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Poppy has real power

For the young soldiers who lay dying with their guts in the dirt. Those young men and women, barely more than children most of them, who, in their unimaginable agony, called forlornly for the comfort of their mothers.

For all those to whom death came as a blessed relief. I wear my poppy in remembrance of them.

For those civilians, from children to pensioners, who were blown apart or crushed to a pulp.

For all those victims who neither choose to die nor volunteer their lives yet still are snuffed out. I wear my poppy in remembrance of them.

For the broken soldiers who return with bodies and minds damaged beyond the possibility of repair.

Yet they perform the impossible in rebuilding their lives and, through their courage, continue to give the rest of us more than we can ever deserve. I wear my poppy in support of them.

For the families of the fallen, those who must somehow endure the unendurable. For those who will never see their father, mother, brother, sister, daughter or son again, yet will see them every day. In my inadequacy, I wear my poppy for them.

For the debt I know I owe yet am incapable of even beginning to repay. I wear my poppy in acknowledgement of that debt.

For the glorification of war or the glamorisation of the military or even the vanity of false patriotism. I DO NOT wear my poppy for those things.

I wear the most powerful anti-war symbol ever devised, a Red poppy. In the wearing of our poppies, I and the millions like me, are shouting to those who lead us.

Our message is simple: This is what happens when you people fail… DO NOT FAIL US AGAIN!


Britain was the invader

JH OLIVER (Adver, November 1)goes beyond his call to “honour the dead”, which few will disagree with, to offer a defence of war which is a fanciful kind of just so story.

A historical version of “how the elephant got its trunk”. What if “a foreign power enters your house, attacks the family and … rapes your mother or sisters.” he says.

But this has absolutely nothing to do with Britain’s involvement in wars.

Mr Oliver needs to be careful if he wants to use this as a justification because in the overwhelming majority of historical examples it is actually British troops doing the invading and occupying of other people’s countries.

In 1914 for instance the British Empire controlled a quarter of the world’s population.

But wait, didn’t German troops act atrociously in Belgium? Yes, they did and at the same time Belgium colonialists were cutting off the hands of children in the Congo for failing to meet their rubber quotas.

Even in the second World War, where masses of people fought because they could see the consequences of Fascism, we have to recognise that our rulers weren’t particularly concerned about the brutality of Fascists. They even showed some sympathy for it, cheering on Mussolini and the early Hitler.

The Daily Mail hero-worshipped the Nazis. And Britain aided the advance of Fascism by preventing the democratically elected Spanish government arming itself against Franco’s blood-drenched military coup.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Help at hand for pets

RESEARCH by Blue Cross has revealed that three quarters of the nation’s pets are afraid of fireworks. This means 11 million cats and dogs will be suffering over the noisy nights.

With so many pets fearful of fireworks, let alone wildlife and other animals, we think it is time to look again at firework regulations and see how we can improve them.

We believe there should be tighter controls on the time of year and time of day fireworks should be allowed to be set off.

We also think that there should be more emphasis on making those who host a fireworks display responsible for alerting their neighbourhood in plenty of time to allow those with frightened pets to prepare.

We understand many pet owners will be worried and we want to reassure them that Blue Cross is here to help.


Shut up about Brexit

CAN I just make a point about the Advertiser letters page? I made a comment about climate change. I looked up some basic facts, figures and information and sent some in a couple of weeks ago for one simple reason. To stop you all waffling on and on about Brexit.

I, as well as many others are sick of the word. Sick of the subject dominating every news item on every channel and in every newspaper. Sick of the Remain campaigners demanding that the results of a perfectly democratic and legal process be overturned to suit their demands.

And guess what - the SAME person has done nothing but snipe at me on climate change the same as he does to everyone else about Brexit. We all know who he is.

Can I just ask Mr Thompson, is there any subject you AREN’T an expert on?

ROGER LACK, North Swindon

Men, stay out of it

I HAVE noticed that those with thin arguments write their nonsense and then say they don’t want a discussion.

Steve Jack did that in a letter accusing me of being undemocratic for saying men should stay out of women’s matters as that would disqualify half the population from having their opinions heard.

Well, Steve you are wrong. Fifty two per cent of the population are women and 48 per cent men ( familiar numbers?) and in countries with mainly Abrahamic religions, it is women who don’t have their opinions heard, it is men who decide what women wear, behave or use their own bodies.

This is the real undemocratic state of affairs. I repeat what I wrote earlier, stay out of women’s matters.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon