We Shall Not Sleep, Though Poppies Grow

at | 118 Replies

Gulp.

Next Sunday will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1…

Irish Socialist Republicans and Anti Imperialist Action Ireland write:

On November 1 Irish Socialist Republicans and Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland, launched this year’s Poppy Watch Patrols to prevent the sale of the British Legion Poppy on the streets of our capital city.

Following on from the success of last year’s patrols, those selling the Brit Legion Poppy on our streets will be challenged and their support for British Imperialism and the ongoing illegal occupation of Ireland will be highlighted.

The British Legion are not a benign Charity. The funds raised by the British Legion are used to support serving members of Britain’s imperialist forces and the poppy shows support for Britain’s terrorists in all its wars of conquest, including the ongoing wars and secret conflicts Britain involves itself in today.

Since the launch of the initiative on November 1st, three successful patrols have been held and the campaign has been expanded into County Wicklow. More actions are planned for the coming days.

Hundreds of leaflets have been distributed at Dart, Bus and Luas stops, calling for a boycott of the Poppy and highlighting its role in funding serving members of the British Military.

Anti Imperialist Action Ireland (Facebook)

‘SHAMEFUL!’ Fury as campaign TAKES ON poppy sellers in action against ‘British terrorists (Express)

118 thoughts on “We Shall Not Sleep, Though Poppies Grow

    1. Rob_G

      If the Trots really wanted to fight the poppy, they should start selling the fake ones themselves, pocket the cash and destroy the faith in the poppy market with their Chinese knock-offs.

      Reply
      1. Rep

        You say Trots, I say dissident republicans, otherwise known as common criminals who hide behind the cloak of flag while doing their usual criminality.

        Reply
  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    ‘Patrols’, ‘terrorists’? Yes the poppy fund goes to the British armed forces and their families but there’s no need to be so militant and damning in communicating this (the irony!). You can’t simply rip them off someone’s lapel if you don’t agree to them wearing it. Educate – yes- there are so many misconceptions about the poppy and about honoring the WW1 soldiers – but do it nicely for goodness sake and then let people choose.

    Reply
      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        That’s one of the criticisms of the British Legion. Many folk believe the Legion to be the ones mopping up the mess of British wars – a job they would’ve rather parked at the door of the Ministry of Defence. This was very evident post Iraq 2003 – what with the whole WMD / Blair debacle and the young lives it cost.

        In fairness we do a lot of this ourselves; subsidize charities to do the work of government.

        Reply
        1. small ads

          And we pay our soldiers crap and don’t seem to help them when they leave the army either. Yeah, we have nothing to boast about, we’re not on the high ground in this.
          But what chills me about the poppy is that it has become a glorification of war – which, let us not forget, was trying to butcher and maim as many people as possible – and it has become a badge of a particularly nasty taint of nationalism.

          Reply
  2. Dr_Chimp

    Would gladly wear a poppy to invite the “challenge” from these morons. Nobody, and certainly not a socialist, will ever tell me what I can and can’t wear

    Reply
    1. CoderNerd

      If you want to enter a service station or board a plane then someone somewhere will tell you what to wear and you will obey.

      Checkmate!

      Reply
    2. scottser

      i bet you live victoria road or mountbatten street or somesuch. don’t worry, they’ll be along to paint you a new one soon :)

      Reply
  3. Rob_G

    I’m delighted that we struggled against the English for so many centuries so that we could be free – free to do as we like, think how we like, wear what we like…

    Reply
    1. Sham Bob

      Free to hand out leaflets.

      I don’t know how prevalent the poppy is in Dublin and if it ‘warrants’ a campaign like this, but it seems like it’d create a Streisand effect, sending people who never really thought about getting a poppy off to the nearest poppy outlet to piss off the IRSP.

      Reply
      1. Cian

        When did what become legal?

        Is the USA illegally occupied? Or Canada? What about Mexico? Or Wales? Or Scotland? Or Australia?

        Reply
  4. TheQ47

    I can’t imagine ever wearing a poppy, even though I have relatives who fought in WW1.
    By the same token, though, I can’t imagine stopping anyone from wearing the poppy if they so wish. This is as bad as the enforced wearing of the poppy as seems to happen on British TV.

    Reply
    1. Ollie Cromwell

      It’s not enforced.
      It’s entirely up to the individual’s choosing.
      As Niall Boylann did on GMB last week by not wearing one.
      Ireland is in danger of losing a lot of the goodwill it has in Britain with this sort of nonsense.

      Reply
      1. TheQ47

        Maybe I should have said apparent enforced. It does appear (admittedly from anecdotal evidence) that it is difficult to refuse.

        Reply
        1. CoderNerd

          The Poppy’s are placed on you before filming, but they can be refused.
          There’s an Episode of Have I Got News For You where Reg D Hunter asks what the poppy is for and they point out he is wearing one. He claims a wardrobe person pinned the poppy on him.

          Dara O’Briain says the same thing, and gives a good summary:

          Actually I’ve only wore the poppy once, but well done on escalating that one episode of “the Apprentice”. In fact I’ve been on the telly twice in the last week without a poppy, once because of a pre-recorded show, and the other time because we all just forgot until the show was in train. Number of complaints about this: zero.
          When I did wear the poppy last year, I made a point of bringing it up on a few Irish chat shows to guage where people stood and we had quite an interesting debate. The majority of Irish now seem seemed to have no problem with it.
          My own view: I think it is a profound mark of respect for the War Dead, but having grown up abroad I feel it is your tribute and respectfully step aside. I suppose it might be like any of us wearing the Stars and Stripes if we lived in America. And yes, I know, that 50,000 Irish died in WW1.
          I also think that a symbol as profound shouldn’t be worn just because a wardrobe lady ran over to you in a panic before “this Morning” or “The One Show”.
          Trust me, any stance you take will lead to criticism.

          Reply
      2. Brother Barnabas

        Charger @ 3.36pm: “Ireland is in danger of losing a lot of the goodwill it has in Britain with this sort of nonsense”

        Charger @ 9.57am: “I’ll give you a clue – the average Brit doesn’t give a toss about Ireland in much the same way they don’t give a toss about Malta,another insignificant EU island”

        quite literally, just blowing hot air out your ar$ ehole at this stage

        Reply
        1. Ollie Cromwell

          You’ll notice I didn’t write ” give a toss about the Irish people ”
          Countries as a geo-political entity and their people are two different concepts.
          But then you were in such a rush to mount your usual racist anti-Brit hobby horse you were too busy to.notice.

          Reply
          1. Brother Barnabas

            “your usual racist anti-Brit hobby horse”

            not so, i’m afraid, charger. as i’ve told you before, i’m very. very fond of the british. always have been, always will be.

            as with every nationality, however, the proudest, most vocal exponents tend almost invariably to be the worst specimens – and you’re living proof of that

          2. Ollie Cromwell

            You waste no time bashing the Brits.
            Your ” some of my best friends are black ” style excuse is the first line of defence of any racist.
            You’re no better than the knuckle-draggers who abuse James McClean.

          3. Ollie Cromwell

            ” exactly
            (is English your first language?) ”

            Well I know how to write it using capital letters and punctuation.

      3. Worlds Biggest Ranter

        @ Ollie Cromwell

        Oh so what. Time to escape the fearful thinking, dark cloak of needing the good will of our British neighbours has long past. We’ve long since ditched the inferiority complex of our parents generation when it came to looking across the water at our bigger neighbour and if anything we are now far better positioned as a people than they are for the modern emerging world . Whats more – after this Brexit shambles – its the British who could do well to finally move on past the “resting on their laurels” glory days of canal building,steam and imperial expansionism and realise the world is now moving very quickly past them instead. It is they that need to realise that for a considerable length of time they were pretty much c***s and that while we’ve all, thankfully, moved on we wont be told what we should and shouldn’t be doing today because of their inverted (and often ignorant) view of historical facts. You wont hear me objecting to someone wearing one, just don’t condemn someone else should they not decide to wear one.

        As a side note these Poppy Patrols are nonsense

        Reply
        1. Ollie Cromwell

          You forget about the large population of Irish people settled in the UK who received goodwill even at the height of the IRA bombing campaign.
          And the tens of thousands of people who have moved to the mainland for a better life than what was being offered here.
          You only think selfishly about yourself.
          What a surprise.

          Reply
          1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

            So what you’re essentially saying is put up and shut up! Sounds familiar. You know who the largest immigrant group is to Ireland? The British that’s who. Should they all kneel and bow at the alter of nationalism? The should in their b******s. We’re all more grown up than that, at least, by the sound of things, we savages on the troubled island of Ireland that’s been Britain’s eternal problem are. Always in the past you lot.

          2. Cú Chulainn

            Because of a profound sense of guilt among the local populace perhaps.. and, dear boy, as I was fond of pointing out back at the time, those IRA bombers were in large part UK subjects not Irish citizens.

    2. Martco

      agree entirely
      and it’s interesting to see how the annual trolling of McClean is progressing as usual. it’s just abusive nonsense. Matic also wore a different shirt to his colleagues on Saturday & has plenty to say on the subject see his Instagram feed, a little reaction but hardly a squeak in comparison to McClean.
      maybe more players will take a stand, there’s plenty that could, let’s see how the English nonsense develops :)

      Reply
  5. Worlds Biggest Ranter

    It is (the poppy) in remembrance of all serving British soldiers who lost their lives in all conflicts. I have the utmost respect for all men and women who fought and died in the name of our freedom but lets face it, even if it was just based on the outcome of the events of 1918, those same British soldiers were still fighting for an empire that wanted to continue occupying and exerting control over us in Ireland and not relinquish that control to an opposing power. I understand that the infrince at the time was us versus them but in reality it was them versus them with us succumbing to the imperial whims of the victor. Forgive me if I abstain from remembering.

    Reply
    1. CoderNerd

      I believe the Black and Tans were soldiers fighting in Verdun before being transferred to Cork where they went on a terrorist rampage. So the poppy commemorates these events also.

      Reply
  6. ReproButina

    “three successful patrols have been held and the campaign has been expanded into County Wicklow.”
    Or, to put it another way, “Me and Sean wandered down Grafton Street a few times and then took the Dart out to Bray”.

    Reply
  7. Joe Small

    I wouldn’t wear a poppy myself. It bugs me how it is effectively compulsory for British public figures, especially on TV, to wear it for 2-3 weeks. That virtual compulsion sucks all the meaning out of it. Its just something that’s done automatically, or unthinkingly.

    Reply
      1. Nigel

        No. They gave their lives for nothing. Their lives were wasted. Once that stopped being the symbolic message of the poppy, it became a symbol of militarism, which means the yahoos above have a point, sadly.

        Reply
          1. Nigel

            No they didn’t. Not pone drop of blood shed during the first world war enhanced anyone’s freedom by a jot. Their lives were thrown away uselessly, needlessly, to feed the egos of doddering imperialist statesmen, and of course that war laid the seeds of the next, even worse war.

          2. Ollie Cromwell

            ” (is English your first language?) ”
            Well I know how to write it using capital letters and punctuation.

            +1939

            those nazis were hell bent against internet forums

            Brave keyboard warriors.
            Heh,heh,heh.

          3. Nigel

            In post-Brexit Britain they’ll be wearing poppies for the brave men and women that sacrificed their dignity and self-respect in the trenches of the internet to defend the patriotic creation of a deregulated privatised tax-haven for plutocrats. They shall not grow old because life expectancy will have dropped dramatically.

          4. Ollie Cromwell

            You’re trying so hard I can actually hear the blood vessels bursting.
            Have a lie-down in a darkened room for a while old chap.

          5. Nigel

            On November 5, at 5.59pm heroic Brexit bot Low Class Ollie Cromwell threw himself on a live satirical comment armed only with lame phrases and tired catchphrase. They say the remains of his ego were scattered over social media and news aggregator sites, showering down in a bloody rain over twitter and Journal.ie, where he was deleted as spam. We shall not know his like – oh, no, wait he’s back.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      It’s cringemaking on the likes of Strictly where they have bejazzled poppy brooches on the dance costumes (no money going to the British Legion for those?) and when they’re doing training VTs they don’t have them on while dancing but when talking to camera, there’s one attached to their sweaty tops… Very “respectful” innit.

      I wonder how all the poppy fascists feel about the outsourcing of the British Army? https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/05/foreign-nationals-to-be-allowed-to-join-british-army

      Reply
  8. Vanessa off the Telly

    Anyone have a problem with the wearing of a Green poppy to remember the Irish that died in WW1?

    Because I don’t
    and would proudly wear one for the month of November
    (Month of the Holy Souls)
    if I could get my hands on one

    Some people must be fierce idle
    Or have no lives
    and have plenty of time for this type Pat’Trolling

    like the lads going around defacing street names

    So come and get me
    ‘well used t’ye trying to have a go

    Reply
    1. Zaccone

      A green poppy would be a great idea. A way to commemorate the Irish war dead, without giving funds to the British legion. I don’t think anyone could have a problem with that.

      Reply
    2. Worlds Biggest Ranter

      Vanessa irrespective of where these men might have actually been born the fact remains that they were fighting (in WWI, often unwillingly) for the cause of an occupying force. The tragedy of it all was that very often these poor men had no choice but to enlist because of the abject poverty they lived in at home, a poverty imposed upon them by the very same occupying force. Wearing a poppy of any sort is actually an insult in my mind to the thousands of unwilling Irish men left with virtually no choice by imposition but to go off and fight another nations war. Once the Micks and the Paddy’s got to the front line, should they actually have lasted long enough to stand with their fellow soldiers from other nations, they then had to endure the ignominy of being considered lesser beings by their peers because they were Irish. Oh how that is conveniently airbrushed from history by the British.

      I salute these men who did what they had to do. They had to survive but lets not stick the knife in after they’re long gone and lament their passing because of some great cause. They probably went to very early graves.thanks to the war mongering thugs that were the imperialist European powers. I’ll happily celebrate their legacy but lets remember them with a meaningful symbol of sadness truly representing their poor lost souls. The more I hear “ah I dont mind a poppy” the more sadness I actually feel for these poor disrespected lost victims of the Great British Empire. For those who prefer modern rewritten history to the sorry reality of fact, all in the name of feeling some allegiance to these men, then I say stop disrespecting them by acknowledging the correctness of this very British military symbol

      Reply
      1. Vanessa off the Telly

        And Women
        Irish Women too

        And I don’t care that you’re insulted
        By virtue of the fact you decided to recognise only men died in circumstances we will never know the end of
        Or can never imagine
        Tells me you’re a narrow minded pathetic man
        In desperate need for something to talk about

        If you anything about me at all
        You’d know I’m the last person around here that needed to be told why these Irish Men and Women, Boys and Girls joined up

        I fully expect your pals to rally round and attack me again
        No worries
        I’m well weathered to ye at this stage
        Ha!
        Vaccinated even

        If I do manage to source a green poppy like pin
        I’ll wear it with pride
        And determination to defend it against any Pat’troller

        Reply
      2. Spaghetti Hoop

        Your are incorrect; the Irish volunteers DID have a choice – nobody dragged them to the stations. There were three reasons that that the Irish joined the BEF – some did it for more than one reason: (1) the British shilling, as the poverty in Ireland was un-feckin-believable, especially in the Dublin tenements, the only way some fathers could keep the wife and children fed was to sign up – alleviated by joining with their own lads and the Dublin Fusiliers – and head to Flanders/Somme; (2) the promise of Home Rule (look up the Home Rule Crisis) and these were nationalists whose letters back home pre and post the Rising, on display right now, are testament of their loyalty to Irish Rebellion and that their fight alongside the Brits would be recognised politically (which it wasn’t), and (3) the pension. Significantly, 10,000 Irish recruits signed up in the last few months of the War, even when it was decidedly over- simply to nab the pension.

        But I agree; they were cannon fodder, as were all the lads from Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Russia, US, Serbia, Bulgaria, Tanzania, India, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt etc. etc.

        Yes – Frilly’s suggestion of a Green Poppy in aid of the Irish WW1 fallen, families and poets might really be the solution to this ‘poppy issue’ which comes up every year. Because, as I said before, the remembrance we perform in July is just not good enough for Irish folk in November when the UK TV and Media have red poppies in our faces every year. As a proud nation with a recent heavy British military presence and oppression…..and neutrality in world conflict (pipe down folks – it exists currently), it’s not doing us or our war dead any good, I observe, having this poppy argument every year. Do we also need the Chinese to manufacture any more plastic flowers? It would be fitting and aligned to the Irish Peace Park at Ypres to have some sort of emblem for Armistice – maybe not a plastic one. While debating, you can do an awful lot of remembrance to our good lads, poets and artists who didn’t come home by visiting the War Memorial Park at Islandbridge, Francis Ledwidge Museum or the lovely recitals in the NCH and Pats Cathedral this weekend. I’m going to some. Tweet if you’re going. Poor lads, RIP.

        Reply
      1. Vanessa off the Telly

        Showing your true colours there Same’oh

        you should go back to replying with links to porno videos
        Your peevishness wasn’t so obvious then

        Reply
  9. Ollie Cromwell

    No apparent problem with McClean either.
    Just a few hotheads blown out of all proportion by the media and devoured by gullible internet commentators.

    Reply
    1. realPolithicks

      “gullible internet commentators”

      Don’t be so hard on yourself pollie, you do the best you can with the little you have.

      Reply
  10. Kolmo

    At the risk of being shutdown by the “whataboutery” tactic, I lived in Germany and work around Europe, any commemoration of the unimaginable horrors of the war is done quietly and with dignity by those wishing to do so, everyone else goes about their business, live their lives and that’s it, grand. Why is it “commemorated” so much more in GB than elsewhere, maybe I’ve only noticed it recently on TV, but I don’t think it’s commemorated as the crime against humanity that it was, but an increasingly maudlin display of Englishness, even in Ireland by unionists North and South..is there something else going on or is it just a massive empty distraction?

    Reply
    1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

      Sure they invented the world, they’re entitled to. That’s right, steam engines, telephones, the railway lines. Then there’s the queen, the commonwealth, 1966. Was there even days of the week till they invented them like when Sky invented football in 1992! Sure they’re brilliant and they’re not gonna stop shouting it from the rooftops. Rule Britannia, For King and Country. Let them have (we’ll go full Boris for this one) cake.

      What is it they say “self praise is no praise”

      Reply
        1. Ollie Cromwell

          And Nobel Prize Winners.
          Rather a lot of them.
          Ireland,meanwhile,has Mrs Brown’s Boys,Father Ted,Terry Wogan and the 33rd Football Team.
          Heh,heh,heh.

          Reply
          1. Brother Barnabas

            how many exactly? (and ignore the appropriated ones like ts eliot)

            how about a per capita comparison with Ireland?

            doh

          2. Vanessa off the Telly

            how could we forget …
            The Brotherhood of Man

            I’m surprised at you Ol
            Long ago, high on a mountain in Mexico ….

    2. Cú Chulainn

      It had gone quite. No poppies were worn generally but about 20 years ago a political decision was made to force on tv and other places. Not to remember the slaughter of course, just to keep the jingo bandwagon rolling.

      Reply
  11. Ollie Cromwell

    But I thought the Brits had no idea of their history ?
    Now they’re being attacked for commemorating it.
    Europe doesn’t celebrate it in the same way because a lot of them were quislings and collaborators.

    Reply
    1. Kolmo

      Are they commemorating all wars like the Boer War, The Sudan, Opium War, Zulu war, all those other events of historical unpleasantness that the British decided were good for the native..or just are they using WW1 as a weird haunted currency for god knows what slightly unnerving contemporary agenda..

      Reply
  12. Ollie Cromwell

    I suggest you visit a few towns and villages along the Normandy coast and see how grateful they are for the troops who gave their lives to.help them.

    Reply
    1. Brother Barnabas

      they express their gratitude by watching hollywood movies, drinking coca-cola and donning baseball caps even when not playing baseball

      Reply
        1. Brother Barnabas

          exactly that, yes

          a commemoration (a ‘thanksgiving’ if you will) with obama and the stars and stripes front and centre

          we’re starting to agree on more and more

          Reply
  13. Jake38

    “….Following on from the success of last year’s patrols…………….”

    Yes, they were spectacular.

    What?

    Reply
  14. RuilleBuille

    If someone wants to wear a poppy that’s up to them.

    But don’t pretend it’s about remembering the dead. It’s about British militarism.

    Reply
  15. Martco

    straight question –

    my understanding of this poppy wearing business is that it is a trinket given (very like a daffodil for a cancer donation, sticker for the blind dogs etc.) to those who donate/contribute to the British Legion & is meant to be worn as a symbol of that contribution & affinity with what it represents, apparently a remembrance of those who died in battle during the 1st World War.

    am I correct so far?

    because reading some narrative here and elsewhere you’d swear I should be wearing it & be deeply grateful somehow. I also see it’s context drifting off into other conflicts, I see a mention above of Normandy for example.

    the bit I’m not getting, I suppose, why should I feel grateful? or care in any shape or form? anyone?

    Reply
    1. Cian

      Yes, and no.
      It is pushed as a ww1 commeration. Bit it actually all British wars, including the troubles and their various adventures in the middle East & Afghanistan.

      Reply
      1. Martco

        thanks, I wasn’t being smart or anything, its puzzling me genuinely. how it exercises so many. and how it apparently has morphed into something else entirely beyond it’s intended meaning, a twist for sure.

        I was taught at school it was WW1…and even as an adult with further study (from my perspective as an Irish person looking in from the outside) WW1’s lunacy may as well be summed up by Blackadder Goes Forth. a most pointless conflict. nothing as an Irish person to be thankful for.

        reading the British Legion official webpage, on the poppy itself, all WW1 related as I would expect: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-we-remember/the-story-of-the-poppy/

        There isn’t any direct reference to any other conflict specified…or context. but then there’s this other stuff: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/what-we-remember/

        So according to this, I’m supposed to have some sort of affinity, respect & a sense of sacrifice by others for those British soldiers who died in Northern Ireland and the Gulf Wars?! definitely nothing as an Irish person to be thankful for.

        as confusing as a brexit

        Reply
  16. Cian

    Has anyone actually sold them here in years?

    Make a campaign as if it matters and claim you stopped something that stopped 20+ years ago. Think its a win. Great idea.

    Reply
  17. Ollie Cromwell

    Thank you Broadsheet.
    At this time every year you wind up the same people who come out with the same clichéd blather.
    It’s richly entertaining.
    To make it even more of a comedy show can we work on a Poppy Bingo for next year ?

    1.Senseless slaughter.
    2.Cannon Fodder
    3.British imperialism
    4.Brave Irish boys
    5.Colonialism.
    6.800 years
    7.Brexit
    8.James McClean
    9.Forced to wear it on TV.
    10.Brits blah,blah,blah.

    Alternatively,as no-one on here has ever worn a poppy, they could just ignore the annual event of wearing an artificial flower that has gone on since 1921.
    There are plenty of other things about which they can show off to everyone how upset they are.
    But it’s great comedy all the same.

    Reply
    1. Brother Barnabas

      ha! nice one, charger. over your upset now? nobody mentioned your nan blowing the GIs for stockings and chocolate so it wasn’t that bad.

      Reply
        1. Brother Barnabas

          says the sap with neither syntax nor punctuation in his comment

          I’ve told you before – stick to cutting and pasting from the telegraph. as soon as you go solo, the inner imbecile emerges.

          Reply
  18. RandomEejitNumber345888701

    I commend them on their selfless sacrifice. They are the real heroes.
    The great war dead were tricked or something, so that sacrifice doesn’t count.
    The survivors/relatives of those who served in contemporary wars don’t deserve support because they allowed themselves to be puppets or something, so, yeah, boo to flower power. So all those veterans with life changing injuries are no match for the pomposity of some poppy patroler posse who…do what exactly,? Boast about bullying as if they are fighting a higher power? Cool beans

    Reply
  19. Peter Dempsey

    The Left always lament the dead working class men of WW1. A form of weird patronising form of romanticism. But never the middle or upper class soldiers who perished in the conflict. Are their lives not worth worrying about?
    “stop chat ’bout war
    ‘im see Bug is than pulled to de war”

    Reply
  20. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    The British war Machine promotes the glory of defeating the worthy enemy in the World Wars. It is a much better look than celebrating the victories over the civilisations that they destroyed.

    Reply

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