RAF veteran: ‘We don’t deserve this’
WAR hero poppy sellers are suffering worsening levels of abuse.
Sellers have had doors slammed in their faces and been sworn at for not selling white poppies.
Now the former soldiers claim “people are too easily offended”, and show a lack of respect to our troops.
RAF veteran Charlie Thomson said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been scoffed at and had the door slammed in my face.
“My colleague had been sworn at and told to go away and heard them mutter about the white poppy before the door was slammed. I don’t know if it’s a generational change but I wasn’t expecting it and didn’t deserve it.”
The 45-year-old claimed “society has changed”, and revealed the worst reactions to sellers in Canterbury, Kent, had come from younger people.
Mr Thomson said: “I have had people say ‘no’ or tell me they haven’t any change, which is a nice way of saying they don’t want one – that’s fine.
“You can’t cast aspersions on a whole generation but the younger generation are a bit disgruntled and there’s a tendency to move towards anti-establishment and a left-of-centre view of the world.
“I had a chat with someone who is reasonably left wing and she is of the mindset that the poppy is the glorification of war. It’s not about that, it’s far from it.”
The white poppy, a symbol of peace, is not sold by the Royal British Legion.
Mr Thomson served with the RAF for 12 years, including in Afghanistan, and is now a volunteer selling poppies in Chartham, Kent.
He added: “The Poppy Appeal helps the widows, the children who have lost a mother, a father – that’s what it’s for.”
®RESPECT: Thousands of flames, main picture, illuminate the moat at the Tower of London, and, clockwise from left, giant poppy at Old Trafford, soldier on Tower Bridge, a kiss for a war hero in Edinburgh, projection at Salisbury Cathedral, remembrance field in Wootton Bassett
®TRYING TO HELP: Volunteer poppy sellers Steve Pryce, Charlie Thomson and Stuart Mears