Jo Swinson’s statement for Remembrance Sunday

Here is Jo Swinson’s statement for Remembrance Sunday

Today we remember all those who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom. We also give our heartfelt thanks to those members of our armed forces, to veterans and their families, for all they do and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe.

We know it is so hard for people to be away from their loved ones and we owe them a debt of gratitude. We should also pause to reflect and remember today how fragile peace can be and how important it is that we all continue to stand up alongside our allies to preserve it.

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  • Richard Underhill. 10th Nov '19 - 10:03am

    “remember today how fragile peace can be”
    The ‘Good Friday’ Belfast Agreement has produced a peace dividend, which must be defended in all of our interests.

  • Jonathan Hunt 10th Nov '19 - 12:14pm

    Pleased to see Caroline Lucas wearing both her red and white (for peace) on the Marr show this morning. She must have argued hard for the BBC to allow her to do so. I like to wear both; one for those who lost their lives, including close family members who I never met as a result.
    Remembrance is excellent, but we still need to show the need to battle for peace. That is what opposing Brexit is partly about.

  • John Marriott 10th Nov '19 - 2:01pm

    I noticed that Green Co Leader, Jonathon Bartley, was wearing just a white poppy the other day – a big mistake if he really wants us to take him seriously.

    As Edwin Starr famously sang; “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” That said, there are still some occasions, as in 1939 and, dare I say, in 1982, when it might have been in the end the only way out of a mess that might have been avoided, if we had been more on the ball.

  • Mick Taylor 10th Nov '19 - 2:12pm

    As a quaker and a pacifist, I can never wear the red poppy. The white poppy symbolises our respect for the sacrifice made by soldiers during wartime, but says clearly our abhorrence of war.
    Why then do wars happen? May I gently suggest that they largely occur because of the machismo of the leaders involved, for whom backing down or compromising is simply not on the agenda. Very rarely are wars fought on any real principles.
    The truth is that war occurs in the gap between the start of a disagreement between two or more countries and the peace conference. Make no mistake about it, all wars eventually are settled not by the fighting, but around the table at the peace conference.
    The pacifist argument is that countries should move straight to the Peace Conference and miss out the war.
    Soldiers are killed because Governments prefer to demonstrate their cojones rather than settle a dispute peaceably. Of course, that’s what the UN was supposed to be about.
    There should be no shame or consequence at all in wearing a white poppy and I’m sorry that John Marriott thinks there is. What was that about not being enslaved by…conformity?

  • Mick Taylor 10th Nov '19 - 2:15pm

    When I appeared on the Sunday politics some years ago to talk about councillors not resigning after conviction, it was Remembrance Sunday. No-one raised an eyebrow that I sported a white poppy.

  • I’m with Mick on this one. I was appalled when attention seeking Tory MP Johnny Military called white poppies “attention seeking rubbish” and urged people to “ignore
    them ” ….. and the attitude of the BBC is also somewhat curious when ‘celebrities’ rehearsing in training for ‘Strictly’ have to wear poppies on their training vests.

    Quite rightly, a group of veterans are now calling on a Conservative minister to apologise after he called white poppies “attention seeking rubbish” and urged people to “ignore” those who wear them. (The Independent, 9/11/2019).

  • Oh, dear. Just noticed….. should have been Johnny Mercer.

  • Richard Underhill. 11th Nov '19 - 10:04am

    The televised service in the Albert Hall provided attempted to provide recognition of all who fought. For instance David Dimbleby said that in World War One one and a half million soldiers from India served and two and a half million from in World War Two.
    In the Prime Minister’s memoirs there are several copies of letters requesting that they be deployed in Egypt and neighbouring countries, so that Australian and British soldiers could be deployed elsewhere (before El Alamein and before the Japanese invasion of India). [Their Finest Hour, Reprint Society].
    There was recognition of people of all religions and of no religion. Locally the services have not been like that.
    On Sunday the Queen watched from a balcony with a tear in her right eye. Prince Charles laid a wreath on her behalf.
    In a previous year my wife had been doing escort duty (with David Steel and Ted Heath). I watched the entire event until a large fleet of motorised wheel-chairs, which I did not see (on tv) this year.
    As well as remembering the dead, we should also care for the living.
    The news reported that one man was letting off fireworks during the silence until removed by the police for his own protection. Perhaps attitudes are changing.

  • Richard Underhill. 11th Nov '19 - 10:17am

    Mick Taylor 10th Nov ’19 – 2:12pm
    The Chief of the Defence Staff was interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1). He said that wars can happen by accident, partially caused by incomplete information, so that there is a current risk.
    Nowadays widows are represented at the Cenotaph. More recently orphans.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Nov '19 - 7:00pm

    Richard Underhill. You may be right but it doesn’t invalidate my point. If leaders showed more concern about peace and less about their own status/machismo, wars could be averted and a settlement of grievances, real or imagined, could be settled by diplomacy, not killing.

  • Nonconformistradical 11th Nov '19 - 7:37pm

    @Mick Taylor @7pm


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