Today as I passed through City Thameslink Station, I saw several members of the armed forces helping to promote the annual poppy appeal. As I already had mine proudly on my lapel, I nodded politely and smiled and they nodded back. November is the time of year when we get the opportunity to put our hands in our pockets and say thank you to the brave servicemen who risk their life and limbs to defend us.
We may not all agree with the wars our leaders entangle us in. This is irrelevant to the poppy appeal, which supports sick, injured and retired servicemen. Whoever you are and whatever you do in the UK today, the bravery of the our servicemen guarantee the democracy and the freedoms we have. This country is notoriously bad at repaying this debt of gratitude, which is why charity appeals such as this are necessary. The veterans of the second world war are now old and frail. Many young men from more recent conflicts also rely on such appeals for help.
I was asked if I would promote the White Poppy appeal. I'm afraid to say I cannot. Not because I don't agree with the aims, but because I believe it is plagarism and takes money out of the coffers of the Royal British Legion. Out of respect for those who have served this country, I believe that anything which could confuse people, affect the takings of the poppy appeal or confuse people as to what a red poppy means and is about, should simply not be supported at all.
As ever we are selling poppies for the Royal British Legion in the reception of Mill Hill Music Complex. We will be donating £2 of every session fee on the 11th November to the appeal. It is a small gesture, but I urge every company in the country to a) Sell Royal British Legion Poppies and b) Make an extra contribution to the cause from company funds.