I went to the Remembrance service at the war memorial on Sunday. I was there to accompany my father, who was on active duty in the Korean War.
My problem with the service was how relentlessly Christian it was. How many of us are Christian these days? I suspect not many, though all of us are touched by the effects of war.
I must add that the Rev Rachel Webbley did a good job in broadening her sermon out, referring to “our friends the Muslims” at one point. I think that was a bold statement, possibly inserted to ensure that the meaning of remembrance couldn’t be hijacked by the far right.
There have been attempts. Britain First, a far right hate group with a large presence on Facebook, posted a photograph of two of their members standing either side of a couple of young sea cadets, saying they were “standing watch over poppy sellers to ensure they don’t get any hassle from left wing anarchists and Islamists.”
It was a fabrication. In fact the Britain First members had merely asked to have their photograph taken with the children, who, not knowing who they were, were happy to oblige.
This wasn’t the only made-up thing on Remembrance Day. Another involved Jeremy Corbyn and his supposed lack of respect in not bowing deeply enough in front of the Cenotaph.
I don’t know about you, but I am getting heartily sick of this relentless campaign of vilification against the Labour leader by certain sections of the media.
Unlike some of the figures who flanked him, Mr Corbyn has never put British troops in harms way by fabricating evidence in order to profit from a war that nobody wanted.
It later transpired that, while the other party leaders and ex prime ministers had gone off for a slap-up lunch, Mr Corbyn had stayed behind to watch the veterans march and to speak to some of the participants afterwards.
So much for a lack of respect.
What I think shows a lack of respect is newspapers and other pundits using this solemn occasion to score cheap political points.