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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Open Letter to Mark Hateley by Colin Paterson

Written by a friend of mine (Colin Paterson)

Open letter to Mark Hateley

Mark, I have listened to and read many accounts of those who fought in WW1, the vast majority - and perhaps like your Grandfathers - were conscripted, not volunteers
They speak of people who were too scared to follow orders being shot in the head by their commanding officer. They did not regard themselves as being hero's. The choice was simple, do as I say and there is a good chance you will die. Don't do as I say and there is a 100% chance you will die.

Many said that choosing the former option did not make you a hero, it was playing the odds. None of those involved in the Great war and WW2 wanted to be there, true there were some with a romanticised notion of defeating "Der Hun" sic. However that notion was soon driven from them as the first howitzer fired overhead.
The point I am making is don't use your grandfathers as pawns in this debate, it belittles what they were forced to do. Do you think that compared to what they endured in those times football teams wearing a poppy decades in the future is remotely relevant?

The British football clubs and national teams went 70 years without wearing a poppy on their strips. To my knowledge the nation has not endured a collective bout of amnesia regarding the World Wars.

The whole enforcement of poppy wearing by media institutions and sporting institutions of recent years has done more to harm remembrance Sunday than those who have chosen not to wear it ever will.

Jon Snow coined the phrase "poppy fascism" an intillectual man I am sure his words were chosen with great care.

To belittle a group of people either Scotland or Celtic fans as mindless bigots for not wanting to wear a poppy is unfortunate. We are supposed to live in a nation of tolerance and respect. Respect of each others opinions.

I doubt you have ever attempted to scratch the surface of why some Celtic fans refuse to wear the poppy, or why some Muslims find it offensive.

Britains armed forces committed unspeakable attrocities the world over. None more so than in post World War 1 Ireland, some of the very same soldiers who fought for liberty in the Somme engaged in state organised violence and murder against Irish civilians, yes they got some Fenians too but the net was cast far and wide. The Black and Tans were notorious Mark.

Some of those who refuse to wear the poppy at Celtic Park would have had Grandfathers and Grandmothers just like you, but who suffered terribly at the hands of British troops. I will not ask you to dishonour your Grandfathers by not wearing the poppy. Please do not use a national newspaper to ask others to dishonour their Grandparents by wearing it.

Colin Paterson

1 comment:

shaunbhoy said...

I think we should show some support to a lad that was sacked by ranger’s fc this week, Jamie McGinness was sent home from the club’s training ground when pictures of him beside a mural at the garden of remembrance in ireland appeared on his profile page
Steven Smith of the Rangers Supporters’ Trust told the Record: “I have seen the pictures and find them abhorrent. It raises questions about how someone who follows that kind of terrorist agenda can work for Rangers
The silly Billy’s every year bring up the poppy and demand all Celtic fans should where the poppy to respect the war dead but obviously the rangers fans and rangers fc have no respect for Irelands fallen
I take it then that the queen has bn band from ibrox as she visited the very same garden of remembrance live on TV