2007 - 2021

Three Lions Led by Donkeys

14601079_641201891921_5807063294538274151_nGreat 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.

CTH8f9KXAAE8nROBut 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.

Future Soldier

bx_4kzgccaabf2wWith 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.




Comments (59)

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  1. Craig Miller says:

    English exceptionalism at its most transparent..(…the crawling wee britjocks of the SFA …..don’t count as anything else)…..if the Turks want to celebrate their dead , the Armenians…the Serbs ….the Russians..?..the english are justly world renowned for their thick skins and insensitivity to others ….they really are world class hypocrites

  2. Craig Miller says:

    Just waiting to see the SNP do their “british” thing …….and people wonder why we can only get a couple of thousand at a Yes March when the Catalans can call on millions ……the SNP hate us Scottish Nationalists ….I try never to forget that William Wallace was anti english

  3. Josef O Luain says:

    This tyranny of the poppy makes my skin crawl. As for the SFA … your piece says it all.

    On a lighter, more ludicrous development: has anyone noticed how poppy wearers are now competing in a ‘my poppy is bigger and more expensive than your poppy’ thing?

    This ‘new compulsory militarism’ isn’t really new at all, of course.

    That Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig of Bemersyde, maintained a relentless strategy of murderous attrition throughout his period of command, strangely enough, has generated scant remembrance.

  4. Thrawn says:

    I guess all those who died fighting for our country should be forgotten about…in fact better yet we should have a day where we walk past their war memorials and spit on them…those hapless fascist stooges…

    Also I find your charge of commercialising remembrance a bit weak given that the item for which you reserve the majority of your self-righteous ire is in fact sold by the British Legion..a charity which uses the money to do this:


    and this:


    and this:


    1. No I think they should be remembered and we should reflect on the horrors of war.
      That’s not what’s happening here.
      My great-grandfather was at the Somme. Mind you so was just about everyone’s.
      To me it’s precisely the crassness of the process that is disrespectful.

      1. Thrawn says:

        How do you know its not happening…how do you know some father at the match is not going to spend 5mins explaining to his son why the players are wearing poppies and how that relates to their family history. For me if that happens just once it is enough to justify the entire process…

        Anyway coming from the left I thought you’d be all in favour of pointless virtue signalling

        1. tartanfever says:

          ‘how do you know some father at the match is not going to spend 5mins explaining to his son why the players are wearing poppies and how that relates to their family history’

          So it takes a football match that happens once in a blue moon to explain what the poppy symbolises within a family history ?

          I’d take a punt at guessing that the family history really isn’t that important to them.

      2. Paratrouper says:

        I fought both in Afghanistan and Iraq. I did not politically agree with either war but did my duty. Having traveled the world and lived in over 12 different countries on four different continents I find everyone involved in politicising the Poppy contemptible including this article. I will be wearing a poppy in personal memory of my friends grandfather and great grandfather in whose memory it is supposed to serve.

        Also, despite the recent wars I served in which I disagreed with politically, I find the kind of armchair pacificism and blinkered ‘west’ bashing represented in this article plain niave and extremely arrogant. The west may not get it right and certainly have vested interests, but I suggest Mr Small spend some time in Taliban or War lord controlled Afghanistan, or indeed any of the multiple countries in the world where he would be imprisoned and tortured for writing such a critical article before he denigrates the open institutions, men and women who serve to defend those very freedoms he seems to take for granted.

        The world is turning and it is turning inward, away from the liberalism we enjoy – nationalism and intolerance is raising it’s head everywhere – not just in Europe – and a new world order is being shaped while we in Europe and America argue about petty differences.

        Now more than ever we need to defend our freedoms.

    2. Graeme Purves says:

      What an offensive calumny, Thrawn. Both my grandfathers served on the Western Front in the First World War. My father served in the RAF in the Second. I’m sure that family background is typical of many supporters of Scottish independence. What I object to is the perversion of remembrance into militaristic British jingoism.

  5. ScotsEngineer says:

    While many criticisms of the current tone of the UK’s Remembrance Day commemorations are valid, in my view this article has the same problems as most do on the left: it can’t countenance that having a military is a necessary and good thing.

    I don’t think that it is coincidental that the tone of Rememberance Day has become more militaristic as the idea of the UK has come under greater economic and political pressure. Those shouting most loudly at those not wearing a poppy probably vote Tory or UKIP and voted for Brexit. It’s another reaction to England not being great enough anymore and having to accept that it’s not exceptional and is both politically and economically interdependent with Europe.

    1. tartanfever says:

      The problem is that those ‘justified’ wars have been replaced by illegal wars and the murder of over 1 million people. We are no longer protecting the oppressed (if we ever were), we became the oppressor.

      1. Thrawn says:

        Whether the war was “illegal” or not…it shouldn’t prevent us from remembering those soldiers who died in it…we through the the politicians we elected sent them there…

        No one says the Germans should not honor their war dead from WW2 and I can’t think of a more illegal or unjustified war

        1. tartanfever says:

          German remembrance is absolutely nothing like our commemorations and can’t be compared. German kids are taught a very difficult history lesson and have the horrors of their past honestly and forthrightly held up in front of them. They feel shame.

          We however, will never have a govt. that accepts responsibility for our part in destroying middle east countries as we’ve been meddling disastrously in that region for over a century now and no acknowledgement has ever been forthcoming from Westminster.

          In the UK we have self deception, we tell ourselves that we are remembering 20th century wars yet as the years tick by, the most of the vets parading served in the middle east brutalising a nation.

          90% of Iraqis killed were civilians. I don’t think thats something to be proud of.

        2. Graeme Purves says:

          That’s simply a bogus argument, Thrawn. Nobody is arguing against remembrance.

  6. David Munro says:

    The important thing, surely, is to ensure that each and every presenter, judge, competitor, dancer and performer on this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor wear a poppy…no matter how tacky.

  7. Agatha Cat says:

    My milkman wasn’t wearing a poppy on this morning’s delivery, so I have reported him to the police and await his imminent deportation to somewhere unpatriotic. We didn’t fight our way up the beaches against tyranny to have guttersnipes wandering around poppyless.

    1. K. A. Mylchreest says:

      We´re laughing now …

  8. Craig Miller says:

    Every time I go on an anti war demo …I try to remember..that I’m not particularly brave when it comes to hot lead ….however to disentangle what it should be about from what british nationalism INSISTS its about, is too too Gordian to be attempted …these wars were tragic awful miserable failures for our humanity and an indictment against our willingness to be manipulated by bad men …the empire was… bad …B . A. D…….for Scotland it was the slow poison of emigration and coarseness ….for those subjected to it it was slavery and humiliation …no good wars or glorious dead

  9. Scott Young says:

    I thought and buy a poppy to remember all those who died needlessly in world war 1.
    It has now become a bit of a farse and getting a using by British nats and money making so called charities.
    I have worked in Erskine vets home and I will continue to buy a poppy for that.
    Confused by article as what has this to do with celtic.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      The hypocrisy of squealing like pigs about the proudly political support the Celtic fans give to poor benighted Palestine ….against the denial of ANY political aspect of Poppydom..when any non brit with half a brain can see clearly the overtly political patriotism with which this event is marked …I despise the british state and see any political celebration of it … like Poppy three weeks…. a clearly disagreeable political expression

  10. Darby O'Gill says:

    You can always wear a White Poppy. I do. They have been worn for over 80 years by supporters of the Peace Pledge Union.
    There are three elements to the meaning of White Poppies: they represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamourise or celebrate war.
    ‘For all those who have died or are dying in wars
    For all those who have died or are dying as resources to feed or house them have gone to war preparations
    For all those who will die until we learn to live in peace
    When shall we ever learn?’

  11. john young says:

    Shouldn,t we be remembering the dead of all wars especially those visited on others by us,my father served the full course of the war and it destroyed his faith in humanity.We should march for an end to all wars,as we have the usual cabal of “drumbeaters”stoking up confrontation with Russia not may I add will they or any of their relatives be at the fore,we are so fcuking stupid that we allow these clowns office to represent us.

  12. Frank says:

    Very good article. Political and religious slogans should not be displayed on football shirts and FIFA should be supported on this one. Beneath the façade of ‘remembering the war dead’ the poppy is a celebration of British militarism and exceptionalism.

    Fifa’s threat of fines don’t work either and both Scotland and England should lose match points if the players insist on wearing a poppy.

  13. Ned says:

    The fact that the charities supported by the poppy appeal exist, is to me utterly shameful.
    People who put their lives on the line for their country should not have to rely on charity for their wellbeing. The military budget should be used to remove the need for these charities.(and their fat cat directors).

  14. Alf Baird says:

    I would imagine if any player refused to wear the poppy the msm would soon make them into a hate figure. Great article. This is a quite major development, an international organisation telling it like it is – that the poppy is a political symbol. The British Establishment are in a frenzy, trying to explain this ‘insult’. The SFA action simply shows how culturally Anglicised so many Scottish institutions are, hardly surprising since most are not led by Scots, and don’t necessarily think culturally the same as many Scots do. There was no good reason whatsoever for WWI (other than so the elites might quell potential civil unrest at home, and make money), and the subsequent theft and carving up of Germany’s territories and resources afterwards led directly to WWII. Many Scots also know that our people have historically been disproportionately used as cannon fodder; which made me think of African warlords giving guns and dollars and cigarettes to poverty stricken African kids to do their fighting for them. It is a long time since I went near a poppy.

    1. Josef O Luain says:

      “Culturally Anglicised” now that’s a handy one, thanks.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        “Culturally Anglicised” is a rather common if not required condition in Scotland, and was a feature in numerous ex colonies. Essential for one to get on in life. Though by implication this does mean yer actual Scottish cultur is doon-hauden. Like we dinna lairn wir bairns Scots langage in schuil – which ensures future generations of Scots will also be “Culturally Anglicised”.

        1. Me Bungo Pony says:

          It is strange that in every other country in the world, it is extremely rare to find a non-native in charge of any of their major institutions; including universities, public services, qango’s, arts bodies etc. In Scotland, uniquely, the opposite is true. There is nary a Scottish accent to be heard amongst the “elite” in Scotland. Are Scots so handless we can’t be trusted to run our own institutions properly?

          Interestingly, I recently read an article bemoaning the “Scotification of Scotland”. In it, the author was dismayed at her perception of more Scots being put in charge of Scottish institutions. Only in Scotland could such an issue be considered a cause for concern.

  15. Iain says:

    The only ones who insist that the poppy is political, a celebration of war etc are those opposed to it, people who wear the poppy are very clear about what it means

    It’s a free country and nobody is forced to wear a poppy or approve of it but making up lies about its meaning to justify yourself is pretty low

    1. Frank says:

      Are you arguing that wars are not political Iain? Surely not. War is the continuation of politics by another means.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      People are not clear what it means, many generally depend on restating bland platitudes such as ‘freedom’ or ‘remembrance’, mimicking what the msm and politicians tell them and indoctrinate into them. All tv presenters MUST wear the poppy, and politicians likewise or their leadership will want to know why. This is a form of control and propaganda. What I want to understand and remember about wars is their justification, if any, which is where your argument falls down, i.e. people are not at all clear what it means. For example, WWI was not about sacrifice or freedom, it was mass murder on an industrial scale coordinated by a coterie of elites, and more or less the same elites who still control and own much of Scotland today.

      1. Thrawn says:

        If WW1 was an Illuminati plot it was one they suffered disproportionately from…the casualty rate of former Eton pupils was 20% vs 10% for the rest of the army. Asquith lost one son in the war, Bonar Law 2 and Anthony Eden lost 2 brothers and one uncle.

        It also probably worth noting that some of the direct results of WW1 were a Communist Revolution in Russia, the first Socialist Govt in France, and the first Labour Govt in UK.

        So before you spout ahistorical nonsense try reading a book first

        1. Alf Baird says:

          With respect, you appear to be more in tune with the glorification of the elite (perhaps you are one of them?), whilst rather less understanding of the alienation and ignominy suffered by the masses.

          As for readings, on WWI I would recommend ‘Decisions for War, 1914-1917’ by Hamilton & Heerwig, and for WWII I find that few texts can compare with Albert Speer’s ‘Inside the Third Reich’.

          1. Thrawn says:

            “alienation and ignominy”…so let me understand…you believe the consequences of WW1 for the “masses” is that they were made to feel lonely and publically shamed…what?!?!?..no seriously WHAT?!?!?!

            I think that as part of expanding your reading you should also include a dictionary….

          2. Alf Baird says:

            I see you are not familiar with the writings of Jimmy Reid. Pity. http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/20thand21stcenturies/jimmyreid/

            Not something they would teach at private schools, I would imagine.

  16. Redgauntlet says:

    List of UK modern wars….

    Anglo-Aro war (1901–02) – Nigeria
    British expedition to Tibet (1903–04)
    World War I 1914–18
    Easter Rising (1916) – Ireland
    Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918–22)
    Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919)
    Anglo-Irish War (1919–21)
    World War II (1939–45)
    Air warfare of World War II
    Pacific War (1937–45)
    Anglo-Iraqi War (1941)
    British–Zionist conflict of Palestine (1945–48)
    Greek Civil War (1946–47)
    Cold War (1946–90)
    Malayan Emergency (1948–60)
    Korean War (1950–53)
    Mau Mau Uprising (1952–60)
    Cyprus Emergency (1955–59)
    Suez Crisis (1956)
    Brunei Revolt (1962)
    Dhofar Rebellion (1962–75)
    Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1963–66)
    Aden Emergency (1963–67)
    Northern Ireland Troubles (1969–mid-1990s)
    Cod War Confrontation (1975–76)
    Iranian Embassy Siege (1980)
    Falklands War (1982)
    Gulf War (1990–91)
    Bosnian War (1992–96)
    Operation Desert Fox (1998)
    Kosovo War (1999)
    Sierra Leone Civil War (2000)
    War in Afghanistan (2001–14)
    Iraq War (2003–11)
    Libyan Civil War (2011)
    Military intervention against ISIS (2014–Ongoing)

    …that’s a hell of a lot of poppies, for so many unnecessary wars….how many of them were justifiable? Two maybe? Three?

    Maybe we should recycle Remembrance Day and try to remember each year WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA TO GO TO WAR…

  17. Craig Miller says:

    I see that the british secret policeman Angus Robertson is now intent on making the SNP “isr*ali” friendly…..he thinks NATO is lovely and land theft forgivable….bet he is wearing TWO poppies

  18. Wul says:

    We have had poppy day for as long as I can remember.

    It didn’t used to be a big deal whether or not someone wore a poppy, and I certainly don’t remember anyone ever being asked or expected to justify themselves one way or the other.

    When did poppy wearing become the essential imprimatur of “right-thinking” citizens?
    And when exactly did poppy day become several weeks long?

    My son was put under pressure at school the other day and asked where his poppy was by a teacher.

    What exactly is going on here? It’s very weird.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Indoctrination is perhaps more effective and lasting, the younger the recipient?

      There is undoubtedly ever more evidence of the intensification of British culturalisation.

  19. Wul says:

    I was told by an old soldier that when all the WW1 memorials went up in towns & villages across Great Britain they were called “Peace Memorials”, Their purpose, to remind us of the folly and cost of war.

    At some point, they became “War Memorials”

  20. K. A. Mylchreest says:

    This whole business, and your last picture most of all, is plainly obscene. I´d better stop before I fall foul of Godwin´s law.

  21. Jenny says:

    Rise in militarism everywhere.
    Army recruitment stands on The Meadows (Edinburgh park) most Saturdays.

    1. Thrawn says:

      Or maybe those stands are there because the UK army has consistently failed to keep up with its recruitment targets because in fact we are far less militaristic then ever before…but you know…don’t let inconvenient facts get in the way your prejudices

      1. Alf Baird says:

        The working classes are perhaps less inclined/desperate to join HM’s battalions these days, though ongoing Tory policies may bring back the ‘glory days’, and queues at recruitment offices. I daresay the private schools are still churnin oot the officer class, born tae lead an aw that?

  22. Donnie MacLachlan says:

    My views:

    It have always commentated the ww1 by buying and wearing a poppy. On the day and hour, I specifically think of my grand dads their suffering, their mates suffering, their families suffering and their opponents suffering. Yes I spare a thought for German troops too!

    For me the poopy means wasted people and their wasted talent caused by unfeeling politicans and stupid upper class buffoons, AKA Haig and his ilk.

    Last year I did not buy a poppy, I felt I was being pressurised to do so out of uk pride rather than my own choice as an individual.

    This year I am swithering, I probably won’t buy one as the pressure is greater this year and it has become overtly political.

    One question, why can’t I and millions of other s com erase with out having to commerce in a way an English right wing government wants me to?

  23. Craig Miller says:

    Ideologically speaking of course …WWII was a score draw …the Allies kept the field of slaughter, but the Nazis scored a couple of cracking goals ….Fear of Russia …get in there ! ….and who can forget…the triumph of Propaganda ….to level the match…” We fought a war to keep you free ” …did you fuck ….you fought a war so that dark forces could define for me what freedom means ….and a digitised boot stamped in my face …forever

    1. Donnie MacLachlan says:

      You show you complete and utter gnorance and crass stupidity in referring to Germans in WW1 as nazis, go look at a history book you idiot!

      Next time you post anything on here on any subject, people will remember you as the idiot who confused Germans in WW1 with Germans in WW2.

      Hang your head in shame, you owe an apology you ignorant idiot!

      1. Craig Miller says:

        Have a wee look at my post daftie boy I specifically refer to WORLD WAR TWO ..the next time you post on here people will remember you as the idiot who got confused …

        1. Donnie MacLachlan says:

          People will see your future posts and remember you as the person who confused WW1 German soldiers with nazis, end of!

          1. Craig Miller says:

            are you completely stupid?..I referred specifically to WWII ….

          2. Frank says:

            You did refer to WW2 but the standard of your writing is pretty poor and its not always clear what point you are trying to make.

  24. Darby O'Gill says:

    Will the English players wear the English poppy and the Scottish players wear the Scottish poppy. That difference could be perceived as political. If the Scottish players are obliged to wear the English poppy that too could be perceived as political. If they must wear something then let them both wear the universal White poppy

  25. Nick Heller says:

    If anyone thinks the poppy is not political try to imagine the reaction if one of the players announced that he wished to wear a white poppy or no poppy at all.

  26. J Galt says:

    None of the people wearing these things seem to be in the slightest bit interested in why these wars happened.

    Attempt to discuss the origins of The Great War and it’s later continuance, and either their eyes glaze over, or they display outright hostility.

  27. Lochside says:

    I have stopped buying poppies, but contribute the money. The whole poppy charade that exists now is Britnat inspired. Haig was a butcher. Ex-servicemen who require assistance should receive State help, not rely on charity inspired by British jingoism. No-one under the age of 89 years old served in the Second World War and obviously all WW1 veterans are gone. I remember in the ’60s when many of them were alive, wearing a poppy was a choice not compulsory.

    Can the poppy lobby of the perpetually offended just stop for a moment and look at the insulting absurd development of poppies made of metal, interwoven into football shirts, and the most ridiculous and outrageous ones: the overgrown rosette sized ones that are the size of someone’s head….Honestly is this respect for the fallen or more of the narcissitic look at me I’m a patriot bullshit we seem to be overwhelmed with under the Tories? Or is it pressure to show whose side are you on?

  28. Craig Miller says:

    “The standard of your writing is pretty poor” ha ha ha ha …..but I DID specifically mention WWII ha ha ha

  29. John Page says:

    Thanks, Mike, another belter of an article.
    John Page

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