November 15, 2010

Who Owns Remembrance Day?

One of the greatest, and most insidious, myths of “Nationalism” is that Remembrance Day is somehow “theirs”.

The queasy spectacle of Griffin grandstanding at whatever Cenotaph he decides to fetch up at each year has become an annual treat for his dim-bulb followers, and their mantra of “The Britain Of Today Isn't What They Fought For” has been so often repeated that it has entered the Lexicon of Nationalist Truths alongside such old favourites as “Asylum Seekers Get Free Houses And A 52” Plasma Telly” and “They Won't Even Let Us Have Christmas Now”.

Yesterday, along with a few hundred others, my family and I went along to our local War Memorial to pay our respects.

We walked back with a neighbour, “Mr C”. You'll know the sort - getting on for 90, but fit as a flea and still thinks it's fine to try climbing a ladder three storeys to clean out his own guttering. In January.

He never fought in the War. Like my own dad (who worked at Rolls Royce building Merlin engines), he was in a Reserved Occupation (Railway Engineer), but lost a Brother in the Merchant Navy.

Walking home, Some of the talk was about the Poppy Burning Incident. Naturally enough, everyone condemned it out of hand as the stupid piece of rabble-rousing it was. Refreshingly, Mr C's perspective on the whole affair is just a little more sanguine than some.

Like so many people who've reached a great age, he's seen it all before: Apparently, in the late 30's, a group of Communists burned the Flag on Remembrance Day as an anti-war protest. Predictably, there was universal condemnation (including, loudly, from the Communist Party) and Mosley's British Union of Fascists thought all their birthdays had come at once...

To quote Griffin: “There is a strong, direct link from Oswald Mosley to me.”

You don't say.

Just as arrogant stupidity by tiny groups of dimwits runs down the ages, so, it seems, does the propensity for equally revolting groups to capitalise upon it to their own ends.

As with the BUF, who would make a great show of their fake “Patriotism” on Remembrance Day, so with the BNP.

As Mr C said: “That lot aren't fit to show their faces.”

He's right. The BNP, the EDL and all the other groups of flagwaving, xenophobic cretins who like to shout their supposed “Patriotism” have no place at an annual memorial to people who died seeing their lot off the first time around.

P.S: Later on, we had a screening at The Ritz (Derbyshire's Finest Independent Cinema TM) for Remembrance Sunday of Alberto Cavalcanti's 1942 thriller “Went The Day Well?”. Track it down if you've never seen it before: Great, exciting Anti-Nazi propaganda. And if that isn't enough you also get Thora Hird packing a rifle.


Marissa Jane said...

The Tories are also trying to claim Rembererance Day as an example of the Big Society in action.

Both despicable!

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely spot on when you say that Griffin has tried to hijack any form of patriotism as belonging to the BNP and the BNP alone. He has also tied treason to the Bnp psyche also. To turn your back on the BNP is to turn your back on your country.
We need to take back our flags,our remembrance day and words such as patriotic of this tin pot dictator.
As crazy as this sounds people are still afraid to walk away from tne party because they will be looked at as reds, Marxists traitors.
Pathetic eh

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Typical right wing stuff - grab hold of something that people have an emotional connection with and pervert to their filthy aims.

NewsHound said...


joe said...

For the same reason, the pissed-up EDL scumfucks follow troops in city centre homecomings, walking around the streets, making stiff armed salutes with bare chests, swigging from cans of carling.

Anonymous said...

One of the key pro-Isreal Islamophobes supporting the EDL is some trumped-up, self-important nobody arsehole called Felix Quigley (sounds Irish?), who also apparently supported the Serbian atrocisties in Bosnia.

Thankfully most Jewish people see through the pseudo "pro-Isreal" wing of the EDL.

Barbara said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm sick of the far right exploiting military valour for their own ends.
Remember the breathtaking arrogance of Griffin pictured next to a photo of Churchill? The Battle for Britain campaign that became a laughing stock because they chose to picture a Polish-piloted Spitfire.
Next they'll be claiming they are the ones who first thought of Remembrance Day.

Anonymous said...

All the racists of the EDL and the BNP who hijack the armed forces are bringing shame to the countr they claim to love so much, as Winston Churchill fought against facsism.

Landale said...

Went the day Well is on Google video

Who owns the do is a problem. Sometimes it is the council, other times the Legion who invite the council and finally a group of loca people/church.

Aber' town council laid a White Poppie Wreath (Which remembers ALL killed in war) on Saturday with the help of Cor Gobaith and many others. However it is removed before the Sunday.

It would be good to do it on the Sunday with everybody else, Upper levels of the Legion I suspect are not unsympathetic to the idea.

This however does not seem to be reflected in some quarters at the level of local branches.

What is worth reflecting on is that for every soldier, irrespective of side killed in WW2, 2 civilians were killed. The figure for more recent conflicts is higher than that.

Anonymous said...

“There is a strong, direct link from Oswald Mosley to me.”
This is often attributed to Griffin, but I can't find a source for it. Do you know of one? It's not in his wikiquote page, even as unsourced.