Great to see that the SFA, which can’t organise a fixture list, security at a cup final, discipline its own clubs or broker a broadcast deal worth more than a toffee chew has at last acted with swift and bold decisiveness … about poppies. I do hope all the people who tut-tutted Celtic fans showing solidarity with Palestinians with ‘keep politics out of sport’ are doing the same today?
The England-Scotland fixture has been turned into the centrepiece of the mawkish sentimental forced-patriotism of Poppy Day celebrations that have less and less to do with remembrance and more and more to do with a new compulsory militarism, utterly altering and twisting the meaning and purpose of ‘remembrance’. Here’s (right) a dreadful idea that epitomises this: a Somme poppy lapel pin made from British shell fuses. Here’s a slick video about how it’s made.
It’s commercialising ordnance.
Parody Britain is going to cost us. FIFA will sanction both the Scottish and English authorities for their weirdo exceptionalism. If the SFA had any guts or gall they’d have just said: “You wear armbands if you want – we’re here to play football.” Of course they couldn’t do that or they’d have been dragged into a vortex of patriotic outrage.
But as Fatma Samoura, the Senegalese former United Nations official who was appointed Fifa general secretary earlier this year said: “Britain is not the only country that has been suffering from the result of war. Syria is an example.”
The stance is indefensible and the FA’s statement is ridiculous. They said: “The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance and we do not believe it represents a political, religious or commercial message, nor does it relate to any one historical event,” it said. Digging up shell fuses and selling them for £40 a pop says otherwise.
Ordnance: guns, cannon, artillery, weapons, arms, munitions, military supplies, materiel.
Ordinance: an authoritative order. edict, decree, law, injunction, fiat, command. Or a religious rite: ritual, ceremony, sacrament.
Remembrance: the action of remembering the dead.
The poppy is clearly a political symbol relating to a historical event and it’s clearly a commercial industry. The only thing that’s not clear is its status as an act of remembrance.
With the military recruiting in our schools (disproportionately in Scotland) and our enterprise agencies subsidising the arms industry (‘£18.5m government handout to arms industry’), we shouldn’t be surprised. In a militarised culture where little girls pose in tshirts with ‘Future Soldier’ emblazoned on them, we shouldn’t be surprised. But the supine nature of our footballing administers seems to have no end.
How much will we be fined and what else could the SFA have spent our money on than propping up this stupid posturing?
If the SFA’s actions result in a points deduction that prevents us from qualifying for a major tournament there must be a campaign to have Stewart Regan removed from office.