PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
is this the last year we will debate the poppy on the jersey?
“Celtic Football Club is delighted to have supported the Poppyscotland charity for a number of years.
The club can confirm that Poppyscotland has requested through the SPL that all clubs wear the poppy on the shirt during the weekend fixtures of 13th/14th November 2010 around Remembrance Sunday.
A statement from Poppyscotland reads: “Poppyscotland is delighted to be working with the Scottish Premier League and its clubs to promote the 2010 Scottish Poppy Appeal.
The poppy shirt initiative, which was launched in 2008, has helped to raise awareness of Poppyscotland’s life-changing work for ex-Servicemen, women and their families living in Scotland, many of whom experience a range of difficulties as they struggle to adjust to civilian life.
Poppyscotland Chief Executive Ian McGregor said: “The initiative has generated a huge amount of additional exposure for the Scottish Poppy Appeal and we are extremely grateful to the SPL and the clubs for their support once again.”
Poppyscotland continually strives to develop fresh ideas to keep its important work at the front of the Scottish public’s mind and while the poppy shirt initiative has been very successful, going forward, Poppyscotland will be inviting the SPL clubs to get involved in alternative activities, beginning next year in recognition of the Scottish Poppy Appeal’s 90th anniversary.
Ian McGregor added: “Having developed great relationships with the clubs over the past two seasons, we look forward to another successful programme of activity this November, and to unveiling the new anniversary initiatives in 2011.”
In light of Poppyscotland’s decision to carry out alternative Remembrance activities from next year, Celtic Football Club has decided that it will be giving another charity the opportunity to feature on the Celtic shirt in 2011 to raise awareness of their work. Further details of this will be announced in due course.”
This is the announcement I reported that the Open Meeting was waiting for before deciding if any further action was required on this issue.
My personal view is that the element of coercion is what annoyed some/many supporters regardless of their individual views and the feeling was that Celtic were bounced into it by the SPL (and that it was a tit for tat on TFS).
I wrote to Poppy Scotland in Nov 2008 to complain about the hijacking of the event by the media to portray Celtic in a bad light. I included a “poem” in the article which was later published on E Tims in Nov 2009 when the broo ha started up again. Here it is:
I see Gordon Waddell has started the ball rolling in the annual “lets get stuck intae thae traitor Tims” diatribe using Remembrance Sunday as the vehicle for attack.
But hey, we the Celtic support are not being attacked for not remembering, no, we are being attacked for HOW we remember.
Now I thought that whilst remembering the dead was right and proper, even more important to them is what we remember them for.
For me anyway it is in gratitude for the freedom to be able to remember as I like, which the dead died to protect. How I remember is less important than that I do remember what their sacrifice was for. If how I remember becomes a dictat, does that not fly in the face of the very freedoms the dead died to protect?
When how I remember then becomes an agent for disturbing the same peace and freedom the dead died to protect, the question must be asked of Waddell and his ilk - just whose memory are you respecting when you use how Celtic choose to remember as a device for waging war against the club and creating conflict and division amongst their support?
Everyone has the right to observe or even not observe Poppy Day in their own way.
That is the freedom the dead died for and in attacking it Waddell and his likes in newspapers and radio are disrespecting the dead more than any observation of remembrance by applause. It is above all a day of remembrance, not silence, and allowing folk to remember in their own way does more to respect the sacrifice of the dead than any newspaper article designed to create division, controversy and conflict.
Last year at the end of the “Poppygate” debate I sent the following to Poppy Scotland because I was dismayed at the way the media and others had hijacked Poppy Day for their own ends. Poppy Scotland thought it “poignant”.
I do hope the poignancy of the “poem” has been or can be conveyed to the Sunday Mail and those other parts of the Scottish media who are looking to indulge in the same peace disturbing mischief making as last year.
Paying Respect – Speaking for The Dead
From the land of beyond
I died in the hope that all fighting would stop
NO MORE WAR.
But war takes many forms
In the last few days I have witnessed a battlefield
You do not respect me when you wear a poppy
You especially do not respect me when you try to divide a community
If you think that all these are respect
The Poppy, the minute’s silence, the minute’s applause
If you want to truly respect me
LEST YOU FORGET
It was so that there would be
NO MORE WAR
And let NO MORE WAR break out
If a symbol is needed at all
Or even the white poppy for peace
But the best way to remember my sacrifice
So that there will be
NO MORE WAR
Poppy Scotland replied in 2008:
Many thanks for your letter and email. It is our aim to raise as much awareness as possible about the Scottish Poppy Appeal, remembrance and the work that we do to support veterans and their families in Scotland, many of whom have a number of issues, including financial needs, physical or psychological injuries and social welfare issues. We appreciate your sentiments and thank your for your support.
Thank you so much for your poem – it is extremely poignant and I hope we are able to use it in the future.
So Poppy Scotland knew what impact their campaign was having from 2008. My reading of the situation now is that Celtic have made representations to PoppyScotland (because we were told at the Open Meeting Celtic were talking to them) with two years of divisive history to back up their case and a stop has been negotiated in such a fashion that allows Poppy Scotlad time to work up a fresh approach for next year but says Celtic have had enough.
At the last Open Meeting in September we were told Celtic said they had not come to a decision but that whatever decision was made by Celtic this would be one that put the matter to rest.
You can look at this two ways – Celtic either gave in again or negotiated a way out that left all parties a plausible escape route that the media would find it hard to misuse – though no doubt they will try.
I’m just happy that the issue of the poppy on the jersey and how it came about in the first place will finally close after November.
Folk can make their own minds up – be mad or be happy.