Poppies – By James Florey

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Poppies. We – as a society – should be talking to widows, orphans, & parents who've lost their children to war (on ALL 'sides), to see if poppies make a difference (let's not kid ourselves on where hundreds of thousands of ££s of your poppy money goes to: RBL directors & bigwigs) That's exactly who should be deciding how things should be continued – the victims of war.

The season of remembrance is an establishment created, led, promoted and enforced event that has just got bigger and bigger the more the armed forces have shrunk. UK armed forces don't die in as many numbers as they used to in the Victorian age – they loved a good old show etc. Many veterans of the Great War saw it as affront to the realities. They even boycotted the service, and broke the silence. The Legion was set up really to keep these men out of 'trouble' – ply them with cheep drink, get them making poppies.

Today I know that veterans who work in the poppy factory are on very low pay, work long hours and have bad conditions. I also know (live with) veterans from recent wars who are very anti the whole thing and don't think the poppy show is the best way to act after incinerating whole villages with the people in them. We can best remember them by speaking out against the violence they're sent to do, that will preserve their lives, the lives of others. It isn't inevitable that our armed forces will always go to war. WW2 is arguably the 'just' war in history. Everything else has been for the rich to protect their own interests. The RBL and Help for Heroes do help, but they don't help as much as their donations reflect. They cream off much of their donations to pay themselves, to pay for very expensive media, PR, self-promotion. The best way to help widows and orphans of war is to make sure there aren't any more.

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