POPPIES: Remember and work for peace
Like many people I will be wearing a white poppy from the Peace Pledge Union on Remembrance Sunday. So why would I wear a white poppy?
The white poppy represents remembrance of all victims of all wars — armed forces and civilians alike, of all nationalities.
It is an expression of grief at the massive loss of life caused worldwide by war; both during war and for decades after wars officially end.
Some people like to wear the white poppy on its own, but I will wear both the red poppy and the white poppy together.
I do want to honour those who gave their lives for our country. Several members of my family were in the military. My brother was in the Army, serving in Ireland and the Falklands War; my stepfather flew over 50 missions in Lancaster Bombers with nine and 81 Squadrons, and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar.
I witnessed the damaging after-effects on their lives because of their involvement in war.
The Invictus Games competitors leave us in no doubt of the damage and injuries suffered by military personnel.
In my opinion, it is time to challenge militarism and to work for peace in our world.
The Green Party is committed to working for peace. Our policies include tackling the underlying causes of war, such as inequality and competition over resources, as well as exploring different forms of conflict resolution.
The Green Party wants to build a culture of peace.
Wansbeck Green Party have sent for white poppies to distribute in this area. I am proud to belong to a political party that works towards ending militarism.
I am ashamed that our country sells arms to Saudi Arabia to support a present-day war that is killing millions of civilians in Yemen. I am ashamed that we spend billions on Trident when the NHS struggles and people in our country have to use food banks.
I will be proud to be stand up and wear a white poppy, but also to remember those who gave their lives for our country on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.