I NEARLY choked on my porridge when I read Peter Martine’s preposterous letter (November 6). I don’t know if Mr Martine has been to war, but I have and it’s not nice, even when stationed (as I was) in a headquarters far from the front line. Very few who have been in armed conflict are overly keen to repeat the experience, and it’s no surprise that so many ex-service men and women are pacifists.

We wear the poppy not to glorify war but to remember those who lost their lives, whether it be in the First World War or in more recent conflicts which may well be, as Mr Martine so eloquently puts it, “the result of political adventurism of dubious legality”. But that’s not the point; it’s about those who died.

We live in a liberal democracy where we, the electorate, determine when and where our armed forces are deployed via the mechanism of Parliament. It’s of no consequence whether you voted for the party in power or not, the Government of the day represents us, and to parrot “not in my name” is pathetic and a waste of breath. If you don’t like it vote the beggars out.

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The poppy is but a small recognition of the sacrifice of those whom we, the people of Britain, elected to put in harm’s way. To say it legitimises the use of armed force is arrant nonsense.

Lt Col Stuart Crawford,

19 Hailes Green, Haddington.