Tory disrespect stains WWI centenary commemoration

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

This is a new low for the Conservative Party.

Leaders of British political organisations laid wreaths at Glasgow’s cenotaph to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War – but only David Cameron was allowed to write a personal message.

Worse than that, the Conservative Party and its allies then attacked leaders of the other parties – in particular Ed Miliband – for failing to do the same.

Former Tory MP Louise Mensch showed exactly why she deserves to be out of Parliament by tweeting: “Really we need to ask where we are as a society, when politicians are so casual as ‘hand me the wreath’ without asking to write on it.”

And Telegraph blogger Dan Hodges brought his paper into disrepute by tweeting, without checking the facts: “Just seen the wreath. Ed Miliband is becoming a parody of Ed Miliband.”

Asked to explain Mr Miliband’s actions, a Labour spokesman told the BBC that his wreath – with a card stating only “From the Leader of the Opposition” – was handed to him by a representative of organisers the Department of Culture, Media and Sport only seconds before it was laid.

“Ed Miliband was not given the opportunity to write a personal message on the wreath,” he said.

Perhaps an even worse indignity was that into which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was forced. His read “From the Deputy Prime Minister” and a Liberal Democrat source said the gap between Mr Clegg being handed the wreath and laying it had been “a 10-second thing”.

The BBC checked with the manufacturers of the wreaths – Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, and was passed on to Poppy Scotland, whose spokeswoman said: “We were asked to send [the cards] to the DCMS and the wreaths were sent through to Glasgow in advance, but the blank cards to London.”

So what happened, in fact, was that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport – which is run by the Conservative Sajid Javid – decided that the Conservative Prime Minister should be the only person allowed to write a personalised tribute. Every other political leader – including those of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – had to lay wreaths with a laminated description of their job, so they could not even scribble something quickly in the few seconds available to them.

The tell-tale was the fact that all messages other than Cameron’s were written in the same handwriting.

Worse still is the fact that Cameron’s message wasn’t even appropriate. He had written “Your most enduring legacy is our liberty. We must never forget.” Very stirring, but it would be more appropriate to attribute that to those who died in the Second World War, rather than the First.

Also, as Thomas G Clark pointed out adroitly in his Another Angry Voice blog:  “I´m pretty sure that most would agree that the practice of remembrance is a much more tangible and enduring legacy than the general concept of “liberty“, especially given that Cameron and his rotten government have striven relentlessly to undermine “liberty” with grotesque totalitarian and anti-democratic legislation such as the “secret courts” bill, retroactive workfare sanctions, the “Gagging Law” and the “DRIP spooks charter“.”

Worst of all is the fact that the sacrifice of more than a million British lives, and the suffering caused to more than 1.5 million British people who were wounded, some so severely that they suffered the consequences for the rest of their lives, has been overshadowed by a petty squabble engineered by small-minded Tories who wanted to make themselves look better than everyone else.

It was a silly tactic, easily exposed. David Cameron’s only logical move was to apologise for what happened, for the insult to his fellow political leaders and for the upset it has undoubtedly caused to all those who lost loved ones in the war and wanted them commemorated respectfully.

True to form, he showed he had a yellow streak instead. Our gutless Prime Minister had nothing to say.

We should all send him the White Feather.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. A6er August 5, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Great post again Mike
    I would like to reblog it but can’t
    Why won’t a wordpress site offer a wordpress reblog button mate. Seems to be invisible since you moved to different server.

    • Support August 5, 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

      It’s WordPress software but not a WordPress site! I think that’s where the problem lies.

      • A6er August 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

        Ok, thanks for explaining.
        Best wishes

  2. Mr.Angry August 5, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Cameron is a complete bitch nothing more.

  3. wrjones2012 August 5, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    The Tories are devoid of policy,are unable to fight on their record so engage in desperate and pathetic attacks on Ed Miliband.They know they are going to lose badly next year but like drowning men they clutch at straws.

  4. Guy Ropes August 5, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Think on. Maybe it was a subtle admission by Cameron that it was only the Toffs wot caused the carnage. The others had nothing to apologise for.

  5. Jonathan Wilson August 5, 2014 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Some of the comments in the daily hate mail are quite laughable, everything from “he should have brought his own tag” (which no doubt would have then been presented as if he were doing a one-up-manship) or should have written on top of the laminated tag (which would have been presented as looking stupid) luckily the highest rated comments seem to think he was stitched up (and the dm subsiquently re-headlined the article to ask “… or was he stitched up” long after the top comments slagged the dm for using such an event to score politics).

    I think this is going to be quite a dirty war from the c**tservatives, especially with that ausi bloke (whos name escapes me) who “won it” for the cons in Ausi… funny how that’s working out with the gen pop really hating him and all of his policies now he’s in power; just like here with our cockwombling PM.

    • Support August 5, 2014 at 10:59 am - Reply

      I think that Aussie guy’s name is something like ‘Bung’ Crosby?

    • casalealex August 5, 2014 at 11:33 am - Reply

      23rd October 2013 – 12.31pm PMQs –

      “Lynton Crosby’s responsibility is to destroy the Labour party.” Cameron thunders.

      Lynton Crosby, who has declared that his role is to destroy the Labour Party, rather than promote the Conservatives, based on any notion of merit, is all about such a targeted “divide and rule” strategy. This is a right wing tactic of cultivating and manipulating apostasy amongst support for the opposition. It’s a very evident ploy in the media, too, with articles about Labour screaming headlines that don’t match content, and the Sun and Telegraph blatantly lying about Labour’s policy intentions regularly. Propaganda isn’t obvious, and that’s how it works. We need to be mindful of this.

    • Florence August 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      The whole shabby episode is directly from the Crosby book of dirty politics. As Mike said, it’s indicative of how cocooned, opportunistic and self-serving they are that the act of remembrance was reduced to a political opportunity for dung-throwing. As if we needed any MORE examples of the contempt they have for the people of the UK, and their lives and deaths, and those of our ancestors. Then & now we are always just cannon fodder, the herd they live off.

      The entire election strategy outlined by Crosby is to discredit & undermine the Labour party. Mainly because the Tories have nothing new in the form of policies, and really, really don’t want the policies of 2010 held up for scrutiny against what really happened.

      We can expect much more of this. Never be surprised by how low they will go.

  6. Guy Ropes August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    As the most representative British Party in the European Parliament, one would have thought that UKIP might have been invited to add some comments and respect. It was a European war after all. Remind me – who are the Little Englanders? The noble dead will be turning in their trenches to think that they died in order that the odious ruling class can descend to such petty, moronic point scoring.

  7. uncle bulgaria August 5, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Amazon Associates
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    • Mike Sivier August 5, 2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

      I take it that, by publicising what you’re doing, you’re encouraging others to do the same, what you’re saying is you don’t want me to be able to make a living out of this?

  8. aturtle05 August 5, 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

    So the story is, and correct me if I read this wrong, that some little oik in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport decided not to send the cards out to the other wreath layers. Surely, that goes back a step and the organisers of the tribute should be sending said cards to the layers of wreaths that they are inviting?

    In addition, whoever wrote the card for Ed Slimeyband could have taken their time. I have written enough cards for my local CCF to realise these cards are going to be read and a good impression costs nothing but a few seconds longer writing the card.

    • Mike Sivier August 5, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

      The DCMS, as I understand it, WAS the organiser.
      As for whoever wrote the card for Ed taking care about it – just have a think about that. These Tories were trying to make the other political parties look bad. Why would they want to spend any more time on them than absolutely necessary?

  9. John August 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    This was entirely predictable in the run up to next year’s general election and the Daily Mail, handmaiden to all retrograde forces in British society, were more than happy to pile in behind this crude tory propaganda attempt.
    There will be more, much more, of this kind of unpalatable nonsense to come from the tories.
    Whatever else he may be, Cameron is a product of the exclusivist class system in this country and when gaining and keeping power is concerned they will stop at nothing.
    The incessant religionist and militaristic drum beat which is happening at present will continue until well after the next general election if the tories have their way.
    The only redeeming factor is that I expect the great British public will see through all this malarkey and will boot the tory idiots well and truly out of office next year.
    The other possibility is that the tories may just end up alienating their own supporters.
    Warsi’s resignation might just be a sign of them unravelling before our eyes.
    Let us all hope so!

  10. jaypot2012 August 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    How very, very childish of the tories, again! All they’ve done is show themselves up as the proof is in all of the other wreaths laid by other political parties.
    It’s just shown DC up as a d!ckhead once again :D

  11. Stephen Paul Tamblin August 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Camoron didn’t even care the ordinary people in gaza were bombed to death by Israel 18 hundred he is afraid of Israel he is a f***’n coward

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