We may be weeks away from Remembrance Sunday, but a great deal has been written today about Jeremy Corbyn and a poppy. Will he wear red, or will he wear white? There is even talk about a Labour MP’s rebellion over the matter.
For my part, I have faced this issue for a number of years and the solution is really quite simple – wear both a red and a white poppy.
The red poppy is extremely important, because it is about showing respect for those killed and injured during war. It matters little as to which war those brave soldiers served in, the fact is they died serving their country at a time of war. We should, and must, show respect for such bravery.
By comparison, the white poppy is a political symbol that depicts a desire for peace. It has always been my belief that the vast majority of those killed in war wanted to win the peace. Likewise, those who wear a white poppy also want peace. Yes, a white poppy is a pacifist message, but wearing a white poppy also takes courage – since abuse is sometimes confusingly directed to a person wearing a white poppy.
By wearing both a red and a white poppy you can show respect for those killed serving their country in wars – while standing up for the white poppy message that peace and pacifism is a message worthy of respect and support.
So, my advice to Jeremy Corbyn is clear. Wear both a red and a white poppy. Stand up for pacifism, while showing respect for those killed at times of war. My advise to a few Labour MP’s who have been kicking up a storm over this issue is that they should show loyalty to their leader and respect for people who have died. You can be a pacifist who shows respect for those killed in war.
Dr Peter Jepson is the editor of LawsBlog. He tweets as @LawsBlog