Poppy Fascism

Jon Snow has responded to complaints that he's not wearing a Poppy on air

He said: "I am begged to wear an Aids ribbon, a breast cancer ribbon, a Marie Curie flower... You name it, from the Red Cross to the RNIB, they send me stuff to wear to raise awareness, and I don't.

"And in those terms, and those terms alone, I do not and will not wear a poppy.

"Additionally there is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there - 'He damned well must wear a poppy!'.

"Well I do, in my private life, but I am not going to wear it or any other symbol on air."

Good for him. He's taken a principled decision that as a newsreader he should be as neutral as he can in his presentation of the news, and that he will avoid symbology, even that which he agrees with.

For me, I find myself starting to resent the (apparent) earlier and earlier march of the poppy. This resentment surprises me, as generally I'm supportive of the aims of the poppy appeal. Remembrance day is today but every year the poppies seem to bloom earlier and earlier, it seems there's a march to become the first to don a poppy, especially on television. This cheapens the symbol, and, like Christmas decorations in October, reduces the impact of the event itself - it becomes familiar - 'background noise'.

I bought a poppy some days ago and I will be wearing a poppy today and until sunday, but I didn't wear one yesterday, and I won't be wearing one on monday.

Jon Snow, Lindsay Taylor and Sarah Smith write on the topic.