Remembrance Day (sometimes known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in the British Commonwealth member states (the UK’s former colonies and a few others) since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. All eyes were on Corbyn, the UK Labout Leader. Would he wear a red or a white poppy? Would he behave himself? Impeccably dressed in a black suit and wearing an uber traditional red poppy, he took the poppy wreath to the Cenotaph, bowed respectfully and went back to his position. Did that satisfy the wolves looking to pile up more criticism on him? Not bloody likely!
“Jeremy Corbyn criticised for not bowing deeply enough at Cenotaph” reported Big Media and Social Media alike.
The Facebook page Jeremy Corbyn for PM responded:
“Is this really what we have become as a nation? One that bullies and harangues a decent and principled human being, a dedicated public servant and a campaigner for peace, because he doesn’t “bow low enough” at the Cenotaph? Shame on those who would whip up such hysteria. Those who died in World War One would cringe at their political opportunism and crassness. But the answer, is no – this isn’t what we’ve become despite the best efforts of the right-wing tabloid press.”
The truth is that Jeremy did bow his head in respect for those who died in battle and all victims of war:
And wrote the following message on the wreath he left:
“In memory of the fallen in all wars, let us resolve to create a world of peace.”
Of course, the tabloid story is only a small part of the story: one that is put about by a tiny, self-interested minority who have great power – but it’s categorically not the only story. The much bigger story is that many millions of people in this country understand the gravity and price of war and support efforts to move the world in a peaceful direction. They also understand when they are being ‘played’ by the gutter press.”
Who decides policy in a Democracy?
Even worse were the comments made by General Sir Nicholas Houghton, who suggested the Labour leader’s unilateralism made him unfit to be prime minister. Corbyn responded that such comment had clearly breached the Military’s constitutional duty to remain out of party politics and that he would be writing to the Ministry of Defence “to ensure that the neutrality of the armed forces is upheld”.
The General apparently decided that since Corbyn had said he would never be willing to approve the use of nuclear weapons, that would make him unfit for the highest elected office, missing the whole point of Democracy: that the vote of the population decides which policies are to be introduced, that politicians are the representatives of the will of the people and that unelected bodies such as the Military and the Civil Service have a duty to remain neutral.
Needless to say that Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has come out in defence of the General.
Whatever Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral future might be he has already done a great service to Britain. He has got people talking and discussing fundamental issues rather than the usual manipulated inane dross.