As usual at this time of year, the strangled scream of one more fool arguing in favour of not wearing a poppy for remembrance day can be heard, faintly filling the end of a slow news day, usually on Channel 4.
That some people decide not to wear a poppy is fine. There is nothing inherently wrong with not wearing a poppy, just as there is nothing basically wrong with not knowing what the poppy is actually about. But there is something wrong with people seeking to redefine the poppy, and to impose their definition of what it means to wear one, on the general population, and in so doing, create golems of those who do wear it for the best of reasons. And that’s what this, somewhat breathless blog post is about.
Jon Snow isn’t the worst, of course. In fact, I do think it should be a matter of choice for people to wear or not wear the poppy on TV, and think it makes scant sense to force anyone. I wonder which moron thought it would make a good policy to tell people to wear a charity badge on TV and require them to agree so to do before admitting them to the business end of the camera.
That said, I know I judge people based on whether they wear the poppy or not. I assume, sometimes incorrectly, that people who don’t wear it either don’t care about the cause or oppose it; that’s their right, but it’s wrong. They are ‘bad people’ for opposing it, and stupid if they don’t care don’t understand the cause. What I won’t do is try to ensure other people hold my prejudice on what not wearing the poppy actually means.