Skip to main content

Poppies, jingoism and the word absurd!

Morning one and all.
Well I am back from holiday and in a particularly shoot from the hip place! So today's topic of tirade is poppy fascism! Its a strong comment but I think its where we have gotten to as a nation. As I tap away many folks are getting in a little tizzy about the fact that England can't wear poppies on their shirts on Saturday.

FIFA is being pilloried as if they had run over the Queen Mother's cat in a hummer whilst playing gangster rap! What FIFA is actually doing is holding to the line that stops Israel celebrating the 1967 land grab, or Iran commemorating its losses in the last thirty years. Or actually more comparatively, it stops there being a Comic Relief shirt, or a Children In Need one.. or some other charity.

Because in our latter day tyranny where one gets stared down if one doesn't wear a poppy, we have forgotten that the Poppy campaign is just that. It is a charity fundraiser. I am not saying that the British Legion is not worthy of raising funds but lets name it for what it is.

As for the pressure that its the patriotic thing to do.. Bobbins! Surely if any of the wars (not the recent commercial ones that make one wonder why Shell and BP are not picking up the tab) tell us anything they tell us that diversity is good, that a range of opinions is helpful, that democracy (remember that back in the day) means you can say no. But we have this blip over poppies. Fail to wear one on telly, at Christian conferences and you are in trouble.. perhaps this is the 'golden rule' that Frankie whassisface broke on X Factor.

That is what is absurd!

David Cameron should make up his mind. If he cares that much about the poppy then properly fund rehab for soldiers who have fought so his rich friends can stay rich. Then the poppy campaign can be what he says it is: a national time to remember. Until then he should shut up and let FIFA keep a boundary that stops sport becoming beholden to yet another set of interests.

Right; rant over. I'm going to prepare a service of remembrance!


Popular posts from this blog

NO MORE MAGIC BULLET- or why I have stopped watching the West Wing

I love the West Wing. It still rates as one of the most well informed and influential series of the genre. Its speeches have been stolen by people who have osmosed its hope for a better way of doing politics. When we watch it today it holds a very particular kind of resonance because it demonstrates a civility that has been drowned in a sea of hate. It has positive images of a wrestled out faith, is rich with camaraderie and pith and is just good telly.
But its bad for me. 
It pains me to admit this, but the West Wing makes me think I can change the world in a way that is simply not helpful. 
It holds out the present hope that the world can turn on a single conversation. With the brave statement or right turn of phrase one might change the debate, and in turn might change the world entire. The moment in the Oval where they realise that if they take no credit they can save social security. The moment where Donna remembers to pay welfare payments. The realisation that all the NATO people a…

Oxpresidentgate and a Crisis of Generosity

Its been an interesting start to the year for the third sector. As we all get to grips with GDPR (more later), we have been subject to increased media attention as first we reeled from President’s Club revelations to the far deeper impact of this week’s revelations about Oxfam (and others).
There is much that can be written. Undoubtedly there are some in media and politics who will seek to exploit the 1/3 of us who don’t think aid should be sent overseas to change policy off the back of bad behaviour by some people. We could face a drop in giving to international development, as supporting Oxfam is no longer seen as acceptable (like buying a plastic bag). I suspect this will recover at some point, possibly in different form.
However, there is a deeper moral crisis for third sector organisations and my fear is that Christian charities are not immune.
To explore this let me go back a month. The President’s Club- where charities were set to receive significant amounts of money from an…

A very dull post about what I do with my time...

Each year I take a calendar month and record what I do in it. I break each day into twenty minute chunks and note down what happens in each twenty minute block. I don’t do the same for designated Sabbath time (nor do I note each bit of time outside of the beginning and end of a working day, no-one needs to know how long I clean my teeth for).
I categorise each thing that I do (an imperfect science) with a view to getting a handle on what I do with my time. 
This year I did the audit in November (as clergy I always avoid doing this in Lent, Advent or August). 
So- what did I discover?
I work around 55 hours a week. (thats up one hour from last year) That work is spread over five and a half days. The only sabbath day that was interrupted by work was about processing a painful meeting.  Of 26 working days, I worked 12 evenings.
In terms of what I do:
In November 17% of my time was taken up with prayer, reading and learning. Thats a slightly false read as I had a 48 hour away time in there. Prayer…