Lest we remember…

White poppies are distributed by the Peace Pledge Union, the oldest secular pacifist group in the UK. Last time I wore one, I was insulted by two librarians.

Pardon me for saying so — or don’t: I really couldn’t care less — but I’m not much of a fan of our annual ‘Remembrance Sunday’ rituals.

For one thing, what really ought to be an occasion for society-wide consciousness-raising — a chance for the old to teach the young that the ruling elites have never seen them as anything other than a resource to be spent — is instead managed and manipulated so as to place those same ruling elites centre-stage in a theatre of fake respect and pseudo-humility. If you really think a creature like Theresa May (or David Cameron, or Gordon Brown, or Tony Blair…), or any of that sociopathic gaggle of ‘royals’ — can stand at the Cenotaph and feel anything other than the cold, then something has gone seriously awry in what should have been your education.

Plus, there’s the rather obtrusive fact that what, by rights, should be a day of public rage — over loss, over suffering, over the whitewashed psychopathy of state-policy violence — never contains so much as a smidgeon of anger, not the mildest trace of anything that might ever bring about the tiniest change

Needless to say, the ‘mainstream media’ — being an outgrowth of the same elite interests that demand endless war because they demand endless profits — happily plays along: I absolutely guarantee that not a single one of tomorrow’s ‘Sunday newspaper’ editorials will contain any kind of text that might lead the virginal reader to understand that the reason wars happen is that they serve the economic and political interests of the 1% at the same time as they flatter the instinctive xenophobia, self-righteousness, conformism, servility and love of violence of the stupidest among the 99%.

East End, c.1917: boots recovered from dead soldiers are repaired and re-proofed before being returned to the military for re-issue.

And don’t, please, ask me to wear a red poppy — that potent symbol of our population’s determination to feel good about feeling bad, and its joy at being able to point the finger at anyone who won’t join in. If I’m going to pin anything to my lapel that isn’t a defiant white feather, it will be a miniature banknote — in memory of all the unfortunate millionaires created by Britain’s wars from 1914 until today. Continue reading

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