Friday, November 11, 2011

The FIFA Poppy hoo ha - yeah but no but yeah

N.B. It's me, The P-G

Right. it's a while since I have had to come out of hiding to tell everyone what's what, but seeing as it is Armistice Day today and it's been in the news, it's time I did so.

Here is your important P-G corrective for today. Repeat after me:
FIFA is right, but for the wrong reasons.
Jon Snow is wrong, but for the right reasons.

And just for the record, completeness and rather pleasing symettry,
Theresa May is wrong for the wrong reasons.
The right reason is that wearing a poppy is and must be a voluntary act of remembrance and thanksgiving to those who gave their lives in the defence of our freedom.

Thus, FIFA is right to object to a poppy being embroidered on the England players shirts - it destroys the voluntary nature of the act. They are wrong however to suggest that the wearing of a poppy is a political act.

Conversely Jon Snow expounds on the right reasons. Here he is in the linked article:
"Additionally there is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there - 'He damned well must wear a poppy!'.
He is right to point this out. Those who declare that you MUST wear a poppy are wrong.
However, he is a tosspot for then refusing to wear the poppy. It is as though he thinks the "poppy fascists" have thereby tainted the poppy and he must rise above it. In this he is wrong.

So here's what should have happened:
  • Once FIFA kicked up a stink, the FA - and for good measure the Duke of Cambridge - should have confirmed that the wearing of the poppy is voluntary and run up a batch of shirts without it.
  • The players then make their own choice of shirt. If they choose the one with the poppy, it's clearly their own choice
  • Wait for FIFA to try to take action against any player that does so choose...
Players get to wear the poppy, the FA avoids a row and stands up for the individual freedom - the defence of which is the whole flipping point - and FIFA gets to look stupid.
For good measure, just imagine the value of those original shirts with poppies: if players do stick their necks out, those shirts become extremely powerful symbols in support of the whole thing. Auction them off in aid of the Poppy Appeal and everyone really does win.


Twenty_Rothmans said...

I say, that was dreadfully well-measured. Who stole the Devil, and what are you doing to him?

I'm Australian, and although we give a minutes' silence at 1100, it's not quite as venerated as here. Since I arrived on your fair shores some years ago, Armistice Day seems to be becoming more and more Dianified.

I am perfectly well aware of the sacrifices, in some cases supreme, made by those of my grandfathers' generation (they were born lucky - two world wars).

They'd seen their brothers massacred in WWI. Now, as seasoned officers in WWII, it was their turn.

They did their bit, and their country has honoured them by bringing in Draconian legislation against fags, booze and driving.

Useless Julia Gillard, who manages to be a traitor to two nations simultaneously (and whose visage should feature in the OED's online edition under 'flange'), is unworthy to lick the bits of doggie-do wedged in the crevasses of their boots.

Oh dear, I am afraid that I was carried away by my outpouring of bile.

I should also point out that I've met a great many German ex-servicemen, the vast majority of whom were very nice but more than a little pissed off that they'd lost - not to us, but the Russians.

Their losing Prussia and East Prussia would be equivalent to our losing Scotland and Wales - er

James said...

As I understand it, the idea to embroider a poppy on the kit was the team's/ players' idea, rather than the FA - a voluntary act, surely? Granted, I wasn't a fly on the wall of the changing room to check that all players' hands voted for it when the decision was taken...

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