Why do the Left detest our armed forces?

Influential sections of the Left hate our country and hate the armed forces that protect us. Their shameful ignorance and their hateful agenda has yet again reared its ugly head over the spectacular memorial in London to those who gave their lives for our freedom

A glorious memorial
Steven George-Hilley
On 1 November 2014 12:13

The magnificent poppy tribute at the Tower of London is as remarkable as it is chilling, a fitting tribute to commemorate those who gave their lives defending Britain in the First World War. The 888,246 ceramic poppies filling Tower's moat are a reminder not only of the huge human cost in this terrible conflict, but also of the blood spilt in defence of the freedoms we enjoy today.

Already, many millions of people from Britain and around the world have flocked to pay their respects at this stunningly impressive memorial, which has given us all an insight into the sacrifices made by our forefathers, reminding us never to forget their memory.

For many Britons, as we approach Armistice Day, we all enter a period of quiet reflection, symbolised by wearing a poppy as a mark of respect. Having volunteered several times to support the Royal British Legion selling poppies at tube stations around London, I have seen first-hand the generosity people show towards this noble cause.

It isn’t simply the large amounts of money people are willing to give, it’s the enthusiasm they show when they offer it. This experience alone should tell you how strongly the public feel about those who paid the ultimate price, underlining why this time of year is so important to our national identity, history and future.

So it was with great sadness that I learned that The Guardian’s ‘art critic’ Jonathan Jones had used his recent column to brand this much-loved memorial as ‘toothless,’ and ‘inward looking’, calling for the ceramic poppies to be replaced with bones and branding it a ‘UKIP-style’ memorial.

Jones’s article was the journalistic equivalent of urinating on the Cenotaph, deliberately politicising a memorial in the most hurtful way possible and showing a complete lack of understanding of the pain suffered by the families of lost servicemen and women. It was as ignorant as it was offensive, the type of content which only a left-winger, with a complete lack of understanding of human feelings and an assumption of superiority could produce.

One suspects that a certain amount of snobbery led him to issue such crass comments, designed to undermine the many millions of ‘commoners’ who had expressed their delight at the memorial. The sneering tone of the article suggests that the author considers himself a superior intellect, tasked with informing the public that the iconic display they are so proud of isn’t really art at all.

But then again, perhaps this is just another example of a left-wing commentator who confuses commemoration of Briton’s war heroes with glorification of war. Quite how anyone could make this mistake is a complete mystery, and adds further suspicion to the notion that these disrespectful comments were the result of a need to issue a put-down to the masses with the argument of legitimate art criticism used as a smokescreen.

Last year, when my family attended the annual service at the Centopath in memory of a friend who died in Afghanistan at the age of just 23, we were confronted by a left-wing protestor waving a cardboard sign and shouting at us. The misspelt anti-war message on his handmade placard was as out of touch with reality as it was offensive to the spirit of the ceremony.

Many people were shocked; one even burst into tears.

This incident reminded me that the left will always see the armed forces as a symbol of the glorification of war, regardless of reality. They cannot comprehend that these men and women put their lives at risk for our safety and security because they love our country. The selflessness and sacrifice of our military personnel stands in stark contrast to the egotistical and selfish world of men like The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones. (His article has won massive approval from the readers with well over 12,000 shares on social media.)

So, no matter how cruelly the left mock our armed forces, we must continue to support them in every way we can and protect everything that symbolises their memory.

One day, the likes of Jonathan Jones may realise that their hurtful and insulting comments can only be made because of the freedoms secured by the sacrifices of our soldiers: something perfectly understood by the many millions of people who continue to visit the Tower of London poppy memorial and hold the memory of our heroes dear.

Steven George-Hilley is a director at the Parliament Street think tank and a Conservative Party activist. He is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator and tweets @StevenGeorgia

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