The White Poppy Exposed: Nothing More Than Greedy Political Opportunism From the Left
There has been much debate in recent years about what poppy is appropriate to wear – the red one or the white one? Of course, the traditional red poppy of remembrance is winning by a long mile, but the white poppy of pacifism has been slowly catching up. But what does the white poppy represent, and does it contribute as much to society as the red poppy?
Who organises the white poppy appeal?
Unlike the red poppy, the white poppy is not sold in return for donations to a politically neutral charity. Instead, it is sold to raise funds for the “Peace Pledge Union” (PPU), a political campaign group which advocates pacifism. The group quite openly admits that all profits from selling their poppies go towards funding their work towards a “climate of peace”, which their office has confirmed again to Kipper Central. However, it is what they mean by a “climate of peace” which is most disturbing. While in theory this sounds nice, what it means in practice is that they advocate and campaign for pacifism using the funds raised by selling their white poppies.
What does the White Poppy represent?
The PPU claims:
There are three elements to the meaning of white poppies: they represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war.
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It is the latter two of these elements which cause the problems for me. A “commitment to peace” sounds nice in theory but what it means, in reality, is that the White Poppy is a symbol of pacifism (since that is what the PPU represents and campaigns for), e.g. opposing defending the Falklands and all other forms of national defence. While I wholeheartedly support people’s right to campaign against wars like these, there is a time and a place for doing so. Remembrance Sunday is not the time and Remembrance parade is not the place. It would be utterly wrong for me to create a purple poppy which had the stated meaning of advocating defending Gibraltar, and using all profits raised to fund a political organisation which campaigns for this. So why, I ask, is it acceptable for the reverse?
The third point again is a disgrace because it is yet another political opinion. It is the belief of some (often soldiers) that certain wars should be celebrated – like defending the Falklands and intervening in WW2 to stop the National Socialist Party (commonly referred to as the Nazis). Would White Poppy-wearers really argue these wars were wrong? Either way – that is not the point. The point is that making political points about the morals of war and whether or not it should be celebrated is not acceptable on Remembrance Day.
Where do the profits from selling White Poppies go?
We’ve already established that they go towards funding the PPU’s “work for a culture of peace”, but what does this exactly mean? As one might expect, there is more than meets the eye.
On their website, there is a very small link to a page which explains that
“Money raised over and above the cost of producing, publicising and distributing the poppies goes to fund our education and campaigning work, thus promoting nonviolent approaches to conflict and challenging militarism. Such work regrettably does not attract much funding and so we rely heavily on the generosity of people like you.”
There are a few interesting mind games with which they attempt to fool us within this quote. Firstly, they start the sentence by pointing out all of the costs which they must adorn in order to produce the poppies, implying that this is a significant amount. Of course, the cost of producing and distributing items – which cost a mere few pence to produce – and then selling them on for £1 each is absolutely minuscule.
Secondly, they use the word “education”, implying that they are helping to teach people about Remembrance Day. In fact, they are doing no such thing. They are actually spreading pacifist propaganda in the name of education and making many claims that are not only unsubstantiated but extremely disrespectful.
Thirdly, they implicitly admit that much of their finance comes from the White Poppy sales where they say that their work “regrettably does not attract much funding and so we rely heavily on the generosity of people like you”, by which they mean that they are not able to sort out their own finances like most political campaigns but instead they rely on fooling people into wearing a political symbol on Remembrance Day to make money.
Kipper Central wrote to the PPU to get full details of what the money is spent on, and we were told:
Most of the money raised by the PPU through the sale of white poppies goes towards the production, distribution and promotion of white poppies. We do not sell them for the sake of fundraising but to promote the message of remembrance and peace. Money raised over and above this goes towards our education and campaigning work. This may include, for example, our educational resources that help young people to explore issues around conflict and violence. It may also help to fund our campaigns against militarism and for active nonviolence.
This is slightly more helpful than their website, as it does quantify the claims to some extent by saying “most”, though again this is a very ambiguous term. It could still mean that 40% of profits go towards propaganda and political campaigning.
They went on to clarify that they only have 6 employees, each of whom earns no more than £30,600 per year. This, in all fairness, is not an unreasonable salary and therefore I have no accusations of personal financial greed on the part of any individuals involved.
However, they did say something which I found very interesting regarding funding. The annual turnover for the organisation is around £150,000 per year, and they claim on their website that they sell around 100,000 White Poppies each year. Now I’m not a Maths Professor, but by my calculations, that means that two-thirds of their annual turnover come from the sales of White Poppies, which are supposedly non-political. If they are non-political, why do they represent and fund two-thirds of a political movement?
What does their “education” consist of?
They use the funds from White Poppies to fund their “education” program, which aims to put the following into the school curriculum:
- They imply that “lest we forget” is a “message of support” from those who want war to financially benefit.
- They claim that “No cause, not even a defensive one in which possessions, territory or life are threatened, can ever justify fighting and killing.”, therefore that every war in history was wrong.
- They argue that children should not be encouraged to join the army
- Children’s stories which contain political points should be taught at school. They promote one particular story in which a big frog (presumably representing Bush/Blair) tries to invade a pond and is stopped by 2 newts (presumably representing Iraq), who are very kind to him and give me good in an attempt to win him over. Of course, what the story fails to point out is that the two newts try to kill the big frog and make a public campaign of it.
These are just a handful of the hundreds of political opinions which this disgraceful group want to see taught to our kids. I’d say this not education but indoctrination. And this is all funded by White Poppy Sales.
Why do people wear a white poppy?
This is a question which was what first got me gripped on researching White Poppies. I have always had my suspicions but I decided I would be open-minded and do a little research into what they represented, then commented my thoughts on a friend’s status on Facebook where he’d shared the PPU’s video promoting White Poppies. I was asking the question about what the money went to and why it was appropriate to make a political point of Remembrance Day.
However, I was met with a barrage of comments from Labour members who seemed to think that Remembrance Day is not only an acceptable day to be making the political argument for pacifism, but that by not doing so you are disrespecting the fallen soldiers. Of course, once I started making valid points, they became very abusive and bigoted, as has become the norm for many on the left.
As you can see, it would appear that many poppy-wearers are unashamed of making Remembrance Day political, and proceed to abuse those who disagree. As you can also see, none of them would address the funding issue which I repeatedly brought up.
Sadly, this is the case among many White Poppy wearers, though of course many will be wearing them out of confusion over what they represent.
What can you do?
Of course, very little can be done at this late stage but I would urge you to write to your local council/authority to request that the laying of white poppy wreaths be banned on Remembrance Day, as would a wreath bearing any other political symbol (other than the party logos which each lie in the middle of one wreath donated by that party).
You can also confront those who disrespect Remembrance Day on the day, by speaking to them after the ceremony (of course, in a respectful and non-distruptive manor) and tell them the truth about White Poppies and perhaps even refer them to this article.
And finally, make sure to share this article so that everyone on your social media is aware of the dark aims of the White Poppy!