Poppycock
Poppycock
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 4 comments

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In a week of Remembrance, we come to The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) War Memorial that stands on the South-West corner of Kelvingrove Park, near Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was erected in 1924, to commemorate the officers and men of the Glasgow-based regiment who died in the First World War.

 

It is fitting that this wonderfully vivid – almost Commando adventure book-style that I once avidly read as a kid – war memorial to the now sadly disbanded regiment (and one of the most storied in the British Army) was the work of the English sculptor Philip Lindsey Clark, who himself was a decorated hero and served in the conflict as a private and captain.

 

But shamefully, in this week of all weeks, there’s been much “poppycock” surrounding poppies and politicians in the UK. It all started with the right-wing press picking their choice moment to have a pop at the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn…only to then see it spectacularly backfire due to the advance level of hypocrisy coming from the office of another Cameronian who currently resides in No.10 Downing Street.

 

The Daily Mail, Express and Telegraph launched a scathing attack claiming a video from 2013 shows dear old Jezza calling WWI commemorations “pointless”. The only trouble was that they took it all out of context by concentrating on one line in particular, in which he says: “I’m not sure what there is to commemorate about the First World War.” They then went on to claim he “denounced” the money that was to be spent on – amongst other things – the huge display of ceramic poppies that filled the moat around the Tower of London last year.

 

The full text of the video however, paints a more nuanced picture.

 

Corbyn actually said: “[Scottish socialist and first Labour MP] Keir Hardie was a great opponent of the First World War and apparently next year the government is proposing to spend shedloads of money commemorating the First World War. I’m not sure what there is to commemorate about the First World War other than the mass slaughter of millions of young men and women, mainly men, on the Western Front and all the other places.

 

“And it was a war of the declining empires and anyone who’s read or even dipped into Hobsbawm’s great work of the early part of the 20th century, written post World War, presaged the whole First World War as a war between monopolies fighting between [inaudible] markets.

 

“The reason I say this is next year the government are planning this celebration and I think that’s an opportunity for us. It’s an opportunity to discuss war and discuss peace and to put up an alternative point of view.”

 

Despite being informed about this by other members of the media, the Tory MPs nevertheless had just started to form an orderly queue to get their unpatriotic attacks in on Corbyn, only to discover – and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry here – that the Prime Minister’s official office managed to pull off  the most blazon act of crass stupidity, hypocrisy and insensitivity rolled into one – almost as if taken right out of a script from The Thick Of It  – by being caught out photoshopping a red poppy onto the official No.10 photo on Facebook and social media sites of David Cameron’s lapel.

 

I mean, I ask you? How low can you get to go to the lengths of ripping off the Haig Fund by this form of internet piracy by photoshopping a red poppy onto the lapel of the prime minister of a country whose service men fought gallantly in two world wars, instead of just buying one? It beggars belief. And heaven knows how the right-wing media would have reacted had this happened to Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Leica M6 Classic &  1.4/50mm Summilux pre-asph v3

Ilford FP4+ (200)

Ilfosol 3 (1+14 – 9min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan

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