The problem with blogging for a number of years is - just as it is in the real world - of repeating your rants. The same shit riles me repeatedly - and often at the same time of year. So look back over the years and most Novembers you will find a post about Remembrance.
The centenary of the Great War this year - and the cynical might also add - the on-going military involvement of the Western powers, has given a boast to the increasingly flag-waving and misappropriation of history that now passes for Remembrance. And filling the moat at the Tower of London with individual ceramic poppies to commemorate each British and Commonwealth soldier killed in WW1 is possibly the most spectacular expression of this.
A misappropriation of history with a multiculturalism that may suit the militarist liberalism that is Blair's legacy but which is deeply flawed: In 1914-18 there was no 'Commonwealth' - only an Empire; the same British Empire that was still to approach its zenith in the 1930s.
I doubt many members of the Chinese Labour Corps - not trusted to carry weapons but used for heavy manual labour - were motivated by a sense of fellowship with a community of nations defending democracy from Teutonic autocracy.
In Ireland and India where men volunteered in droves - many did so on the basis that supporting the Mother country was a prerequisite for being granting nationhood. Their optimistic trust was to be betrayed by the British at Croke Park and Amritsar.
Even in Canada, Australia and New Zealand where their status as white settler states had secured the privilege of being Dominions rather than colonies, men volunteered in their droves to prove a point and secure nationhood. At the price of the slaughter at Vimy Ridge and Gallipoli.
It is no accident that this rewriting of History is happening at a time when the West is again trying to build a consensus - if not an actual coalition - in defence of 'civilised values'. The Great War was many things but it was not a voluntary crusade - it was a war of conscripted masses and subject nations - whose sacrifice was nothing more than a tragic waste.
Stick that on your memorials - and maybe then I will wear a poppy.