Next month sees the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and the through the annual British Legion Poppy Appeal gives the UK population the opportunity to once again remember and equally respect the sacrifices our brave servicemen and servicewomen made not just between 1914-18 but the other conflicts, including 1939-45, over the last 100 years.
The Cambridge University Students’ Union last month hit the headlines, accused of turning their backs on the British Legion appeal following a motion put to its members. I am pleased to see the union has clarified its position to say a controversial motion was defeated by a ‘huge margin’ and regardless of whether it had been passed, Remembrance Day commemorations at the university would still have taken place and individuals could do as they saw fit.
The brave people who sacrificed their lives in the various conflicts, did it in the fight for democracy and freedom, and had they not we can only imagine the lives we would ‘enjoy’ today.
I’m all for free speech, but there’s also that very profound saying about some things are better left unsaid. If the Cambridge University students don’t want to wear poppies, that’s their prerogative, but take a leaf from that great advocate of peaceful protest, Gandhi, and do it without any fuss.
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Just last week ITV gave Professor Kehinde Andrews, the oxygen of publicity when he went on breakfast television and branded Sir Winston Churchill a racist and compared him to Adolf Hitler. I would have thought someone who has worked extremely hard over many years to become a professor would be intelligent enough to acknowledge that without Churchill’s stance in the last war, this country and most of Europe for that matter would have been conquered by a regime who had racism right at the top of their agenda.
The rest of us can respect and never forget the sacrifices made.
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