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New rash of subverted poppy appeal billboards across London.

Anti-war activist | 02.11.2009 18:56 | Terror War

There has been a new rash of subvetising of poppy appeal billboards in London. The slogan "for his sake buy a poppy" below a picture of a solider in the battlefield has been changed to "for his sake stop the war in Afghanistan".

The subvertising has been appearing at various locations across the London area. It is thought to be the work of anti-war activists outraged at the ongoing war in Afghanistan. So far the local London press has been keeping quiet about this probably to prevent copy cat actions on similar billboards.

Anti-war activist


Hide the following 20 comments


02.11.2009 23:07

Kind of sick and twisted. I understand you message but at the end of the day, you are getting it across whilst reducing a charities ability to operate.

What next? Hijack the NSPCC adverts to your own ends?

Glossy Honey Scented

The poppy charity is probably loving the extra publicity

03.11.2009 00:32

@Glossy Honey Scented:
The poppy charity is probably loving the extra publicity it gets from this being in the press. I don't see how this reduces their ability to operate in the slightest.

Anyway, looking at the bigger picture, big charities like this and the NSPCC just help perpetuate the system. Politicians sign up kids and send them off as cannon fodder to die in some far away country just so they can play their political games about looking tough and keeping the price of oil down. And then when they come back with their limbs blown off expect people to sell fucking plastic poppies to compensate for their reduced wage-earning abilities. Great.

It's spineless government brown-nosers like you who are the real sick and twisted people. Which is going to help more lives, stopping the war or selling a few more poppies?



03.11.2009 10:37

How does the NSPCC help perpetuate the system, anon?

Calling someone who disagrees with you a "spineless government brown-noser" is pretty pathetic.

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Because Richard.....

03.11.2009 11:07

..childcare , cancercare and other important healthcare including injured soldiers should not have to rely on charity , and should be a priority on the taxation budget.

Lets pay massive salaries to MP's , CEO's and the like but let the plebs rely on charity.

And what makes it all the sadder , is that the working class pay more to charity than anyone else.

Stick your Red Nose up your arse you guilty celebs, and pay more tax.

Charity solves nothing.


White Poppies

03.11.2009 11:45

The Peace Pledge Union sell white poppies for peace, as an educational device rather than charitable act.

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anyone for mutual aid?

03.11.2009 11:54

is the only option to redirect taxation to continue propping up an offensive regime, one that when pushed profers a quick concession to maintain it's squat possition over eager mouths?
Charity? Hell Yes!
charity has the potential to circumvent the proscribed posturing of incessent leftist/rightist government and demonstrates everyday the most important expression of human kind is achievable, we can take control and are doing so every minute of our lives, state governance is'nt necessary for the perpetuation of human societies.
Help that man, Help that woman, do something other than kneeling in rapture before the ballot box.

ana carlo

Sacred poppies

03.11.2009 14:35

The poppy appeal, long ago, became a sacred cow and richly deserves subvertising. The money collected goes in most cases to solders who went into other peoples countries and killed and maimed them, with litttle or no provocation. It never goes to their victims. We are soon to see once again, the sickening spectacle of war criminals lining up to lay wreaths at the cenotaph.

Sticky fingers

We are doing the troops a big favour!

03.11.2009 15:32

If the poppy appeal campaign really cares about our troops then it will understand that they should never be put in harms way unless it is absolutely necessary to this country's defence. Therefore using their billboards to call for our troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan is helping to prevent the unnecessary deaths and injuries to our troops.

Ask yourself what threat is Afghanistan to Britain? How is sending our troops into battle against the Afghan people helping to defend our country? If you had signed up to defend your country would you think it right that you were sent to fight a war that was clearly wrong?

Anti-war activist

Remembrance row over white poppies

03.11.2009 18:25

A BATTLE of the poppies is alleged to have broken out at Hertford Town Council over what colour flower members can wear for Remembrance Day.

News - White and red poppiesMayor Cllr David Poole (Con, Sele), chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion (RBL) branch, sent a letter to all councillors and Hertford Castle staff banning the wearing of white poppies, which he branded an “affront” to the legion.

Whereas red poppies raise money for the armed forces charity, which supports former servicemen and their families, funds from white poppies, produced by the Peace Pledge Union, go towards the charity’s work in promoting the abolition of wars.

In the letter, which has been given to the Mercury, Cllr Poole said: “I consider wearing a white poppy to be ‘Flag waving’ and a way of displaying one’s own personal feelings. I respect that people are entitled to hold pacifist opinions, but should not display them publicly whilst taking part in a civic occasion.

“We all pray for world peace and none more so than the men and women who are in the front line.

“If anyone finds that they cannot comply with this ruling then it would be acceptable for them not to attend at all. I sincerely hope that the words I have written cause no offence, however if they do, I make no apology.”

The letter mentioned “a particular member” who wore a white poppy last year, which would “not be permitted” this year.

The member is believed to be Hilary Durbin (Lab, Sele), who had a meeting with Cllr Poole and the mayor’s chaplain and vicar of the town’s All Saints’ Church, Jo Loveridge, to discuss the issue earlier this week.

All three refused to comment on the matter, except to say it had been resolved amicably. They would not confirm the details of the resolution.

White poppies were first produced by the Co-operative Women’s Guild in 1933 and according to the White Poppy website, the RBL was asked three times since the flowers were created to make them so money raised could go towards the legion, but refused each request.

Gerald Drewett, a member of Hertford Quakers, said: “The white poppy simply expresses the aspiration for a world without war. There’s no clash with Remembrance Day.

“When you remember the war dead, they didn’t want to die. They fought for their country in the hope that peace would be achieved.

“It’s natural to wear red and white poppies together.”

An RBL spokesman said: “The mayor’s view is that of a private individual. He doesn’t speak for the legion. The legion has no objection to any group wanting to express its views.”

faux patriotism bollocks
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chop them down

03.11.2009 18:26

Why bother subvertising? Cut down (or if you have to, burn down) the billboards. Everything is sold to us through these invasive monsters, including war.



03.11.2009 18:28

I've not seen any of these London where I live. Which parts are they meant to be? Any photos?

The media are unlikely to have seen or heard about them unless they happened to stumble across one near their offices/pub or if somebody had press released it along with a photo.

It would be easy to make this a media story in London off the back of the coverage already received for the subvertising in Kent.

You can't simple say the media are ignoring it when the reality is that they probably don't know.

photos please

@stickyfingers and @dsave

03.11.2009 19:08

@sticky fingers

You know who the RBL really are? They are the old pensioners in the supermarket who fought for their country and are just asking for a wee donation for the welfare the soldiers who are now of no interest to their state. That's how the entire organisation is seen by the public, and so that is how you should treat them too - respectfully. The wee kids from my street who were conned and lied into fighting for afghan poppy are as much victims of this war as the Afghans are.

Saying that, there has been a sudden spate of BNP donations to military charities and those charities are so overstretched by the massive amounts of undercared for British Military victims of these revent wars that they felt obliged to accept this money. IM punters are unable to offer any alternative source of funding, maybe rich anti-fascists or newspaper or politicians could, but the RBL should be embarrassed into issuing a condemnation of the BNP racist, fascist and treacherous support for Hitler - at the very least. The military top brass recently condemned the BNP on these grounds so it shoildn't be hard for the RBL. I wasn't aware until reading this article that the RBL had accepted BNP money, and I don't find that acceptable if it is true.

There is a TV documentary on tonight about how the RAF hunted down and executed the 'Great Escapers'. That is morally dubious, but is far more acceptable than the RBL accepting any blood money from the BNP nazis.


I'm half-sorry if I'm misintrepreting what you are saying, but most people who write in free-form like you, without punctuation, tend to use more words than you do, except perhaps in poetry.

You seem to be claiming that the 'international' (mostly US, some UK and others) occupation of Afghanistan should remain in place to prevent Pakistan collapsing. At least many people believe that, but it isn't true. The war on Afghanistan has been expanded into Pakistan, the occupation is the main problem and not a cure. Military people use the term 'mission creep' to describe this expansion. It is really just overspill, like in Vietnam when the US started carpet bombing Cambodia into oblivion.

You say things could be worse, I assume that is black humour since each day there brings new death. It is more accurate to report that things keep getting worse. Nobody in Britain wants this, nobody in the British military want this, nobody in Afghanistan or Pakistan so why are we still doing it?



03.11.2009 22:46

When I see the RBL describing soldiers as "wee kids who get conned into fighting", then I will start respecting them. Until then they just look to me like an organisation that stokes the war machine. Your statement that these kids are just as much victims as the Afganis is absurd. The UK doesnt have conscription. Theres plenty of things they could choose to do other than join the army. When an Afgan village has a NATO bomb dropped on it, the people there have no say in the matter.

Its the jingoism of the RBL which attracts the BNP. Birds of not so dissimilar feather.


Bambino & Anon: Symptoms & Canon Fodder

04.11.2009 11:46

The NSPCC perpetuate abuse??? MacMillan Nurses and Maggie's Centres are the forces of darkness? I haven't heard anything so ridiculous since I last went to the David Icke website.

Sure, child welfare, cancer, dementia, wounded soldiers should all be catered for from the public pot. But the charities are symptomatic of a fucked system and not causal. The charities should indeed not exist, but proposing you should boycott them because they are taking up the slack in a corrupt system is plainly attacking the victims and not the perpetrators.

And okay, I'll take it on faith that you aren't simply being Scrooge and really do care more about social justice rather than reaching for an easy excuse not to donate, but it begs the question of what strategy you have in place to redress the balance and protect the socially vulnerable.

And 17 year old kids in areas of high poverty & crime and low employment & mobility, getting wooed at dole offices by trained adult, recruiting officers, doesn't really qualify as an 'informed choice' with serious 'alternatives', unless of course you think a cycle of unemployment and prison for drug and violence offences all set ina backdrop of dogshit, broken glass and decaying property as being something you expect everyone to be pleased with, or be able to see any possibility of escaping.

I do wonder about where some of the people who post on this site have grown up, certainly not anywhere the Army casts their nets. Because, if you don't know how 17 year old kids end up in Helmand, and have no one close to you who is in or has been in the armed services, you probably have had little contact with the "Scum"/underclass.

And if you have no inkling of that, what do you really think you have to tell anyone about social justice and class war? I'll save you the bother: without primary data any, thesis will always be worth the square root of fuck all.

Whether you agree or not with the political decisions regarding British Foreign Policy (a.k.a. illegal wars and war crimes), like attacking the charities, attacking the RBL is missing the point.

The creed of the Services is to do what you are told by parliament (so long as orders are legal- to be adjudged within their 3 minutes of Geneva Convention training) and it is drummed into them that they are there to be the impartial servants who go and do what they are told to defend the realm. And objectively that is a sound ethos- as much as you can't have a politicised police force either... either would be at odds with democracy and legality. And for many of the 17 year old "scum" their regiment is the first real family they will ever have, and there is total loyalty expected.

The problem isn't the armed forces, the problem is the corrupt political system misusing them... and public apathy in effecting change of that system.

Kicking a "cripple" only makes you even lamer than your target.

Steven Seagull

Armed forces are political

04.11.2009 13:15

Armed forces is as likely to be a political education in the circumstances of the
recruits described by posters such as Steven Seagull.

Deployments usually take place under NATO/UN umbrella, right of British troops
to be in these countries is established by the fact that they ARE, other issues
such as sovereignty and the relative legitimacy of other political and military forces
in a particular country (like the people that actually live there) or region is dictated from above. We have seen that legitimacy is a flexible concept in places like Iraq, Afghanistan
and Somalia.

Officer class in army still embedded in British establishment, schools, families, outlook
on the world, culture of unquestioning obedience can therefore reanimate particular class
relations easier to avoid in wider society.

NATO mission creep

Why should I be pressured into wearing a poppy?

04.11.2009 14:13

The plan must be to honour the dead of past wars by starting new ones

It's Poppy Week, which means if you don't wear a poppy all week you're a filthy, dirty, low-life, scummy traitor. Yesterday, there was outrage in newspapers because a library in Derbyshire would not sell poppies, and a headline in the sports section of the Daily Mail complained: "Why are only 12 Premier League clubs wearing their poppies?"

Everyone on television has to wear a giant, beaming poppy, so there could be a documentary about the tribes of Africa and someone would complain that none of the Masai warriors were wearing poppies. The popular press will demand an apology from the swimming federation because none of the finalists in the 200m butterfly on Eurosport were wearing poppies on the backs of their trunks (with instructions to swim with their arses just above the water so as to keep their poppies visible and thereby pay suitable respects to our war heroes).

And letters in The Daily Telegraph will begin "Sir: while watching Night Nurse Knocking on the Adult Channel on the evening of 7 November, I was shocked to see that none of the nurses in question were adorned with poppies, as might be deemed appropriate in this week of solemn remembrance. My father fought at El Alamein, and one can only be grateful that he is no longer around to bear this fearsome insult."

Because the poppy means you care. So a Conservative defence spokesman will declare that he is so patriotic he wears TWO poppies, Peter Mandelson will announce that he is having a poppy tattooed on his face, and Nick Clegg will convert his house into a giant poppy with an opium den in the loft.

Yet the institutions that scream the most that we must respect our fallen soldiers through poppies and Remembrance Day are the same ones that are most keen to have a new bunch of wars to create a new generation of dead soldiers to remember. This must be the plan; to remind us about the dead of previous wars by keeping a flow of dead coming in from new wars.

Maybe that's why the First World War happened in the first place – the Kaiser, Lloyd George and the Tsar of Russia met in 1914 and said, "We could sort this out peacefully, but then we'd have no way of remembering the dead, which would be deeply insulting to those who would have died, so off we go."

So the poppy wasn't chosen as a symbol of the horror and pointlessness of that war, but as a celebration. The poem on which it was founded was supposed to be a cry from a dead soldier in Belgium that went, "Take up our quarrel with the foe/ We shall not sleep though poppies grow."

The Royal British Legion that sells the poppies often has a slogan at its stalls that reads "1914: The Glorious War". It is possible they are being ironic, but in that case they are too subtle, and might be better with "1914: oh very glorious, with hardly any casualties and only the tiniest hint of shell-shock, and fought to end all wars which worked a treat I suppose".

The sense of war and glory may derive from the founder of the poppy tradition, Earl Haig, the General in charge of British troops in northern Europe, 350,000 of which were wiped out at Passchendaele. Haig was derided as an idiot by almost all observers at the time, including most servicemen, but said: "I know quite well I am a tool of divine power."

I suppose if God hadn't been guiding him there would have been 350,001 casualties. He then had a furious row with Lloyd George because he wanted to be in the front coach at the victory parade, and the surviving soldiers must have wished he'd displayed a similar eagerness to be at the front while he was in the Somme.

So Haig was as responsible as almost anyone for the slaughter, then set up the foundation to remember those who were killed during it. You might as well have let Harold Shipman set up a foundation to remember old women who died after seeing a doctor.

Most people who sell or buy poppies are probably not doing so in honour of Earl Haig, but are remembering the casualties in their own way and contributing to the charity for injured soldiers. But that raises the question of why these soldiers are dependent on charity in the first place.

It seems the Government that has devised a series of tricks for reducing compensation payments then makes the poor sods beg with a poppy. The next move will be to make returning wounded servicemen dance for pennies in libraries.

But maybe this is why the Government is so keen on the current war – it is convenient to have another one in a place full of poppies, as we have already got the remembrance stuff ready without having to change the flower.

Mark Steel
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I,m not attacking charities Steven.....

04.11.2009 14:14

..but feel they are not symptomatic , but systematic and encouraged by the State.

If all organised charity were to be abolished tomorrow , money would have to be directed in the proper and accountable way i.e Taxation.

Instead of the lottery that the less well off pay most to anyway. (as usual)

Do you really think we would accept have dying soldiers , cancer patients and children out with their begging bowls?

Born in Sheffield , Council House , Comprehensive , Thatchers Child , been to University , travelled a bit and charitable due to my upbringing and nature.


RE: Mission Creep

04.11.2009 14:36

No, the Services don't dictate the legitimacy or remit of the operations, and NATO doesn't invade countries, and the flouting of international law is often led/encouraged primarily outwith the forces.

It is governments that declare wars, send in troops, that make sure most troops are thoroughly ignorant of il/legal rules of engagement and that officers who comply get rewarded. The forces have no legal power to act independently without the mandate of the governement.

Which in principle is quite right too. As much as it is a nice idea to have the armed forces refuse to fight, the practicality is that if we were faced with Hitler again, we don't want to pave the way for a walkover or coup. But for that safeguard to work it is essential to have clean democratic bill of health and legality.

Sadly, there are good grounds to refuse to serve in illegal operations. Sadly most troops wouldn't know one end of the Geneva Conventions from the other, and it is hardly encouraging that the highest judge in the land just whitewashed Iraq as being legal for no valid reason anyway.

So, the illegal wars aren't significant failures of the institutionally apolitical (ostensible or otherwise) armed forces, but misuse of them by a failed democracy.

You find the elite in any walk of life from your councils drains & sewerage dept. to your local dental college. Indeed the Establishment is a far greater problem that it's military enclave of Etonians & Sandhurst chinless wonders. It's about as relevant a problem to Iraq & Afghanistan as blaming hydrogen for the misuse of the armed forces and the use of the poorest as canon fodder and piracy.

Put the cart after the horse. The problem is essentially a class problem, and until the class structure is dismantled the Establishment will remain embedded everywhere it has an interest.

Steven Seagull


06.11.2009 09:40

The claim that "The forces have no legal power to act independently without the mandate of the governement." shows a total lack of understanding of the British system.

In fact the politicians cannot tell the armed forces to do something, they can only ask them to do something. That is because the allegiance of the forces is to the monarch, not parliament.

That is why several senior officers got legal opinions before the illegal invasion of Iraq, though they were careful to get their opinions from the handful of lawyers who claimed the invasion was legal. That way they could do what the politicians wanted and if it ever comes to trial they can claim they were advised their actions were legal. It may be enough to keep them out of prison.

A N Other

A N Other

06.11.2009 11:47

For such a keen student of British democracy, you seem to have overlooked that fact the monarch is merely a figurehead whose public duties are controlled by Downing Street. The Monarchy is just a notional power in the UK.

Steven Seagull

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