|A scattering of poppies
||[Nov. 11th, 2015|10:25 am]
- At County Hall on Monday evening for a consultation event, I'd estimate that maybe one in ten of those present were wearing poppies. Impressionistic, anecdotal, unscientific by all means: but at a moderately formal gathering, not selecting for any particular point of view, wearing a poppy was the choice of a respectable number, but still a clear minority. And as far as I could jusge, there wasn't any bias towards those who were there in a professional capacity.
- Yet you could get the impression from watching television that the poppy is universal, if not compulsory.
- As you could from the ludicrous antics of Downing Street's PR people: adding a poppy to a profile picture in November, as they would a Santa hat in December, observing the seasonal niceties.
- Once upon a time, wearing a poppy was a sign that you had made a donation to charity. Actually, it still is. It shows respect for the dead of past wars by contributing to support veterans of wars past and present. It isn't diminished by wearing a white poppy ("never again!") alongside your red one (I saw this once on Monday). Is this function undercut by wearing a perennial poppy - an enamel badge, or that very attractive crocheted bloom?
- I don't know when I last saw a poppy seller. Admittedly, I haven't been out much recently, but I didn't see anyone selling poppies in Durham on Saturday, the day before "Remembrance Sunday".