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I generally don't buy poppies for Rememberance Sunday, I haven't done for years. In fact I tend to ignore the day completely.

The article on this mornings Today programme about what colours poppies should be available in this morning got me thinking as to why this is the case.

I've always questioned what the day is really about and been reluctant to offer my money to the Royal British Legion (thinking there are many other charities I'd much prefer to donate to).

I think the whole memorial scheme in the History Boys sums my views up quite well really thinking about it. In some ways it seems like poppies are just a way of justifying wars. A sort of way of saying "yes you send all these soldiers into war and we'll pick up the pieces after you".

I also question charities that are selective the way the British Legion are. What does it matter how many conflicts a person has served in? Surely they deserve the same care no matter how the sustained their injuries? Why only support people who are involved in conflicts?

That said I'm normally quite lax in the lets donate the money to someone else thing. I should really do it this year. Any good suggestions as to who to donate the money I would have spent on a poppy to?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
9th Nov, 2006 18:00 (UTC)
From a personal point of view, I think St Mark's Hospital Foundation is a really good cause:

Otherwise, I tend to give to Oxfam, but with no real knowledge as to whether they are better or worse than other charities with similar aims.
9th Nov, 2006 18:20 (UTC)
I agonised for a while, years ago, about the desirability of buying poppies. This was back in the 80s, when Mrs Thatcher et al were going on about "wearing your poppy with pride", and I really didn't like the idea of pride coming into it.

But then I reasoned that people did suffer and die in wars, without having any choice about it, due to conscription. They are the ones hurt if I refuse to give money for a poppy, not the politians who make wars. Supporting the victims of a crime is not the same as endorsing that crime.

So I started donating double, and getting two poppies. I then removed the red paper on one, and made my own white paper poppy. I wore the two together, to say "I don't agree with wars, but I still believe in supporting the victims of wars." This was when I was about 18. I remember someone wrote into the local paper, who'd seen me wearing this in town, saying what a good idea it was.

Which, really, doesn't answer your question at all. ;-) And I understand your reasoning, too.
9th Nov, 2006 20:16 (UTC)

I understand the arguement about who the money goes to in the end. However, I figure that there are other charities willing to provide similar support (and not just for ex-service people) and I'd prefer to get money to them through those means.
9th Nov, 2006 20:50 (UTC)
Air ambulances.

Those guys perform a sterling service without (as far as I am aware) a great deal of funding from anywhere else.
(Gives NHS a stern look)
Dave Holland [org.uk]
13th Nov, 2006 11:31 (UTC)
Once you've picked a charity, set up a standing order. Many charities are happy to receive a regular small amount that way.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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