing so we 'saved' more people - it's the old 'greater good' arguement.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 21:19:04

TwitTwoo, you humble me. It is wonderful to hear you say that, truely wonderful. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but happiness from now on in thanks

Greydog Thu 31-Oct-13 21:20:19

I shall be wearing my poppy, proudly, for my Dad, who spent his 21st birthday in Norway, and was on the beaches at D Day. I also wear a purple poppy.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 21:35:55

LtEve you have every right to feel proud of yourself, that was an amazing post - thank you. My brother was one of the engineers out there building bridges.

AnyFuckerMuggedByTheSleepThief Thu 31-Oct-13 21:53:42

OP, your reasoning is superficial, ill-informed and utterly without compassion. You decry the motives of recent conflicts....the political motives and then extrapolate in order to indict the individual servicemen and women involved.

The loss of any servicemen in pursuit of their duty is a tragedy, drop the politics and just see this. See sacrifice, regardless of your take on the political context, see families devastated, see colleagues knuckling down despite grief and fear. YOU have politicised this in order denigrate. Shame on you.

Having covered the political context, if you have questions over conduct on ops then again you reveal the depth of your ignorance - rules of engagement are tight and are triggered by attack, not servicemen going out to kill. The mission in recent ops is far more likely to be supporting local gvt, establishing security to engender economic recovery and allow locals to live in a more stable environment. Girls are at school again in many parts of Afghanistan because of this. Oh, and our right to be there? Invited by the afghan gvt if you could be arsed to do your research.

Oh and by the way Just because someone has this crap that you are pedalling published does not legitimise the logic.

Just remember them all, all have given their lives, many without any particular view on the politics, many of them so young. Don't sully them with your half arsed polemic.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-Oct-13 21:56:38


I agree that the government should support their armies after service. I dont not agree that I should.

So you'd like to pick and choose what elements of the welfare state you fund? Be very careful with that line of argument.

I think that we could build 10 schools for every bomb we build and we dont, we still build bombs.

Nonsense. The current education budget is around £95Bn, and the defence budget around £40Bn.

I have watched your every post post be comprehensively demolished, and you're still coming up with new BS posts.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:04:31

No I absolutely agree that if there is a 'defence' budget, there should be a support budget for those soldiers. Actually I think we could do with a lot less of the former and find a lot more for the latter.

i wasn't talking about schools in THIS country, I was talking about schools in the countries that we bomb.

I notice nobody has spoken about the economic realities I mentioned earlier? Of how much 'better' Britain would be if some 'helpful' nation had come over here and bombed all our buildings and history while we were uneconomically sound and therefore had an atrocious human rights record?

cjel Thu 31-Oct-13 22:06:54

Gekos Do you waffle bs like this in RL?

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:10:31

Yeah probably :D

Its okay, in real life people are generally quite chilled about folk who dont agree with war, harming people or creating trouble.

Its only on the internets that it seems to be so awful.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:20:46

In RL people are just free to wear a poppy or not, no one questions you about your opinion, and if they do you don't have to answer. I shall wear a red poppy, it isn't up for discussion. I don't care what others do and have no desire or interest in getting them to change their minds.

ThursdayLast Thu 31-Oct-13 22:21:22

Wearing a poppy doesn't start a war, or hurt people.

That's what you started this thread about.

I'd disagree with you in RL too.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:21:55

I don't want people to change their minds either, the article rang very true for me and I'm glad I have started this thread as now i know about white poppies, which is brilliant smile

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:22:23

Wearing red poppies supports war and hurting people. That is my opinion of it.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:25:41

And you entitled to your opinion. If you are not comfortable no one is going to make you wear one! I am perfectly comfortable and will wear a red poppy, despite knowing about the white poppy for some long time.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:26:43

And I am not supporting war and hurting people! I can't imagine that is why anyone wears one. hmm

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:27:07

I am entitled to my opinion I am also entitled to start a thread discussing that opinion, find likeminded people and have a chat about it.

I dont need your permission to do that but thanks for offering it up anyway.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:28:33

Supports the armed forces, the armed forces wage wars and hurt people.

That is my belief.

I notice nobody has answered my questions about how much 'better' we would be if someone had waged war on us when our human rights were not as good as they are now?

A London without any nice buildings, no infrastructure put in by the Romans, all this stuff we take for granted, which makes up our heritage we destroy in other countries.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:29:29

Of course you are, but equally I can offer my opinion whether you like it or not! It is a public board and if you wish to chat with like minded people only it is not the place!

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:31:33

It is all to do with being an island, had we been on mainland Europe we would have changed borders over the years.

cjel Thu 31-Oct-13 22:31:52

wearing poppies is a memorial to the awfulness of war. It is saying that these wars are so dreadful that we should never forget that so that we don't get it wrong like that again. The opposite of what you think GECKOS - you have been misinformed.

I'm chilled about hating war, and my grandfather hid in west wales the whole of the first world war so he didn't have to fight as he was a pacifist. Don't think poppies are connected to supporting war, as I just said you are misinformed.
Yu have said things on this post that are just wrong, and I would disagree with you in RL about those as wellsmile

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:32:13

I am not trying to suggest anyone else cannot offer their opinion(?) I dont think there have been any examples of that on this thread?

funnyossity Thu 31-Oct-13 22:32:54

Gecko I'd disagree in RL but I'd probably not wish to fall out with you so you might well mistake me for being "quite chilled"!

I'll be wearing a poppy in personal remembrance of family members and for me it has a wider significance as a reminder of the futility of war. That was the cultural significance passed to me by family members who had lived through the World Wars. (I really don't bother myself with what D Cameron or any others say.)

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:33:07

The money raised by poppies goes to supporting soldiers though doesnt it?

How is that not supporting war?

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:33:11

That is why I wear one, cjel.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:34:07

I dont often get into massive debates with people in RL unless they invite it.

I am just saying that it is rare to find the level of distaste for someone who is against war as you do on here. Most people I meet understand why you might be against war.

funnyossity Thu 31-Oct-13 22:34:21

See I cross-posted with a few others.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:35:16

I think we are all against war!!

cjel Thu 31-Oct-13 22:35:29

Its not supporting war though is it ? Its supporting human beings who are in need! It doesn't pay for bombs or bullets, it pays for things that our fellow humans have need of.

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 31-Oct-13 22:35:31

I'm muslim I used to wear it but for reasons gecko has outlined concisely I no longer do. If there was a separate one for the world war veterans I'd be happy to wear it

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 22:36:01

No people wear it for remberence. You are the only person who mentions people wear it to support war confused. If you don't agree with it don't wear one. It's hardly rocket science.

funnyossity Thu 31-Oct-13 22:36:20

Gecko most people are against war. The red poppy was a symbol of the utter waste of life in the fields of Flanders and Northern France.

funnyossity Thu 31-Oct-13 22:36:37

I type so slowly!

BoreOfWhabylon Thu 31-Oct-13 22:37:26

Then you should think about broaden your social circle.

Just my opinion, of course.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:38:17

I can't see how you can be anti-war and pro-soldiers.

I know many people are but I just don't get it.

I think that the WW's were different, i think the majority of people fighting in them thought they were doing so for good, nowadays we know different, its easy to see that the armed forces are used for corruption and greed.

I shouldnt have to 'remember' them to 'remember' the fallen from the first two wars.

BoreOfWhabylon Thu 31-Oct-13 22:38:20

Sorry, was to Gecko's last post.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 31-Oct-13 22:38:36

"We 'owned' the Falklands like we 'owned' India. The moral thing would have been to make it independent or return it."

Can't take the OP seriously as they posted that^^

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:38:49

I'm fine with my social circle the way it is thanks.

I should 'increase' it to include more people who are pro-war?

No thanks.

PurpleJellyDisc Thu 31-Oct-13 22:39:30

All those evil soldiers, keeping peace and rebuilding countries after genocide and totalitarian regimes, just there because they wanted to drive tanks around. Have a big biscuit OP. Not the time or the place.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:39:46

I can't see the problem. You are not comfortable wearing a red poppy and you now know about white poppies and said you didn't want to change people's minds, therefore if you had a problem you haven't now. smile

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 22:41:55

Who do you think fought in the two WWs? This might come as a shock but it was soldiers.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:42:44

Trust me, I've been to war-torn countries and this 'building and keeping the peace' doesn't happen.

NI is a classic example of that. If we couldnt keep that under control why on earth did with think we could keep Afghanistan under control?

No I dont 'have a problem' other than not feeling like I can spend the 11th Nov celebrating it as it is intended and instead having to either support the whole of the armed forces or not give remembrance to those who deserved it.

That is a problem for many people I think and should be addressed. 11th November should be a celebration of peacetime and the sacrifices to achieve that, not a celebration of wartime as it is now.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 22:43:00

I don't know anyone who is pro-war.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:43:57

Actually, in the second world war it was not just soldiers (this is another thing that really annoys me) my nana was out there in bomb raids, picking people up, they had massive home front assistance, everybody in the country fought in that war and all types of people died.

Saying it was 'just' about soldiers totally demeans the good work that was done for the war effort at home and that shouldnt be forgotten either.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 22:45:21

Oh good grief. Why am I even on this thread? Its bonkers.

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:46:01

Well if you are finding it so hard to follow you should probably leave.

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:46:05

Who is forgetting it?

SatinSandals Thu 31-Oct-13 22:46:47

I shall go to bed. It is a bonkers thread!

Geckos48 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:48:55

I would say when remembrance day becomes all about soldiers past and present and less about the war effort, that is forgetting.

I think, basically that we should all be able to have that day to remember and give thanks regardless of our political standing and I dont think we have that anymore. Its such a shame.

Now I am going to bed too.

cocoleBOO Thu 31-Oct-13 22:50:36


MuggedByTheSleepThief Thu 31-Oct-13 22:57:07

The right to choose is hopefully beyond question, the reasoning behind it is not beyond challenge. Poppies are about remembering the fallen. Don't try to rebrand them in order to disagree OP. they are not, nor ever have been about supporting war in the round or hurting people.

cjel Thu 31-Oct-13 23:05:07

GECKOS your last post has finally recognised what remembrance day IS all about. It is exactly about having two minutes silence very dignified remembering all the horrors of the suffering of war, ||Whether it is your nanna you remember or friends of my son who have lost limbs in the Royal Marines since that are in my thoughts.

RaspberryPear Thu 31-Oct-13 23:13:35

My poppy will be worn with pride as a symbol of my thanks to all those that died in uniform.

Thank heavens some were prepared to sign that blank check so we could ague today if they were right or wrong to do so.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 07:06:47

What about the people who didnt die 'in uniform'?

what about the kids and the wives and civilans that died?

If the day is set around soldiers, we are forgetting all those people. I dont agree with it.

I will be wearing a white poppy, for peace smile

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Nov-13 07:19:06


I think that the WW's were different, i think the majority of people fighting in them thought they were doing so for good, nowadays we know different, its easy to see that the armed forces are used for corruption and greed.

WW1 wasn't fought for 'good'. It was an Imperial war, fought between two Imperial powers. If you want to find a war that wasn't fought for 'good' then WW1 is a classic example! You should be energetically condemning WW1 as evil and bad and all the blah blah you've been saving for the Falklands.

I shouldnt have to 'remember' them to 'remember' the fallen from the first two wars.

By your own standards you shouldn't be 'remembering' the fallen from WW1 at all.

Your position is SO cockeyed it's untrue. There is no logical consistency to it.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 07:22:00

I would say there is a lot less opportunity for folk who died in the first world war to know what they were fighting about, they were just told they had to fight for their country and they did.

We have more education and resources available to us now.

The biggest thing for me is that in making it about 'people in uniform' we forget the rest of the war effort, the lives that took and the civilian dead, who are just as important and I would say more important in modern conflicts as they are the ones truly without the option of choice.

LtAllHallowsEve Fri 01-Nov-13 07:36:31

What about the people who didnt die 'in uniform'?

The RBL also provides assistance for the Reserve and Auxilary Services - people like your Nana, Geckos

"Shoulder to shoulder with all who serve"

The 'war effort' of WWI and WW2 was about far more than soldiers in uniform. I thought you would have known that.

SatinSandals Fri 01-Nov-13 07:41:26

I don't understand why you think we are not remembering the families of the soldiers, the civilians, the medical staff, the horses, the members if the resistance, the fire fighters, home guard, etc etc etc.
I will be wearing my red poppy for peace.

SatinSandals Fri 01-Nov-13 07:45:17

I really can't see the need for a white poppy when the red poppy is already doing it all,but it is your choice. Some people wear both, some people wear none, some people choose one or the other. It is personal choice and no big deal.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 08:04:40

I'm with flatpack on this one,
OP you are romanticising both the world wars in the way that quite the fasion nowadays.
How about we had left Germany to deal with its own human rights issues in the 30 and 40s, as you propose we do in the Middle East now? So that they can learn our own lesson as we, the British did?

The difference is also in the weaponry available at the time.
Britain couldn't have been bombed in the Victorian era as you so emotively suggest, because there were no bombs. Now, countries are in charge of nuclear weapons...so the peacekeeping force of more developed nations is important.

differentnameforthis Fri 01-Nov-13 08:08:45

I dont buy poppies because I dont want to support servicemen who have gone off to dubious wars

You know that the service men & women don't actually get a say where they go or what wars they fight, don't you? They don't get to say "rather not do that one Gov, if it's all the same to you"

Which in my opinion is MORE reason to wear a poppy & support those on the front line, who probably don't want to be fighting that war either.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:28:39

I don't think I am romancising anything, the last a war was fought to prevent Britain from being attacked, was in 1945, therefore I respect the people who died in that war. In the previous war people had no idea they were not fighting for our freedom, so i respect them too.

People who sign up to go and die in wars which do not protect me, I do not support. It is akin to terrorism, just with people who are paid and in uniform.

My nana gets no support from the poppy appeal, none whatsoever, neither do any of her friends. Yet soldiers wounded in current conflicts do, that makes no sense to me and they feel very much forgotten.

No Victorian Britain could not have been bombed, but what if it could have? Who had the right to do that? Would it have helped us? You can dodge the question or just answer it, would britain be better without our heritage? Without our ability to have improved ourselves rather than being 'freed' by a foreign nation?

I dont think it would have. Arms have very little to do with it actually because the last big wars we have been involved in have been fought with weapons that we have made and given to the other sides.

Arms is where the regulation needs to be, stop making nasty guns and then getting upset when other people have nasty guns (that you have sold them)

the whole thing is a joke, a joke that costs countless lives and ruins whole countries.

There HAS to be another way.

SatinSandals Fri 01-Nov-13 08:41:49

I will leave you to it, it gets the point where I simply can't be bothered. If you are happy with that view then you stick to it.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:44:39

Fair enough, I am not asking you to 'be bothered'

I do find it quite telling though, that nobody seems to want to discuss how it would be if we were bombed and 'freed'

quite happy to 'free' other people but not so happy to think of it here.

very telling.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 08:46:59

You can't argue with 'what ifs' Gecko.
Most of your points have been made through rhetoric rather than fact.
Don't wear a poppy that's fine.

Just don't be one of those idiots who talks through the two minute silence eh?

cjel Fri 01-Nov-13 08:47:20

our war in afghanistan is exactly to stop us being attacked. We were being attcked by people who were hiding and training there. the very fact the attacks have become much less is because we went and fought there.

Do fuck off.

You just want another British military bashing thread don't you??

You don't want a discussion, you ignore passionate, articulate posters like LtEveDallas who actually knows what she's talking about .

You rant, you don't discuss.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:50:03

Yes, you can argue with 'what if's

what if Iraq had been allowed to reach economic stability? Would the human rights of the country been improved? There is vast evidence to suggest that yes it would.

What if we hadn't decided to split Pakistan off from India? Would we find the troubles there that we do or would they be improving like India is?

All you have done is argue 'what ifs' the reason that the forces go into foreign lands is a 'what if they attack us first' 'what if they have nuclear weapons'

you can't have one without the other. Relate it back to Us, because actually, this lands and territories we bomb and destroy are people too and they deserve their countries to be in one piece, just like we do.

SatinSandals Fri 01-Nov-13 08:50:55

You rant, you don't discuss and you don't listen.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:51:11

There is many examples that terrorism in the world has risen because of our occupation of Afghanistan, not fallen.

MuggedByTheSleepThief Fri 01-Nov-13 08:51:54

I'm just trying to come to terms with your staggering selfishness there OP. You won't support it if the war doesn't directly protect YOU. Sod protecting others then. I suppose by your reasoning we should have let them crack on with ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, not bothered to build or protect schools in Afg or indeed try and secure areas where the locals didn't want to be subjected to Taliban rule.

Fighting directly for your own turf is something we should be grateful to the WW generations for. Equally we should honour those who still sacrificed in recent conflicts where ambiguity and protecting others was the order of the day.

As for your comment equating the AF to terrorists, it is too offensive and the reasoning too ignorant to address further here. Just plain nasty.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:51:57

I'm trying to discuss the points I have raised, nobody is willing to do that, why?

Why is it so far fetched to ask people to talk about 'what if it were us'

I dont think thats ranting, I've asked a number of questions a number of times and they have been ignored.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:52:50

War doesn't protect others, economic stability does.

War takes the bottom out of economic stability so it does the very opposite of protecting people.

Its not 'selfishness' to not want folk blown up, its common sense.

Because no one agrees with you.

Have you considered that?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:55:43

Agrees with what?

I have asked a question? Would it have been better for our country, if when we suffered massive human rights violations that we had been bombed and 'freed' thats not an opinion its a question.

I'm asking your opinion, not giving mine.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:57:02

You are asking me to not only accept, but also RESPECT a culture and career that supports bombing and occupying other countries because of human rights issues.

I am asking you if you would support a culture that had bombed us when we had human rights issues.

its not a difficult question.

caruthers Fri 01-Nov-13 09:02:34

* LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 14:49:03*

In Bosnia my job was to protect the Serbs from the Croats from the Muslims and the IFOR and the UNPROFOR and the Aid workers and so on. Everyone was in danger from everyone else. It didn't matter to me who I was protecting, just that I was. I did that in my name, in your name, in the name of every decent person on earth that was against ethnic cleansing and the rape and murder of men, women and children. It didn't bother me who they were.

In Iraq I was there as part of the force that were providing food, medicines, clothing, shelter and safety for the Displaced Persons - those displaced by SH, deserted and captured soldiers, terrorised and damaged families. I was also very proud of being able to help the Red Cross and MSF get to areas they hadn't been able to reach for the previous 10 years.

I lost one friend in Bosnia, four in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. I wear my poppy to remember them, and to donate to the charity that is supporting their families, now and forever.

Because of good people like you Europe is a little bit safer.

I'm ex services and am thankful for YOUR service and the service of your comrades.

ithaka Fri 01-Nov-13 09:06:52

I sympathise with Gecko's position, as did other posters earlier on in the thread, so it is not true that no one agrees with her view. And even if she was alone in her view, that doesn't necessarily mean she is wrong - beware of group think.

Gecko, I usually wear a poppy, but I do feel ambivalent about it as I feel uncomfortable about what feels like an increasing acceptance of us continuing to fight wars, when the very idea of the poppy was that by remembering we would make sure it never happened again and bring an end to war. Well, that hasn't worked.

I also dislike 'help for heroes' as I don't think being a soldier automatically makes you a hero, as some of the atrocities committed by serving troops proves. Form me, carers are heroes, people with weapons aren't.

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Nov-13 09:08:29


I'm trying to discuss the points I have raised, nobody is willing to do that, why?

Because every time you have raised a point, it has been comprehensively demolished and you have gone off on a tangent. Every. Single. Time.

Why should anyone go to the effort to 'discuss' anything with you? You've no empathy. No understanding. And you lack the capacity to grasp what you're being told.

Why is it so far fetched to ask people to talk about 'what if it were us'

I dont think thats ranting, I've asked a number of questions a number of times and they have been ignored.

Your questions have become vaguer and more puerile, and I'm not alone in tiring of your childish games.

SatinSandals Fri 01-Nov-13 09:19:04

You certainly are not alone,flatpack. I should have stayed with last night's estimation of 'bonkers thread'.

Doublemuvver Fri 01-Nov-13 09:19:36

Interesting thread. I am a pacifist and try to incorporate it into my daily life where possible. I wear a white poppy and have done since a very young age. I have campaigned against every war and will continue to do so. I also disagree with this blind faith in the armed forces and how it is frowned upon not to support them. I agree the govt should do more to help service people and not rely on the general public to do so. In my opinion there are plenty of heroes within our communities that deserve our help more.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 09:36:24

The army has done a lot of good. LtEve has pointed out a lot of the good she has done in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. That must be a very rewarding part of the job - humanitarian and peace keeping work. Her friends have died and been severely injured. That must be respected and remembered.

But - let's not pretend that the Government and the West use our Forces for "good causes". We have changed sides, interfered and ignored so much stuff over the years. When we get involved, it is not well thought out and there are consequences. Iraq - one dictator has gone but the legacy is a civil war between Shiite and Shia. Afghanistan. We went in but we have not won. We have made some changes but when we leave - what next?

Syria. If we had an ounce of humanity we would be in there. But Russia has blocked it. We do not do anything about human rights abuses in China. Wonder why? Egypt - hell, we sell them weapons. As we do to most of the Middle East. The army are used to demonstrate the weapons to particular countries.

Remembrance Sunday is important to remember people who have died in conflict. All people. I know that civillians are remembered as well.

But we are a "player" in the global arms trade. Sometimes we try to do the right thing, sometimes we do stuff because it's political, sometimes we ignore stuff because it's not our problem or we don't want to upset countries like Russia and China. Look at Chechyna. And the other stuff Russia did.

We have made enemies. There is no doubt about that and it is so easy to use the abuse carried out by a minority of soldiers as propaganda as a recruiting tool.

So wear a red poppy. Remember the dead and the injured. Soldiers did not ask to be there.

I just wish we weren't so keen to tackle disputes with more killing.I wish we didn't need an arms industry which contributes to more deaths around the world. That sounds idealistic and it probably is. But as someone said upthread, a more equal and co-operative world is probably safer.

LtAllHallowsEve Fri 01-Nov-13 09:37:54

Add message | Report | Message poster Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:51:11
There is many examples that terrorism in the world has risen because of our occupation of Afghanistan, not fallen.

Please prove that statement. You were asked to earlier, but didn't.

My nana gets no help from the appeal...they feel forgotten

If you were telling the truth about your nana earlier in the thread then all she has to do is ask. You can even ask on her behalf. You can even get support as a relative.

the whole thing is a joke, a joke that cost a thousand lives and ruined countries

Except TwitTwoo, an Iraqi citizen, you know, someone who was actually there, was glad of our intervention - I'd take the view of the (wo)man on the ground over yours any day. Your insistence that you are right diminishes her actual experience, rubbishes her feelings and dismisses the human rights atrocities that were going on, causing the deaths of 700,000 Iraqi citizens BEFORE any NATO intervention.

Oh and people that are talking about Help for Heroes - I don't know ONE SINGLE SOLDIER who considers him/herself a hero. It was a tag line initiated by the Bloody Sun newspaper when they needed a new 'pet' and chose the British Military. Many soldiers, myself included, DO NOT support this charity. They do an 'OK' job - but I do not agree with their 'qualifying criteria' and neither do hundreds of other squaddies. I support the RBL through Poppy Day and my monthly subscription, the ABF similarly and pay into the widows and dependants fund - as do many other members of the forces.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 01-Nov-13 09:38:12

I will say that I am uncomfortable with the way the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are being portrayed in such an uncritical way here.

Both are hugely controversial. The invasion of Iraq was under false pretences - no WMD were found. While Saddam was detested, most Iraqis did not want a foreign invasion to remove him, supporting opposition movements against him could have been a better stategy.

As for Afghanistan, it remains a failed state, the Taliban have not been defeated and vast chunks of the country remain under the control of other warlords, who are not necessarily anymore pleasant.

None of the above means the army are terrible people, or not worthy of support, but uncritical cheerleading of UK foreign policy is not the best way of doing this.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 09:50:01


If you were recruiting for Al Quiada or similar organisations, what would you use as a recruiting tool? The west's invasion of Afghanistan, human rights abuses by some soldiers, accidental civillian deaths or drone attacks?

They are great recruiting tools.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 10:01:50

Aha. You know, I thought the strident tones of this OP sounded familiar!

<puts 'buy red poppy' on 'To do' list>

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 11:10:59

gecko don't talk bollocks.
I mean with particular regard to 'my nana' and her mates.

If she doesn't get any help its because none has been asked for.

Who do you think made up the shortfall for my OH's adapted bathroom? Not H4H thats for darn sure.

His war was not nearly sexy enough for them and anyways who can remember 22 years ago?

So its RBL who continue to help families who were unfortunate enough not to be involved in the wars that the tabloids enjoy so much.

If 'my nana' has a connection to a war and she needs something she can apply to RBL like anyone else. She certainly wouldn't be turned down because she didn't fight in recent conflicts.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:17:58

Is anyone prepared to answer the question of whether Britain would have been better if we had been 'freed' by foreign forces resulting in the loss of our infrastructure and culture?


That, to me, says it all. You are happy to defend the occupation and war waged on other countries, but you know as well as I do that Britain is where it is because WE have made it that way, we have improved our human rights along side our economic stability.

If you are not prepared to bring it home, then you should not be prepared to take it to someone elses.

So much hypocrisy.

That not ONE of the 'pro war' commenters here can acknowledge and discuss that one point is so telling.

caruthers Fri 01-Nov-13 11:28:18

I don't see any "Pro war" commenters on this thread.

Hyperbole much?

I think the French are generally grateful for the Allied invasion OP, despite suffering horrendous losses through collateral damage. I'd extrapolate that the same would be true had Britain been invaded.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:31:20

Again, avoiding the question.

How can you defend folk going into other countries when you cannot say it would have been good for us?

Because it wouldn't be would it? Imagine if we had no cultural buildings? No marks of our history? That is where Iraq is at the moment

That is what we DO to countries, destroy the infrastructure and fuck up the system of government. We have no RIGHT to do that, it does not create anything better. We should leave well enough alone.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 11:35:09

whether Britain would be 'better' had we been 'freed' seems largely irrelevant to the discussion on how the poppy is worn but...

We DIDNT need to be freed. Because for most of modern history we have had a functioning democracy. It wasn't necessary for Queen Victoria to be overthrown, I don't know if any country would have had the force to do it anyway? (Not a historian).

I'd be interested to know your feelings on Winston Churchill OP. He's a national hero of the time you are quite misty eyed about, but through most of the 30s was seen as a war mongering solder supporter...

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 11:37:24

And also, your emphasis on buildings and artefacts as the only markers of heritage are deeply unsettling.
I believe the lives of people are more important.
Plymouth and Coventry and Dresden and many many other cities have survived through the spirit of the PEOPLE, not their architecture.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 11:40:10

Who are the 'pro-war' posters on here?

<gets drawn in against will>

cocoleBOO Fri 01-Nov-13 11:40:31

Oh for fucks sake, nobody on here is "pro-war".
Goverments are reponsible for sending people to war. That's who your bile should be directed at. Or maybe even the the despots who ravage countries and the citizens who live there.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:41:05

Our human rights throughout history have been atrocious actually. Our treatment of the Welsh, Scottish and Irish have been abysmal.

So again, if we had of been 'freed' back then, would it have improved our lives?

Would it make a difference to what we have now?

It would make a difference in that much of our culture, libraries, writings, buildings, infrastructure would have been destroyed.

Perhaps you have not been to a war-torn country and perhaps you have not seen what people have to deal with long-term when their infrastructure is destroyed? But its not pretty trust me.

Go on, answer Clam.

Who are the Pro War posters?

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 11:44:56

Now, please can you answer clam.
And me?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:45:28

I actually think some people should answer the question I have asked five or six times before expecting me to answer anymore (really obvious) questions.

Again, You cannot be pro-soldiers and anti-war, that is my stance. Making most of you pro-war actually.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:46:18

I dont think any country needs to be 'freed' by outside military.

I think to say so is incredibly arrogant.

And incredibly pro-war.

caruthers Fri 01-Nov-13 11:47:33

France didn't need to be freed by military force?

There are many other examples of that of course.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 11:49:39

You still haven't properly explained why soldiers who fought in WW1 & WWII = good/noble/poppy worthy
Soldiers who fought in less romantic wars are = pro war/wrong/not poppy worthy

Could you clear that up please?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:54:39

I did answer that question. I would suggest a spot of reading.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 11:55:51

Never before on MN has a thread made me want to throw my iPad out of the window, but this one has.

Gecko, you are spouting so much bs you are tying yourself in knots. I know who you are by the way, you are the poster who said my DH was likely to be a rapist because he is in the RAF!

I shall wear my Poppy to remember ever single person who has died in conflict. To me, it doesn't matter if they signed up voluntarily or were conscripted, they all deserve the same respect.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:55:59

And, now that I have answered your questions, you can answer mine.

Would Britain be as nice a place if we had been 'freed' or has the battle to gain our freedom, explore humanity and improve ourselves been part of what makes us who we are?

I would say it is the latter.

This all has to be alongside not selling weapons to cunts of course. (thats a biggie)

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:57:07

Said your DH was a rapist because he is in the RAF? Absolute crap! my father was in the RAF!

You are just talking nonsense, I will ignore it.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 11:57:29

I have addressed the question you posed. I can't answer it because I cannot know the answer any more than you can.

Please now can you address some of the other points?
Like why are material things so much more than lives?
How do you feel about Churchill?
Why are the lives of WW1&2 soldiers more important than soldiers of more recent wars?
How do you think things will turn out in Syria?

Said your DH was a rapist because he is in the RAF? Absolute crap! my father was in the RAF!

You tarred all military personnel with the same brush as a small number of soldiers who'd committed offences on your last hate filled thread about the services, perhaps you should check what you did actually say.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:04:11

infrastructure, history, culture and heritage are important TO lives, they are important to a country. How can you not see that?

Someone on here told me it takes 30 years for a country to 'recover' from being 'freed'. Why not wait 30 years and see if they sort themselves out? Why not offer aid and education and see if that helps rather than (bizarrely) sending guns and bombs and soldiers?

I thought Churchill was a bit of a cunt actually.

(as I already stated) the soldiers in the WW's had no internet, not research facilities available to them to show how corrupt and nasty our government is. Soldiers nowadays do. The PEOPLE (not just soldiers) who fought in the second world war did so because it kept up free, the soldiers in the First thought exactly the same, they had no other methods of gaining knowledge.

I think that is worthy of respect.

if a soldier nowadays think they are 'fighting for peace' they are brainwashed and mistaken, there is plenty of information out there to show otherwise. Travel the world a bit, see how we are viewed by the East, its not in a nice way I can assure you, regardless of how many Welsh speaking schools we have build in Iraq, we have destroyed a whole country, the buildings, the culture, the history, the things they were rightly proud of.

I dont know how things will turn out in Syria, or the world as a whole, but I know that our involvement in Libya has not helped anyone, we have just trashed the place, got a cheap price for oil and fucked off.

We are, really quite dreadful people.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:05:12

No I said that all military are not heroes and that due to the nature of the job its more likely to attract arseholes than some other jobs.

I know what I said, my point of view has not changed.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:06:30

And i can answer it by the way.

I can say absolutely that Britain is a better country now that it would be as a war-torn country

that our heritage is a great asset to us and our social policy history is a credit to us.

i can absolutely say that being bombed would not improve my life.

its more likely to attract arseholes

A bit like Mumsnet I suppose Geckos48 wink

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:08:12

As I said, only on the internet is someone considered an 'arsehole' for not believing in war.

Fortunately in the rest of life, people are quite easy about pacifists.

Andcake Fri 01-Nov-13 12:09:02

It's a tricky one - I no longer wear poppies mostly because of my feelings about recent conflicts - and do totally see the difference between being conscripted into a ww and choosing a career where you are basically saying 'I am willing to take another persons life' it's a job but it is a decision. Many wars are unjust, often innocents die at the hands of soldiers. And soldiers die too and get seriously injured I feel for them ( and particularly their families) but surely knowing you are putting yourself in danger is part of the job description. You kill and maim and the same may happen to you! Ww conscripts had no choice.

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 12:12:17

You can be pro-solider and anti-war because, as I said upthread and as LtEve explained beautifully, soliders do much more then fight. Security at the Olympics and Wimbledon comes to mind but there are many, many other less publicised examples. The vast majority of soliders I know (mostly Army but some Marines and a few from the Navy and RAF) signed up for these reasons, to protect their country. I see no reason not to support them.

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 01-Nov-13 12:12:22

Right then Gecko.

You've asked and answered all your questions to your own satisfaction. Glad you cleared that up for us.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 12:12:53

"We are, really quite dreadful people."

You speak for yourself. And maybe get your own house in order before criticising the rest of us.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 12:15:01

Anyone else seeing the irony in gecko (as that's what she's currently posting as) preaching to the rest of us about pacifism, when every sentence she types is dripping with aggression?

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 12:16:14

Andcake British soldiers in WW1 were around 51% conscripts and 49% volunteers, conscription was introduced much earlier in WW2 but there were still many volunteers.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:16:51

Is it that you feel Remembrance Sunday has become (in some people's opinion) a celebration / adoration of the military and war rather than remembering the dead?

I worry that the anniversary of WW1 next year will go the same way. I remember when WW2 was being remembered and we were encouraged to have spam fritter parties. WW1 was such a dubious war and led the way for WW2 and a lot of the current issues we have now especially in the Middle East.

I still think you can separate the two. By remembering the dead and injured, you are not necessarily showing support for foreign policy.

You do not have to believe in war. But you can remember those who gave their lives in them.

kim147 you post beautifully.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 12:22:33

You can be absolutely pro soldiers and anti war. Support the soldiers, tackle the politicians, through engaging with the political process.

Which incidentally you can only do because we have an army that fought wars to do so (WW1 and WW2), and that you cannot do in most of the countries you have mentioned because of the oppressive regimes there.

I would rather have freedom (yes that includes freedom to muck up) than cultural buildings

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 12:23:55

PS will be wearing my poppy with pride

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 12:25:56

And OP, you can keep talking about how you know better than any of us how we are perceived by those in the East and how badly we've left countries but the fact that, as far as I can see, you're ignoring TwitTwoo's testimony suggests you only see/hear what you want to. I've read reports from lots of different sources in both Iraq and Afghan that agree with TwitTwoo

MissHC Fri 01-Nov-13 12:27:32

I refuse to wear a poppy. I support the original idea (remembering the fallen of WW1 and WW2) and this is still what November 11th is about in the country I'm originally from (Belgium). A LOT of people died during those wars who didn't choose to go into the army as a career. And especially in Belgium there wasn't really a choice - you either fought against the Nazi's or you had to become one of them. There is also a lot of gratitude towards British and American soldiers of those days as people feel they really did rescue them.

However, I completely disagree with funds of the charity nowadays being used for disabled ex-army soldiers from the recent wars. First of all, it's a career choice. The employer (ie. the government) needs to support those who have had injuries (whether physical or mental) during their "work time". If anything people should complain that the government doesn't provide this (or not enough in any case) rather than the government pushing citizens to support a CHARITY to carry out its duties. This would not be accepted from any private company yet the UK government gets away with it.

Secondly I completely disagree with the more recent wars and how the UK seems to think they can go somewhere and decide how it will be done- however that's a personal opinion.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 12:29:13

"Perhaps you have not been to a war-torn country and perhaps you have not seen what people have to deal with long-term when their infrastructure is destroyed?"

I think LtAllHallowsEve described it from first-hand experience very eloquently, actually.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 12:29:33

You did say it Gecko, you know full well you did. You know full well you tarred every single person in the Armed Forces with the same brush. I even asked you if your Dad knew that was how you saw men in the RAF! You said he knew your feelings!

You are the one spouting nonsense, not me and you know it!

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 12:30:09

And twittwoo.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:33:49

What is interesting is the reasons behind wars and conflicts - why they started and the effect afterwards.

WW1. Incredibly complex reasons. But it happened. The effect of it was redrawing of borders (a lot of the issues in the Middle East today comes down to those borders), and the punishment Germany received by the victors.

Which led to the rise of Hitler. What led to his rise? He was able to exploit the fears of a nation. If Germany had been treated differently after WW1, we might have had a different outcome.

But WW2 happened and I do not think that anything other than war could have stopped it and the terror the Nazis brought.

We have had peace in Europe since then. Until the Balkan conflict. We were slow to act and indecisive. If you are going to be interfere militarily, you need the guts to be decisive. How many human rights abuses did we ignore?

Meanwhile Iraq and Iran were having a war. Gas was used. We supplied weapons to Iraq as it suited us. If we hadn't supplied weapons and had organised boycotts, that war could have been prevented. But that would have required co-operation with Arab states -who turn a blind eye to so much stuff.

The world could get rid of conflict if we all stood together. Boycotts, trade, fairer economies etc. More tolerance. But all too often, it's war that is the first port of call.

But we have dictators. We have people who hate their neighbours for so many reasons.

The army offers young people a career. The education of young soldiers is relatively low compared to the average teenager but they do well in the forces. They get training and educated. I honestly don't think many join to protect the UK. We are one of only 16 countries to recruit 16 yr olds.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:37:55

There are still a lot of car bombings in Iraq. We got rid of a dictator. Did we leave a stable peaceful country?

Afghanistan. The Taliban are still there. And will be there for a long time yet.

Syria. It's hardly in the news now.

And the effect of Afghanistan and Iraq is we will not intervene.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 12:41:06

"The world could get rid of conflict if we all stood together. Boycotts, trade, fairer economies etc. More tolerance. But all too often, it's war that is the first port of call. "

We can't even get rid of conflict on mumsnet not sure how the world would fair. grin There are so many different and conflicting motivations and beliefs.

Nor do I actually think we should.

For there to be no conflict everyone needs to agree over everything. Whose opinion wins out. there can only be no conflict if the leaders are inherently oppressive of everyone who disagrees.

Which is exactly why we should be wearing a poppy

cocoleBOO Fri 01-Nov-13 12:44:08

If people didn't join up as a career choice then we will be fucked if there is another war.
I would prefer to have forces ready and trained in combat rather than conscription because we did away with all our forces personnel.

MissHC Fri 01-Nov-13 12:50:45

cocole - yes it's a good thing there are people going into the army, however their employer (the government) has IMO no excuse for not supporting them/their family in case they get injured or worse. They should not have to rely on a charity for that. That's my main issue with the poppy appeal.

MissHC Fri 01-Nov-13 12:52:26

I can only compare to where I'm from - Belgium has an army too and sends out people to wars. However when they get injured the STATE supports them. They don't need a charity for that. I makes me really angry and upset that the UK government doesn't provide this.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 12:53:02

Its not just "the Army"! The Armed Forces consist of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force as well, you know!

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Nov-13 12:55:20


As I said, only on the internet is someone considered an 'arsehole' for not believing in war.

No, you're considered an arsehole because you dissemble, you smear, you change your viewpoint, you make wild and lurid claims and when they're pulverised by better people who actually know something, you gallivant off on a tangent.

Fortunately in the rest of life, people are quite easy about pacifists.

It's not pacifists we have a problem with. It's ignorance.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 12:58:16

I wonder if geckos expresses herself in this way "in the rest of life." And, if so, how she gets along with people.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:03:15

I did read Gecko
I was hoping you would come up with something that made sense.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:04:23

My view point has never changed.

The armed forces is a terror institution which creates terrible situations for many, many countries.

Those who sign up to that, sign up to what it stands for.

Our country would not be improved by bombs, NOBODY's country is improved by bombs.

I mean that as a whole, as a Sociological and Economic view-point. not from the mouth of one person.

I am not aggressive. If you read it that way it is not because of me.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:06:23

Clam - whilst I think that stays on the right side of personal attack it's about as close as it comes.


clam Fri 01-Nov-13 13:09:09

Yup. But the OP knows all about personal attacks.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 13:09:39

Its Gecko's chosen career path that bothers me tbh. I couldn't give a monkeys if she gets in with people but she shouldn't do the job she is training for, IMO.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:10:06

Lots of people read it, only you think it didn't make sense.

The same sentiment has been shared by many.

kim147 your posts are spot on (mostly) smile

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:10:44

SO it was intended as one then?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:10:51

Oh here we go again.

Seriously, change the record, you know nothing about me.

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Nov-13 13:13:17


MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:13:37

Social workers remove children from their parents and cause terrible trauma to the children and the parents.
They sign up for the job knowing that will happen and in many cases it is done because there are not the funds to provide a less draconian alternative.

So does that mean that everyone who wants to be a social worker is complicit in the unnecessary removal of children, the refusal to provide much needed services to families, the blocking of parents who are trying to get support for their disabled children, the placing of elderly people in substandard care homes?

Does it mean that social workers do no good? Provide no decent support? Help no-one?

I could ask the same question about any number of professions. The answer would be the same.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 13:14:32

I know the BS you spout across the boards Gecko. Seriously read your posts, you do not sound like someone who should do the job you want to do!

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:18:29

I would prefer November 11th to be about the WW veterans who gave their lives selflessly because Britain was being attacked. Not those who chose to go and attack for a living.

This is your reason.
It shows a startling lack of knowledge.

There were many career soldiers in both wars. There were many who fought because they felt that Great Britain was the superior country and that Johnny Foreigner deserved to be wiped out.
There were also many who didn't give their live's selflessly. They were forced to be killed, screaming and crying. They were not selfless, they were there because they thought it would be a lark.
You have a romantic and childish view of those wars.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:21:25

To be honest, I feel the same way about every one else's view of war.

I think it is arrogant to assume that we can 'free' people and lead them to a better reality than they would get to on their own.

I think that it is dreadful to go storming into places with bombs and bullets.

Again, this thread was supposed to be about the article I linked to (which I dont think most of the people commenting have actually read) and there is a big difference between the veterans of the WW's and those who have made a career out of being part of an armed forces that spreads terror and corruption around the world.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:21:37

This thread is not about social workers.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 13:24:12

You are missing MrsDeVere's point, OP.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:24:50

It is an analogy Gecko.
And it is relevant.

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Nov-13 13:27:17


Again, this thread was supposed to be about the article I linked to (which I dont think most of the people commenting have actually read) and there is a big difference between the veterans of the WW's and those who have made a career out of being part of an armed forces that spreads terror and corruption around the world.

As I explained to you earlier, the veterans from WW1 were not the noble crusaders for freedom that you claim they were, even if they thought that was the case. WW1 was an Imperial war between two great Imperial powers. It was a war for control of territories and a war fought to control the balance of power. It was certainly a less noble cause than the Falklands, less noble than Bosnia, less noble than the first Gulf War in 1990 (which, you will fail to recall, was sanctioned by the UN).

That takes nothing from the sacrifice of those servicemen who fought in it. It is a simple fact, which is something you have failed to deal in at any point in this thread.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:28:45

I'm not entirely convinced that there isn't a better way to make the same point

it seems to me to be a little aggressive and very unnecessary if someone uses someone's personal real life profession to belittle their opinion

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:28:59

I disagree, the soldiers in WW1 had no way of knowing that they were not fighting for freedom.

Soldiers nowadays have reams of information available to them to show the real nature of the 'wars' we wage.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 13:29:26

So shall we have a red poppy for the conscripts?
And maybe a black one for the professional soldiers?

Would that suit your childish view of the innocents selflessly giving their lives?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:29:53

No its not relevant, its a dig at my career choice (again) and its totally irrelevant, I would go into it if it weren't for the former part of that sentence but I am so utterly bored of it now I refuse to.

They are not comparable, I have my reasons for that but not that I would like to discuss with you.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:29:53

not when there are valid other ways to discuss the matter

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:30:49

No we should just have a remembrance Sunday that is in remembrance of the veterans from the WW's and have a different day for people who want to support the soldiers of the current conflicts.

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 13:31:41

It's not the OP's real-life profession.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 13:31:45

So, you can have a dig at thousands of people's career choices, but no-one can have a dig at yours?

Hypocrite, much!

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:32:52

I think the Falklands could have been solved without war. So many people died and were injured on both sides.

It made Thatcher look powerful and strong. But war was not needed there. Diplomatic pressure should have won.

The first Gulf war. What pressures could the world have applied to Saddam to get him to leave? Did the world try hard enough or was military action always going to be the main aim?

War is easy to start. Boys with their toys - that's the politicians who want to show they mean business.

I wish we could do something about Syria. Maybe the only think Assad would understand is war. But there should be a diplomatic or compromise. Something.

have a different day for people who want to support the soldiers of the current conflicts. why?

Listen to yourself!

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:33:52

How the bloody hell would I know its her career?

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:33:58

soldiers are relevant to war and the poppy appeal, social workers aren't.

There are better ways of making a point

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 13:34:08

Although actually, paperlantern, you make a valid point. The OP is making a perfectly good job of expressing her opinions, albeit that she's alienating people in the way she's doing it, rather than winning them over.

Doublemuvver Fri 01-Nov-13 13:34:44

I do wish I could influence this post with my pacifism! Too much anger. Let there be peace in all areas of our lives. Please.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:35:14

could we do it without taking a pop at anyone's career!!!

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:35:47

They may not have had as much information as we do but they certainly did have information.

'No way of knowing'


paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 13:36:40

clam - you are never going to be won over by her opinions, neither am I. mute point reallygrin

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:37:54


Because it would mean that people like me (and the many others who have commented on this thread) could give remembrance and thanks to the early veterans, without having to support those who have chosen to make a career out of war.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:38:33

I dont think the aim of discussion needs to be about 'winning people over'

it is quite possible to have a debate without needing to 'win'

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 13:38:34

As if they didn't have journalists and newspapers in the early 20thC?!

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:38:38

paperlantern why are they not relevant?

The op is tarring thousands and thousands of people with the same brush. Her objections are based on soldiers knowing that bad things happen yet they still chose to follow their career path.

Exactly the same can be said of social workers, police, Lawyers, doctors etc.

The OP is not a SW AFAIK.

Are you a social worker OP?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:39:57

This thread is not about social workers.

I refuse to get engaged in a discussion about it.

the armed forces cannot be compared to other professions because it is inherently about occupying other countries and waging war.

it is fairly unique in that respect.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:41:17

There was a recent report about the effect of young people joining the Forces - especially the Army. The report claims it's "missold" - focussing on the positives of military life - and there are plenty - without looking at the reality. The report looked at the effect of military life on people who leave (PTSD etc) and the damage it did to young people cf older people who joined.

It seems the military is getting better at supporting veterans - especially with mental health. The current conflicts are so much more complex than WW1 and WW2 - back then you recognised your enemies and the objectives were clear. Take a town, clear it, move on.

Now - you don't know your enemies. Bombs are everywhere. Troops on your side can attack you. But is that reality mentioned to the youngsters who join up?

FlabbyAdams Fri 01-Nov-13 13:43:31

Well be grateful you have a choice what you wear or don't wear.
But to turn your nose up at our troops for doing what the are ordered to do is pretty shit imo. Mums net was just one of many forums with people calling for the army to be called in during the riots ....seems our soldiers were perfectly acceptable then.

Seriously who the fuck do you think will be coming to put your fire out and rescue your kids if these fire brigade strikes continue? Yeah ..... The dsme people following more orders. They will rescue you if told to despite the fact you have such a low opinion of them.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:43:54

I spoke to one lady kim whose husband was in the army and hated the idea of soldiers being instant heroes, he said he saw a lot of lads joining up, thinking that they were fulfilling some moral duty and would be glorified and instead seeing what they were actually dealing with and being incredibly disheartened. That combined with some of them being sent home in wheelchairs, having discovered that what was happening in Afghanistan was not improving things and that, in the end, they would leave it in as much or more of a shambles than it was before... well it was really destructive to them.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:44:21

'Have a choice in what i wear'

what on earth are you talking about?

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 13:44:53

DH has been in the Armed Forces for 27 years on 11/11. He has made a career out of being an aircraft engineer. He has never killed anyone.


kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:45:26

We had a standing army in WW1 and WW2. People did make a career out of war. That is a reality.

Another reality is that some soldiers actually like war. All their training etc can actually be used for real. It's why they joined up. I am sure that's true for all wars past and in the future.

We had conscripts in WW1 and WW2. We had people who were willing to join up and we had those who were already soldiers.

If you read some memoirs of ex service personnel, you can hear how keen they were to fight and "to give Jerry a bloody nose". They lived for war and peace was hard for them.

Should we separate remembrance Sunday for them as well? The ones who wanted to fight and the ones who were forced to?

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:45:27

Am just going to go and bomb a Middle Eastern country because I want to wear a cardigan today...

bloody ludicrous.

Did you inform that the woman of your opinion regarding her husband, seeing as you despise him because he made a choice to join the army?

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 13:47:11

No surprise there then.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 13:47:27

I think she means 'wearing' the poppy gecko

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:48:09

I think there is always going to be differences in mindset kim what stands out for me is that the last time my freedom was fought for, was in 1945 and I would like to show respect for that.

I think that bringing more recent conflicts into it muddies the waters and makes it impossible for many of us to share in what should be a poignant day for us all.

ithaka Fri 01-Nov-13 13:50:23

I thought the point of remembrance Sunday was to remember the fallen for a reason - to stop it ever happening again.

That is why I feel ambivalent about wearing a poppy (although I usually do). We seem to have forgotten that the whole point of remembering is to prevent further suffering, so it sticks in my craw when I see world leaders who have authorised wars and politicians who have voted for them in the house, smugly donning a poppy.

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 13:50:49

But Nazi Germany never seriously attempted an invasion! So even in WW2 your literal freedom was never at stake.

What WAS fought for, and continues to be fought for, are your personal freedoms. The right of democracy over dictatorship. All of which adds up to your right to choose whether to wear a poppy.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:51:31

My Dad was in the Tank regiment in the 60s. He joined at 18 because it offered him a good career and it suited his personality and sports background. He did not join for reasons of defending the country.

He was lucky. Although he was front line in Germany and would have been dead in 24 hrs if Russia had attacked, nothing happened. He did not get sent to any other conflict zone unlike troops today who have seen two major conflicts.

He loved the military life. I have a cousin in the Navy. It offered her a good career but again - she did not join for moral reasons.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:55:52

Nazi Germany invaded Europe and would clearly have invaded Britain!

WW11 is VERY different from us going to Iraq and Afghanistan and starting fights for not a lot. It is NOTHING to do with democracy or my right to wear a poppy (or cardigan)

Nothing at all - do people really believe that is why we got to war in these places?

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 13:56:10

I live on an Army base where a month ago half the base deployed for Afghanistan. The amount of absolute bullshit about soldiers on this thread is mind blowing.

DS1(18) has a friend who went with them. Before X went he had a party, just incase he didn't come back. How do you think his parents are feeling right now?

DS1 is going through the application process to join the Army ATM. Like it or not, there is precious little in the way of jobs or opportunities for our young people in this country. DS has AAB at Alevel. He doesn't want to be a teacher, or work in an office, or do anything else.

If it weren't for these kids, and they aren't just joining to kill people, or go to war, everyone's kids would have to join. Is that what you'd rather? Really?

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 13:56:18

"'Have a choice in what i wear'"

"what on earth are you talking about?"

Wars have been fought to preserve our freedom of expression, e.g. to wear a red poppy in November out of remembrance of fallen soldiers.

Now do you understand?

mignonnette Fri 01-Nov-13 13:57:49

OP you are the 'Duracell Bunion' of Mumsnet- you keep on and no, mithering and niggling away when you should just agree to disagree and move on.

Time for some board appointed surgery I think. wink

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:00:26


Why is your DS joining up? Is it because there's a lack of jobs or is it because he actually wants to join the military?

The military should be a positive career choice. Not one made because there is nothing else available.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:04:10

I think if everyone's children had to join up, we would be a lot less involved in conflicts and personnel would be treated a lot better.

We had national service. Conscripts died in Korea, Aden and Kenya. No one has mentioned Korea yet. Many National service men died in that war.

They should be remembered as well.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 14:04:20

He is applying because he wants to join the Army. It is all he has wanted to do since he was about 7, its all he has worked at school towards.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:06:50

National Service in peace time


After basic training, the raw recruits would be turned into soldiers , sailors and airmen, and they would be posted to join regiments at home or abroad. Nearly 400 national servicemen would die for their country in war zones like Korea and Malaya. Others took part in atomic tests on Christmas Island, or were even used as human guinea pigs for germ warfare tests.

There are tragic stories too, of young men who simply couldn't cope with military life, or the pain of separation from their families and for whom suicide was the only way out.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Nov-13 14:10:10

My OH joined the army because he was a young black working class boy who was the youngest of 12 children.

It was that or crime.

Not a new story. Young men have been joining the army for similar reasons for centuries. Apparently its only the ones who did that during the years 1914-1918 or 1939-1945 who are deserving of anything other than contempt.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:10:14


What's his motivation? I respect his career choice. I have a military background so am not anti- military.

What is his reason? Is it the lifestyle and opportunities it offers?

The US experienced an upsurge in people joining the military after 9/11 to do their patriotic duty. I am not sure if we did.

LtAllHallowsEve Fri 01-Nov-13 14:15:42

I think in the 90s there was an idealism about joining the forces. The Falklands was over, the original Gulf war didnt make huge impact on the people of the UK (although it did make huge and lasting impact on the soldiers that deployed) and the only 'terror' we had to deal with was Northern Ireland. Even after Brighton/Warrington et al there as a sense of joining up and 'seeing the world' rather than joining up and fighting.

Bosnia came along and we had to learn a different way of fighting. As a UN contingent we were powerless, had to stand and watch atrocities in front of our eyes but not be able to stop them. There were those that did, but ultimately they were punished even though behind closed doors they were patted on the backs. The idealism about joining the forces was quickly kicked in the teeth having to watch men being dragged into trucks leaving their families screaming for them and being powerless to stop it. Certainly stops you feeling like a 'hero'

Once we put our own berets back on, we discovered that the best way to win the hearts and minds was a show of force followed by a conversation. We could go into the villages tooled up to the hilt, wearing our weapons, driving our armoured vehicles and ask for the leader/elder. We could listen, we could argue and we could tell them NO. We could suggest solutions, and they would listen.

We were able to offer support and back up to villagers that wanted the invaders out, but without our backup had been too scared to try. We gave an awful lot of men back their balls grin. They had been emasculated in front of their families, been impotent in the face of automatic weapons against their hunting shotguns. We pointed our Armoured Vehicles in the right direction and they discovered they could win after all.

But for thousands of civilians we were too late. Yesterday's discovery proves that, alongside the 1000s of people killed and 1000s of people still 'missing'. We have had to learn from that. We have had to understand that waiting costs more lives.

I truely believe that going into Iraq was the right thing to do. We fucked up before. We didn't finish the job we started. We supported the wrong cause and waited too long. Because we waited, just like in Bosnia, more lives were lost. Look at the numbers - look how many Iraqis were killed BEFORE we went in. 700,000 between 1991 and 2003. 700,000 whilst we waited. Afterwards, between 2003 and 2009 that number dropped to 100,000.

Yes, we were told there were WMD, and there weren't. Yes, maybe our deployment was based on lies. But you know what, I am STILL glad we went in. For 600,000 very real reasons.

The article in the OP doesn't touch on ANY of that. It's a fluff piece. A piece of shoddy journalism that strikes of someone, very much like the OP, who has a singular idea, but no insight - and more irritatingly, no will to obtain that insight, no will to listen to the real people with real experiences.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 14:16:53

MrsDeVere - re social workers. If you take it as not a personal attack and simply an analogy I can actually see Geckos point.

as a social worker makes decisions on they need to take personal responsibility for their actions. Personally I couldn't support a charity that supports social workers.

Geckos argument is that a soldier takes personal responsibility for the continuing of the war therefore she shouldn't support poppy appeals

Problem with analogies is that they don't always demonstrate what you want them to and pick a controversial one they can end up quite unneccesarily offensive

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 14:21:35

Not saying I agree. Personally I think if you don't agree with wars you should be engaging with the political process

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 14:23:37

kim147 its the lifestyle and the opportunities.

He always been part of a 'Forces family', always been amongst other forces families so is very aware of what forces life is all about. DS2 would have loved to have joined too, but he is a severe asthmatic.

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 14:25:49

I disagree that the armed forces are inherently about occupying other countries and waging war. It has been said in many different ways in this thread bit you still aren't listening OP, the forces do much much more than just fight.

Security at events such as the Olympics.

When the tanker drivers threatened to go on strike the army prepared to step in to avoid fuel shortages.

If fire fighters go on strike the armed forces will step in.

Helping out after floods/other natural disasters.

But the OP is convinced that all the forces do is kill, despite many in the forces having never been on an operational tour, and even of those who have gone on tour many have never killed.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:26:02

People are STILL dying in Iraq, there is little help for them to rebuild their country. The culture, heritage, history is destroyed. Its tragic.

PassTheCremeEggs Fri 01-Nov-13 14:26:50

I have read the whole of this thread and want to bang my forehead on the table in front of me.

OP your opinions might be better understood (if not actually agreed with) if you demonstrated any level of understanding of history whatsoever. You are clearly completely lacking in knowledge about the reasons the First World War came about, and have little to no concept of the issues in the Falklands. You are taking an utterly romanticised view point on the world wars. In neither war were we directly under threat at the point that we joined in, at best we joined the Second World War with the aim of preventing future threat to us (curiously similar to the campaigns we have been fighting recently) but the First World War was, as a number of people have pointed out, an imperial war. Thousands joined up because they wanted to fight - you seem to think everyone was conscripted!

Regarding the Falklands - you say we should give them back or make them independent - err, who would you give them back to?? Surely not Argentina, to whom they have never actually belonged?! And given the Falklands population is largely British, and wants to remain British, why would you make them independent? Who benefits from that?

We are a (relatively) safe nation because we have an Army, Navy and the RAF to defend us. The people who join these services do so out of choice, true, but they have no say where they fight. Whatever their motives for joining, they serve us and we should be bloody grateful for the sacrifices they make on our behalves. If you have issues with where our forces are fighting you should take them up with the elected government. While we still have active soldiers, sailors and airmen we should give them every support - god knows they and their families need it.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:27:32

If the army were just about helping out firemen and sorting out the olympics I would definitely support them.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 14:29:35

We are a (relatively) safe nation because we have an Army, Navy and the RAF to defend us. The people who join these services do so out of choice, true, but they have no say where they fight. Whatever their motives for joining, they serve us and we should be bloody grateful for the sacrifices they make on our behalves. If you have issues with where our forces are fighting you should take them up with the elected government. While we still have active soldiers, sailors and airmen we should give them every support - god knows they and their families need it.

^^^^^^^^ spot on

ThursdayLast Fri 01-Nov-13 14:30:10

Oh Gecko, you are a one grin

Quick, someone call up the soldiers/ sailors / airmen [or is it just the soldiers on the ground you despise] and tell them that Geckos got their back if they only help firemen and help out at massive sporting events.

They'll be relieved I'm sure hmm

LtAllHallowsEve Fri 01-Nov-13 14:31:10

Geckos, the heritage and culture was destroyed long before we got there. Priceless artifacts were plundered by the 'haves' and the 'have nots' had nothing to trade. If you were rich, or part of the Hussein dynasty you were having a jolly old time at the expense of your citizens. If you were Kurdish you were killed, slowly and horrifyingly. The military force that went in was actually able to recover some of those 'lost' artifacts and give them back - some to the people, some to the safety of collections that are protected to this day.

Yes, people are still dying. I don't deny that. But nowhere near the scale of before.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:32:43

But we were involved in that Eve we supplied the weapons and the dictator.

I am saying we shouldnt have done ANY of it, rather than separating it out as others seem to.

Geckos48 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:33:33

I disagree that we are a safe nation because of the armed forces, I think our armed forces destroys our safety and has done so consistently since the second world war.

paperlantern Fri 01-Nov-13 14:34:32

But that's politics. It's the politicians you shouldn't be supporting not the soldiers

LtAllHallowsEve Fri 01-Nov-13 14:36:04

I'm not denying that Gecko. I never have. But you cannot base your hatred today on 'what ifs'. We fucked up (or at least our then Government did) but we had to make it right, and we did. There is no point in saying 'but we shouldn't have' - we did, and the past cannot be changed.

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 14:36:49

Also, FWIW, I've just completed a module on the WWs as part of my history degree. One of the first assignments was to analyse the reasons soliders voluntarily signed up between the start of the war in 1914 and 1916, when conscription began. I read many diarys, journals and letters written at the time. The reasons people signed up were very similar to the reasons I hear today. Many joined to escape poverty or because there were few opportunities where they lived. Some joined to serve their country and a few joined because they wanted to fight. Joining the army in 1914 meant going to war and probably killing people. Joining today does not necessarily mean going to war, especially as we withdraw from Afghan.

IamInvisible Fri 01-Nov-13 14:39:03

I disagree that we are a safe nation because of the armed forces, I think our armed forces destroys our safety and has done so consistently since the second world war.

What does your dad say when you say things like that to him Gecko, considering he was in the RAF?

clam Fri 01-Nov-13 14:39:12

Oh dear, oh dear. If ever we needed an example of "a little knowledge being a dangerous thing," here it is.

kim147 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:40:53


We let the Kurds down. They rose up after the First Gulf war and we let them down. They paid a price for that.

1000 people died in Iraq in October. The deadliest month since July.


It's not the fault of the Forces. They do what they are told.

1,000,000 dead since 1991.


Gecko, you didn't answer the question regarding the woman whose Husband is a soldier.

Did you tell her how much you despise him and his colleagues because of their career choice?

MrsGSR Fri 01-Nov-13 14:41:45

You're argument in regards to Iraq seems to be that the government fucked up, then sent soliders in who did the best they could in a bad situation and made improvements, so you refuse to support soliders. I'm struggling with the logic.