FIFA & The Poppy: We Will Remember This

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Guten Ahbend.

I can say this in jest you see only because of the actions of those who were cut in half by machine gun fire, choked by mustard gas, blown to smithereens or disemboweled by bayonet. Blimey Aitch, tad heavy for a Saturday night, old man…

Well, I tell you this: I just enjoyed a cracking firework show on the Stray in Harrogate. And that was a show! But before I left the house I made sure I had my Poppy on. Then I get home and get a Tweet from a chap – regular or and indeed occasional readers – may recall. Remember a chap by the name of ‘This Is Sammy’?

Well he wrote a superb piece which I was very happy to run out on this blog about the whole David Baddiel fiasco which was HERE.

Well Sammy has unsurprisingly hit another bulls-eye with a piece about ‘the Poppy’ and FIFA which is lengthy and so I would ask you to click HERE.

You know me, I can be an intolerant/flippant git. But stuff like this is important. I hope you afforded it a minute or two and enjoy a great read about a deeply important subject.

And you can let ’em know how you feel!

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  • SpurredoninDublin says:

    As a person who believes that if war is the answer, it must have been a stupid question in the first place, I applaud a a lot of what has been said about the wearing of poppys.

    The piece I have just read is not the typical jingoism that I might have expected. I believe that Military Intelligence is the greatest of oxymorons, but as the writer has quite rightly pointed out, these soldiers who are frequently used for political advantage nowadays, never question their duty. On the one hand, that is the pitty, but on the other, you cannot deny their bravery.

    Whether we are in agreement with the so called reasons for the need to deploy soldiers, I can never forget the words of Rupert Brooke who was killed during WW1.

    IF I should die, think only this of me;
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, 5
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
    A body of England’s breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less 10
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

    We should remember them, regardless of our politics.

  • KevtheRev says:

    I love Harrogate. I hate war. I do not wear a poppy, but I have the choice thanks, in part, to men and women who protect me as I sleep. By even I think that the FIFA have dropped a bollock on this issue.

  • SpurredoninDublin says:

    And while I am in a literary mood, I thought I would add the words of Kipling, which should be required reading at FIFA:

    went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
    But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
    But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

    • Harry Hotspur says:

      Both very much appreciated, mate :daumen:

      • SpurredoninDublin says:

        I figured you’d like the Kipling. He writes exceedingly good poetry.

        • essexian76 says:

          He also spent a very long time trying to find the body of his son who was killed in the Great War, so when you read Kipling-it’s not mere words, but true grief

        • SpurredoninDublin says:

          Thanks for reminding me. I have a recollection that this was the inspiration for that poem.

    • SpursSince67 says:

      Currently reading the Irish Guards History 14 -18 written by Kipling himself maybe in an attempt to come to terms with the tragic loss of his son who used his influences & managed to get his son enlisted as he was originally rejected for poor eyesight…a loss that he was never truly able to come to terms so I fully appreciated your posting of a great poem from a master of the written word…

      As for FIFA don’t get me going on the most corrupt, backward and insidious institution that exists today, and the sooner the FA get the balls to make their own decisions viz a viz technology and issues such as remembering those that shed blood for us the better…

      Will be at the match today, the 1st one for my two little fellas, God Willing the result will match the occasion…

  • Lawrie says:

    I strongly believe that the FA should ignore FIFA’s decision and allow the players to wear the (printed on?) poppy anyway.
    Further, that they should invite the Spanish to wear a (sewn on) poppy, too.

  • mystic arnold says:

    some should tell fifa that for starters there money making world cup would be germany against germany if not for the sacrifice of those brave souls the rest of us would have been gassed or in slave labour camps.

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