Wearing a poppy for the last time
Harry Leslie Smith is a British RAF veteran from the Second World War. Like all veterans, he wears a poppy around Remembrance Day to remember the millions of men who died in the war. But unlike many veterans, 2013 will be the last year that he wears the poppy.
In the coming years he will no longer wear the poppy because “I will no longer allow my obligation as a veteran to remember those who died in the great wars to be co-opted by current or former politicians to justify our folly in Iraq, our morally dubious war on terror and our elimination of one’s right to privacy.”
“Come 2014 when the government marks the beginning of the first world war with quotes from Rupert Brooke, Rudyard Kipling and other great jingoists from our past empire, I will declare myself a conscientious objector. We must remember that the historical past of this country is not like an episode of Downton Abbey where the rich are portrayed as thoughtful, benevolent masters to poor folk who need the guiding hand of the ruling classes to live a proper life.”