I wrote the following blog yesterday and its words still stand. However since I wrote Nigel Farage in his arrogance and self importance has begun to claim that his lack of invitation to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph tomorrow is a snub to his UKIP voters. This is clearly nonsense, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are invited to represent the Government on behalf of all voters and those unable or unwilling to vote for anyone. However in the light of a Political landscape that is growing in diversity we should consider how best to represent our elected leaders? I would argue that in the period when we are supposed to keep charities out of politics as explained below that we should also ensure that Politicians stay out of the space inhabited by our Charities. I would suggest that a figurehead is found to represent the Government and all of the leaders are dismissed with thanks, at least until next year. By then perhaps a better solution can be found to avoid people like Farage from thinking that Rememberance Day is a Leaders debate with Poppies. Now for yesterdays blog:
The news that Britain First had hijacked the Poppy appeal for its own political benefit has inevitably made the headlines. It should have been a warning to Party Politicians to tread carefully when it comes to expressing support for the British Legion annual appeal, without appearing to be following in the footsteps of Britain First. However in the last few days I have seen at least two tweets from MPs or prospective MPs associating themselves with the work of the appeal in a manner that is not dissimilar to my mind with what Britain First have been doing. I confess to having something of a pedantic nature and I am aware that all Charities have been placed on high alert during the period from September 2014 to the election in May 2015 to avoid appearing to support any particular Political Party. That period was chosen by MPs as part of the lobbying bill, in all future general elections the period is a year before each election (a challenge if Parliament is ever dissolved early). As I wrote at the time, it was my view that this period is far too long and has unnecessarily constrained charities from going about their legitimate business. However MPs chose the period and my pedantic point is that if charities are supposed to give politics and politicians a wide berth for 9 months, then it is perfectly reasonable for our politicians to observe a great deal of sensitivity to avoid creating any sense of conflict. That means in my view that they should avoid appearing to out patriot-ise the other parties during the period of the Poppy Appeal. Both the tweets I spotted did not promote the appeal itself, simply that these two Politicians were in the business of selling poppies or meeting poppy sellers. Totally irrelevant in my view unless it is their profile that is being raised (and both were being retweeted in the same way as the Britain First campaign was). However after consideration I have decided not to refer to any of those I have spotted, partly because I suspect that others have done it and I simply missed their tweets or facebook posting and frankly these two don’t need or deserve any more publicity.
The image above I did find on twitter from a tweet by someone called @Trowel63 and the photo is of his students whose work has no political agenda apart from the creative use of bricks and mortar to pay their own respects and present a Poppy of their own making with Pride.