NEVER MIND THE SOLEMNITY OF THE OCCASION, THE SNP ARE BAD, BAAAAD, I TELL YE!

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I had managed to get through the early part of November this year without ranting about poppies and how the British state had commandeered them for nationalistic and political purposes. 
In the past I have been known to mention that, whilst the British state puts on a good show of caring about the fallen every year on the nearest Sunday to November 11, wearing the right clothes, looking suitably sombre and laying a wreath or two in Whitehall, they have been less caring when it came to stuff that didn’t get them on the front page of the newspapers and the first item on the BBC news.
We all know, and I won’t repeat them this year, dreadful stories of men (or women) returned from war who have, thanks to unimaginable experiences under orders, failed to reintegrate into civilian life, lost their jobs, lost their families, lost their health, mental and physical, and who have then been treated with none of the respect due to them by HM Secretary of State for Work and Pension and the British government in general.
Many have died, not from wounds inflicted by Her Majesty’s enemies, but by those inflicted by Her Majesty’s government.
So, having said I wouldn’t rant, I just did. Sorry.
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What brought it back to mind was that our old “friends”, the Queen’s man, Murdo Fraser, and the guy who was, after a drink or two, a guest of Her Majesty, the ignoble Baron, George ffoulkes, have apparently criticised Ian Blackford for showing up at the Cenotaph in London wearing a kilt and a dinner jacket and without the traditional (or what passes for traditional, among those and such as those) poppy.
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The sylph-like figure of the ignoble lord reposing on the red benches as he sleeps off lunch hic!
Incidentally, although I can’t get hold of ffoulkes’ tweet, as he has blocked me, I believe he referred to Ian in that noble way of his, as  “Billy Bunter Fatso”, which, when you consider the physique of ffoulkes himself, is delicious irony.
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Why is it that the royals, would-be royals and other self-important people have special poppies?
So, first of all, let’s deal with the small stuff.  The badge that he wore instead of the traditional poppy was reportedly a Scottish poppy badge. I’m not sure what the problem is.
Secondly, anyone who has ever had to take part in an occasion where royalty will be present knows perfectly well that you receive from the palace incredibly detailed instructions about what is and is not appropriate, in matters of dress, comportment, etc, ad infinitum. Mr  Blackford checked with the authorities. He was told that he must wear a black jacket with his kilt. He complied.
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Oh look, soliers in kilts.
But most importantly, ffoulkes and Fraser being singularly ignorant people, may not be aware of the fact that many Scots soldiers went to war wearing kilts. People of their “class” may think that the service of remembrance, like so much else in British life,  is about taking part in a fashion parade, putting on a show for the lower orders, or something.
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Goodness, more of them. You’d have thought they would have had the good grace to dress like proper Brits.

On the other hand, some people think of it as a genuine occasion for paying respect to people who died in the service of the country.

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‘Struth, these ill-dressed scallywags get everywhere.
What a bunch of cheap second-rate politicians, prepared to use ANYTHING to denigrate the SNP/Scotland, we have. They make you so ashamed.
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I’ll leave you with the wise words of one of the guys I follow on Twitter.

If you’re indeed complaining about Kilts being worn on remembrance day, then that shows you have no concept of what the day is about, a total ignorance of history or the forces and your poppy is more of a fashion accessory than a mark of respect/remembrance. Do one!

Well said, Mr Taylor.

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65 thoughts on “NEVER MIND THE SOLEMNITY OF THE OCCASION, THE SNP ARE BAD, BAAAAD, I TELL YE!”

  1. It looks like that woman with the dark hair is grieving four times more than Gordon Brown whereas the queen is only three times grievier – insincere cow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My own paternal grandfather fought in the trenches in WWI wearing his Black Watch kilt, and am very happy to see that Ian Blackford has led the way in recognizing the sacrifices he and so many other Scots made, in life, limb, and sanity. The criticism levied by some of the Usual Suspects against Blackford is extremely disrespectful to the memory of my grandfather and all those others like him… do they still play “There’ll always be an England” as they file past the Cenotaph?

    Anyway, I’m not about to get all aereated about it, because those useless appendages among Unionist circles are the lowest of the low anyway… Dung beetles, I’m told, perform a useful function; I’m not sure most of our Usual Suspects do.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. P.S. Wait a minute… is there a possibility that this particular tempest in a teapot is intended to distract our attention from some piece of perfidious nefariousness that They are trying to sneak past us? Let me just go and put on my tinfoil hat and swivel my eyes a bit… I’m sure the truth is out there…

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Fluffy managed to Tweet twice yesterday with (that I saw) with glaring grammatical errors. He’ll be back on tea duties now they know he can’t be trusted with a smart phone.

            No sugar, no milk, Fluffs.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. If they (kilts) where good enough to die in by the tens of thousands then they’re good enough to wear at their hypocritical remembrance ceremonies.

    “Ye hypocrites are these your pranks?
    To murder men and give God thanks?”

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Whilst any criticism of the snpBAD is to be commended
    and encouraged at all and any time .

    The fact Scots fought and died
    In service of the Glorious Union when it was at peril .

    Has by their sacrifice of lives
    Lost the wounded and disabled . Given the Scottish peoples the
    Absolute right to wear the dress others wore into the hell
    Of war .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would be careful of presuming why Scots “fought and died”.

      My late father didn’t die then but he put his life on the line sailing at the age of 16 as a merchant seaman in convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic, he most certainly did not do that for the glory of the Union.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t presume to guess why people fought.

        I expect some did for their king and emperor, some did because anything was better than the poverty and depression of their lives, some for adventure, and some because they were made to….

        Some had a wonderful time and remembered it all fondly afterwards, or so I’m told by people who were there.

        Some had nightmarish experiences, as the old guy who was local chairman of the Burma Star association told me.

        None of us can imagine what it must have been like. Thank heavens.

        Like

  5. Maybe time for a new verse?

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow:
    that should be no surprise, you know.
    They spring up from the Flanders mud,
    well-fertilised by bone and blood
    of the countless squaddies dead below.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Tris

    I didn’t wear a poppy again this year due to not happy at being told I must, the politicisation of the poppy and the fact this country doesn’t give a shit about those that have served or currently serve. I find it offensive the whole Windsor’s thing and Blair being there just sums up what’s wrong with it all.

    Bruce

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Actually, Bruce, inspired by a piece written a couple of years ago by Stuart Campbell, I wandered around noting who had poppies and who did not.

      The result? Very few did and almost no young people.

      The thing is, I don’t think kids should forget. There should be a way of keeping people aware without it being a nationalistic thing, or glorifying war.

      Just as a reminder, as we get to the stage where few of us any more really know people who fought in the big wars where conscription was the order of the day.

      I think that’s important. But not this bloody “if you don’t wear a poppy you’re a traitor, and if you don’t wear what Tony Blair is wearing you’re disrespecting our brave boys” shit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tris

        I agree but like everything else the unionists do it is used to reinforce their staus and view on how things should be, their natural order of things and nothing else matters. Every year I remember in my own way as I want nothing to do with their way anymore. I gave a donation to the lady at Tesco and explained that I couldn’t wear the poppy and she was very understanding and said she was getting a lot of donations and people remmebering the honest men and women who serve but that many either wanted a white poppy or politely refused to take one. I blame the unionists for what it has become.

        Bruce

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s become (in a different way) like Christmas.

          They tooksomething rather nice and changed it into something that is cheap, gaudy, tacky, and incredibly harmful to poorer people, who have to take out loans to pay for Christmas and arse still paying them off when they have to take out another one.

          I’m glad people give but refuse a poppy.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I seem to remember as a lad, this day being respectful of the fallen. It was, arguably, the gloomiest day of the year. We, young lads, were asked to remember the deaths of fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters and all the rest of our families, uncles and aunts, and more distant friends. It was a sacrifice that was consecrated, not celebrated – with a view that it had been necessary, but it was a nadir for humanity. a low spot. It has changed into something more aggressively nationalistic.

    Away back then, I remembered my great uncles who fought in WW1 and either died on the battlefield or much later through war-related injury. My parents told me that much, they never went into further details. I was kind of young.

    My immediate family, one and all, survived WW2.

    It is a weaker generation that turns any remembrance of war into a national triumph. No war is a national triumph at the end of the day. Good people on both sides die absolutely horrible deaths.

    You’d have thought that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki we could have constructed a New World Order that took the tanks off the battlefield.

    The poppy is a symbol of blood spilt. It is also, for me at least, a symbol of the unerring ability for the human race to not learn any lessons whatsoever.

    Nuff said.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. May I reserve this here? The Herald has adopted the BBC’s concept that some articles should not have comment. I was less than convinced, so I said:

    “”Opponents to Scottish independence outstrip Yes voters four-fold, petition shows.”

    Really?

    Yet that is now a ‘no-comment thread’? The Herald shoots itself in the foot yet again.

    If your journalists are this poor you will have a problem, because the inability to argue and put up a wall to their opinions bieing challenged is perhaps the greatest threat that newspapers face.

    It would be quite exciting to see one of your so-called journalists actually comment btl. The fact that you can’t even allow contrary views makes you a state broadcaster on behalf of who knows!

    I was willing to give you an inch or two when comment threads were open. At least that was an ‘open forum’. That you cannot even allow that, nor insist that you so-called journalist’s respond, suggest to me that you have been bought and sold. By whom, or for what reason, is beyond me. It is certainly not in the interests of a democratic discussion.”

    Sorry, but it matters if any contrary viewpoints are just barred, as BBC Scotland decided, or that that becomes an acceptable model for the Herald.

    The whole point about modern media is that the gatekeepers are smashed! No comment is beholden to gatekeepers. Yes and but, could we avoid the obvious ‘shouting fire in a theatre’ storyboard of right wing folk that assume left wing folk spend all day practicing ‘fire in the theatre!’? It would also be interesting to know why controversial posts are not open to comment and equally controversial posts are.

    It seems to me that we are being cuckolded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to comment on newspapers, but I gave up when it became a battle with people who weren’t arguing, just being rude, and that moderators didn’t do anything about the ridiculous comments some people were making.

      No fun in that kind of discussion, so I stopped.

      I’m happy to listen to, and learn from people whose opinions are different to mine. But when people start insulting, then I walk away.

      I’ve only ever had to delete a couple of comments in the whole time we have done Munguin’s Republic and the New Republic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like a good argument (perhaps you can tell?) so I still go on the Herald (Not as Conan). Insult is easily replied to with good humour and wit. It drives those types crazy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I wear a poppy to commemorate my uncle John McKay MM, who died in Normandy 1944.

    I wear a poppy in memory of my father who had a photograph taken of himself in the middle of the radioactive waste that was Hiroshima, who died nineteen years later of stomach cancer.

    I wear a poppy for my stepfather who was shot in the head in Belgium and struggled with what we would now know as PTSD for the rest of his life.

    The hijacking of remembrance day by the hard right and sectarians is not on, yet neither is the demonization of it by pacifists and the other flavour of sectarians.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Conan the Librarian,

      I do not wear a poppy, for my grief is internalised and arguably more remote from yours. The family I lost were victims of WW1, not WW2. I did not know them, I never met them. Yet I grieved for them.

      We will have to argue whether pacificists – that would be me – demonise folk that fought in wars or not. I am not very impressed with the notion that killing other people and giving yourself PTSD is a viable model. Obviously, if we were all pacificists there would be no more wars, but, what would we have surrendered to?

      That, sir, is the question. For which you only have a ‘hard’ answer and no ‘soft’ answer whatsoever. You, sir, are the problem, not the solution.

      Conan, you are an apparently brainy chap.

      Could you perhaps respond to what I have said, rather than what you hope I have said?

      I await.

      Like

      1. “…killing other people and giving yourself PTSD is a viable model.”
        Wow. Some points there for a start Douglas, my stepfathers background for one. Being orphaned in the Clydebank blitz and losing all of his siblings except another brother, may have also contributed to his PSTD. He and his brother were probably saved by the fact that they were conscripts in the army.
        If there was ever such a thing as a “Just war” fighting against the Nazi regime was one, don’t you think?
        I do. If you think that is a problem, I’m sorry, but it’s your problem not mine, and I say so for yet more personal reasons; my great grandmother was Eastern European Jewish. She probably lost cousins in the camps. That is what we would have surrendered to…

        So Douglas, I’ve attempted to answer you about the way I feel about Remembrance Day, and why I pin a wee red paper symbol to my breast.

        Like

    2. Fair. I hope you don’t think I’m demonising it, Conan.

      I just refuse to be a part of something that has become so “politically correct” and “Brit nationalist”.

      Although I think that the government should be responsible for the people it sends to war, and who come back broken in some way, in the same way that I give to foodbanks, I’m perfect prepared to make donations to Erskine or soldiers’ charities.

      I just won’t comply with the Tory demands that we all wear a poppy or be thought unpatriotic.

      I make no bones. I’m not patriotic. But I care about individuals who suffer at the hands of an ungrateful government, which at the same time as doing sod all for them, uses them to enforce this political correctness.

      Like

      1. My rather clumsy point was that a simple symbol of remembrance is being fought over by two factions when it shouldn’t be fought over at all – “a plague on both your houses”. But obviously it’s not as simple as that; one side deserves a plague of pustulent boils upon their collective arses for ever more, the other a slight shower of locusts, ready fried and crunchy.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Conan the Librarian,

    “I wear a poppy in memory of my father who had a photograph taken of himself in the middle of the radioactive waste that was Hiroshima, who died nineteen years later of stomach cancer.”

    Why?

    Your father doesn’t need a poppy. He needed your love and affection. And he has that.

    He was, I assume from your story, a good man in a bad place. He was the sort of person I stood to attention too, all those years ago.

    That is war, really.

    Like

  11. Conan the Librarian,

    I’d have thought that you rather missed the point of my post. The key sentence was:

    ” Obviously, if we were all pacificists there would be no more wars, but, what would we have surrendered to?”

    Occasionally, a ‘just war’ comes about. Though fighting the Nazi’s has a lot more post justification than pre justification in it. We, the allies, did not fight that war because we cared about Germanies extinction policies. We fought it for old-fashioned concepts of territory mainly. As did Adolph Hitler. The concept of Lebensraum was hardly original, especially if you look at the policies of his rivals who basically took over the planet, England ( and later including Scotland), France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal essentially pursued policies of Lebensraum with just as much ferocity as ‘The Great Dictator’. They had the decency (I jest) to do it in continents far, far, away.

    Sometimes post justification does indeed justify fighting a war. WW2 is perhaps the most obvious ever example of that.

    Sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes you have to die. It would just be good if we knew, before we started a war, that we figured out what the fuck we were fighting for. The Russians, who are never given credit for their contribution to WW2 killed 19 out of 20 German soldiers. Because the Germans were an existential threat to them. To do that they lost more people than anyone else in WW2. Do we in the West recognise the sacrifice that they made? Only when someone like me mentions it, otherwise, no, not at all. In a just world, we ought to recognise that. Instead, we have a damn near industrial historical focus on justifying Hiroshima / Nagasaki. Really?

    Wars dear Conan have their own agenda. Once they are started, comments such as mine go out the window. Everyone becomes a savage.

    Like

  12. Conan

    had we fought, essentially on your terms:

    “I do. If you think that is a problem, I’m sorry, but it’s your problem, not mine, and I say so for yet more personal reasons; my great-grandmother was Eastern European Jewish. She probably lost cousins in the camps. That is what we would have surrendered to…”

    I would agree with you. That, dear sir would have been a just war. The amazement of Allied troops about the prisoners held in concentration camps suggests that contrary to your theory, that we either did not know it or denied it. The troops were obviously sickened. Neither suggests credible intelligence. I am not suggesting that we should surrender to evil, I am suggesting that we should fight wars based on a moral agenda. Which, dear sir, I would suggest to you,
    is not what we do.

    Post facto does not work. Let’s be clear about this, Nazi’s were bad, nazi’s are evil.

    But that is not why we fought WW2.

    Read a book.

    Like

    1. I have read several hundred upon the subject, thanks Douglas. WW2 may not have been fought to protect vulnerable people from the Nazis at the start, true. Yet it was – in a sense – a continuation of the war that sent volunteers from all over the world to fight Fascism in Spain.
      A Fascism which is stirring again.
      I hope pacifism will be the means of resistance that Catalonia uses of course. The tools that we 21st century people have, of social media easily accessible by use of mobile phones are pacifism’s greatest, bluntest, weapons.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Conan,

    Thanks very much for replying. It is what I like about this site. We can agree to disagree and still remain on friendly terms.

    “Yet it was – in a sense – a continuation of the war that sent volunteers from all over the world to fight Fascism in Spain.
    A Fascism which is stirring again.”

    I agree.

    “I hope pacifism will be the means of resistance that Catalonia uses of course. The tools that we 21st-century people have, of social media easily accessible by use of mobile phones are pacifism’s greatest, bluntest, weapons.”

    Agree, again.

    I hope that media, such as our good host, is exectly blunt. I am sort of convinced that a mixture of nature / nurture posts and quite frankly kranky analysis of the world, with a completely open comment policy, such as you and I are indulging in, is the way forword.

    I have read thousands of books about WW2. Sadly most of them are what we called ‘shillingly war comics’. Some were better.

    Like

  14. But I did read about this battle.

    It is pretty fascinating:

    Battle of Imphal

    Especially the role of Chandra Bose, who Indians to this day refuse to condemn. (The first person allegedly to be transferred from one submarine to another. Y’know German to Japanese) That might be apocryphal, who knows.

    But it is all a tad interesting. Given that the largest unsubscribed Army on the Allies side was the Indian Army? There are many twists and turns in the story of WW2, and we are not yet being given access to all of them.

    I think it has to do with monarchy, but what the heck do I know? Churchill could have, maybe, told us, but chose not to.

    Like

  15. The hijacking of remembrance day by the hard right and sectarians is not on, yet neither is the demonization of it by pacifists and the other flavour of sectarians.

    Sorry to butt in on you guys but I agree with the above 100%. Remembrance Day is a different thing to different people and in a sense you are both correct. For me it’s not so much about who was right and who was wrong it’s about not forgetting the where and how and more importantly that the lunacy took place. As generations die off this is a present danger which will be exacerbated by different factions trying to control it for their own ends. The British establishment is in my opinion trivialising it with their behaviour and the whole occasions future credibility is consequently being put at risk.

    Society is forgetting and it seems that its memory lasts only a few generations. We just have to look at Brexit for proof of that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. Once we no longer have grandparents who lived through this it becomes as much history as the French Revolution or the Unification if Italy.

      It’s important that we remember that it could happen again.

      Here.

      By remembering the horrors of it, we make its happening again less likely.

      But the hypocrisy of the UK government in their smart suits and woeful expressions is an insult to the memory of troops, when the same people oversee a regime that treats the living ex-soldiers with such extreme disrespect.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I take my lead from my grandfather who earned three medals in WW2 because of his actions in Belgium after his officer was killed by gunfire. He despised poppy day and refused to wear one. I don’t recall him getting any help from the poppy club after he was sent out early from hospital in the 1980s during the cuts so he could die early at home.

    Take the whole poppy panto and shove it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I don’t have the exact figures to hand but during the Falklands War 250 (or so) British military personnel lost their lives during the actual conflict. I believe that total number of deaths is now in the region of 600 due to the number of veterans who have taken their lives since ‘surviving’ the battles…

    Our caring and sharing UK, remembering our veterans. The dead don’t need venerated; the living need cared for.

    Makes me sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I applaud Ian Blackford for wearing the kilt to the cenotaph.
    I respect his personal decision to wear an alternative to the poppy.
    I appreciate the sentiment behind these decisions and the courage to express it.
    Having chosen to wear the kilt though, it would have been better if he had avoided controversy and dignified it by wearing a more appropriate jacket.
    I get it… we don’t all have a kilt and a comprehensive wardrobe of accessories, but despite the black jacket advice he received from those in protocol a Prince Charlie jaiket isn’t right.
    If he didn’t have a more appropriate jacket then he could have hired one easily enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough, Jake.

      In the end though, the main thing is that clothes don’t indicate the level of respect and/or grief one feels.

      Probably no one has ever done it in a kilt at the London ceremony, where important people will be within eye sight range, so many the protocol department at Buck House didn’t really have an answer.

      Like

  19. If someone decides to eschew protocol and notional dress codes and norms, then fair enough and good luck to them.
    But that’s not the case with Ian Blackford. He sought out advice from the protocol office. As I understand it he chose to accept their advice and changed his mind on wearing a lovat green day jacket. Nor can it be said that he is consistent in taking a stance against dress codes; the fact that he has a satin collared dress Prince Charlie dinner jacket rather demonstrates that he willing to conform at a posh feed do or similar occasion. That being so,if he is willing to play the game and wear this priggish and pretentious mark of exclusivity at a posh nosh-up then he ought to understand the rules of that game, in particular when not to wear it. If there is a time and a place for a dinner jacket at all, the cenotaph remembrance parade wasn’t it whether he was wearing a kilt or not. It was naff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wrong jacket for wearing with a kilt? There’s no such thing. Highland dress, as worn nowadays, is a relatively recent invention and the codes for how it should be worn are as pointless and daft as those for all the other flummery and furbelows – knee breeches, falling bands, sashes, coronets, swords, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Frankly, I’d rather have seen him at the Cenotaph dressed as Darth Vader or Donald Duck – it would have made about as much sense. Ochone, Ochone, now where did I leave my sgian dubh?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. When I was younger, slimmer and fitter, I used to wear my kilt to work at the UN – which I did at least in part as a visual statement of not being English, but more to emphasize that Britain is not a monoculture. We’re talking Thatcher years now. That kilt won me quite a lot of friends. The West African guys in those robes – fabulous-looking things – used to grin hugely at me. They really liked seeing the white guy breaking away from Suit Culture and doing ethnic.

        No one ever tried to tell me I shouldn’t wear a kilt. No one ever tried to suggest to any of the West African guys that they shouldn’t wear their dashiki suits or full-length robes. No one ever tried to tell any of the Indian delegates not to wear Nehru jackets.

        It would have been profoundly disrespectful of their rights and their culture.

        The only disrespect being shown around this question is from the anti-kilt brigade towards Ian Blackford, and by extension, the Scottish soldiers in the kilted regiments whose sacrifice they were supposed to be remembering and honouring. Actually, I suspect that Blackford’s crime in their eyes has nothing to do with his attire, and everything to do with his not even trying to pass for English, which is an affront to the inbuilt assumptions of English superiority among Establishment types, and its corollary among far too many Scots – the Cringe.

        How very suffocating it is, to try to be something you’re not. It never works, anyway, so there’s really no point.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well said.

          You hit the nail on the head. The disrespect is demanding that everyone adopt British standards of clothing.

          But look where it came from. Two bitter old men. ffoulkes, the baron and Fraser, the mouth.

          Like

  20. There were some dreadfully coiffured chaps in the trenches at Ypres. One is saddened they lacked the initiative to visit a good barber. If Brian Sewell had been there, he would have been appalled.

    Liked by 2 people

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