UK Dopers. No poppy=big news?

Can someone please explain this?

I don’t understand why this is news.

Probably because it’s odd. Most news broadcasters do wear them; it’s the kind of thing they’d get a small number of complaints about, and that journalists with nothing better to do would then spin. The BBC is usually fairly sensitive due to regular complaints about it being publically funded.

Okay, sorry then…but what’s a ‘poppy’?

Photog: In the US, Canada, and the UK, people traditionally wear small red flowers of the genus Papaver on their lapels, or little paper imitations of said flowers, during Remembrance Day (UK and Canada)/Veteran’s Day (US) as a memorial to those who served and died in the armed forces of their country. It’s a reference to the poem In Flanders Fields:

Nearly every adult in Canada wears a poppy around Remembrance Day:

I attended my local centotaph yesterday, and it was packed with people, from kiddies to veterans in their 80s, all silent for the “Last Post” at 11 a.m. Very moving.

I don’t understand why this is news.

Because poppy-wearing is an Issue in British media. There’s more on this story at the Guardian Media section. BBC presenters are obliged to wear poppies from November 2 to 11, and as Crusoe said, there are complaints and accusations of irreverence if they don’t. A couple of years ago, there was a big media furore about BBC World (its international channel) having a policy that its presenters didn’t wear them. I can’t remember the name, but a while back someone got even worse complaints for wearing on a BBC programme the Peace Pledge Union white poppy, which aims to divorce remembrance from the nationalism and pro-militarism that some people see as intrinsic to the red poppy commemorations.

Actually, what’d struck me about why the story is meant to be news was not the expectation of normality about Ross being expected to have a poppy and the offence of his oversight; it was the use of digital SFX for such an essentially incidental use.
The BBC could have easily got away with doing this without any publicity whatsoever. Indeed, I’d hardly expect much overlap between the audience of Film 2003 and anyone likely to complain about Jonathan Ross not wearing a poppy. Futhermore, note how the BBC’s version of the story is careful to emphasis that he intended to wear one.
What is the story is that they were prepared to sanction such intervention over something that nobody was likely to notice. Precisely because the touch was relatively minor and (presumably) seamless. Only by running a news story about it would anybody realise at all.

Given the relationship between battlefield injuries and opiate addiction subsequent to our 20th century wars, and the relationship between poppies and opium, I’m astonished that the poppy would have been selected as the appropriate symbol. I mean, I suppose it is appropriate in a sad wry way, but that’s not the kind of sentiment one expects from the folks who tend to be most supportive of commemorative holidays and events of this nature.