Poppy conflict

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JOHN Stuart Mill once wrote: “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest thing; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse.”

These words come to my mind when I see fellow ­clerics sanctimoniously wearing white poppies and turning the nation’s symbol for selfless sacrifice into a political pawn.

Wearing a poppy is not a comment on military intervention, and the men sent out by our government do not bear responsibility for such decisions but do bear the consequences.

The ratio of injured to dead is around 15 to one so with 445 soldiers killed in Afghanistan, some 7,000 soldiers have been wounded – many hideously mutilated and maimed for life.

My soldier son returned recently from that benighted country and if you want bitter realism about the futility of New Labour’s silly wars you should talk to a serviceman.

But the fact is we elected Tony Blair as we elected that incompetent pair Herbert Henry Asquith and Sir Edward Grey who tumbled us into the First World War and the poppy recalls sacrifice not political idiocy.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews, Fife