Pensioner’s red poppy protest

A PENSIONER who lived through the Blitz and had family die during World War II refuses to wear a red poppy to remember the war dead during November.

Pete Perry, of Elm Walk in Stevenage, instead wears a white poppy, which promotes peace, but says he is disappointed by people’s reaction to his stance.

“When I wear mine, I often get scornful looks from people, especially the older generation,” he said.

“As far as I am concerned, however, and as someone who lived through the Blitz in London, I wear my white poppy with pride, as it signifies our wish for world peace, and what better cause could there be?

“I have got an issue with the people wearing red poppies, and especially the people selling them, looking at me with disdain. If I respect their views they should respect mine.”

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He continued: “No, we shouldn’t forget our war dead. I have lost family but, for me, war is a criminal thing.

“We had to defeat Hitler and we have to defend ourselves, but war since then - Iraq and Afghanistan - is completely different. It’s not for the right reasons anymore. That honour is gone. It’s all about the oil.”

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Mr Perry is also concerned that “bling poppies” have commercialised The Poppy Appeal.

“I have nothing against the red poppy, because people get things for what they believe in, but the bling poppies, only 10 per cent goes to the war veterans and the rest is for profit, so it’s becoming very commercial,” he said.

“The whole thing is losing its way. It’s become greed.”

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