Choose your charity carefully

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Remembrance Day is coming up and the poppy hawkers are out already.  Normally I would buy a poppy almost as soon as they went on sale but this year I won’t be buying one, not because I don’t think they collect for a good cause but because of an objection to the way they treat England.

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal merged with Poppyscotland this year in a deal which will see “substantial additional investment” in Poppyscotland paid out of money donated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to the Poppy Appeal while “the Poppyscotland brand will continue unchanged and the Scottish Poppy and Scottish Poppy Appeal will remain in place, with funds raised from the campaign being used exclusively to support the Armed Forces and veterans’ community in Scotland“.

The British Legion are certainly not the only culprits where this sort of thing is concerned though.  Age Concern and Help the Aged also merged this year to become Age Scotland, Age Cymru, Age NI and Age UK.  Not Age England, Age UK.

I know there are lots of organisations that do this (eg. the British Medical Association, the FA, the RFU) so I had a look at some of the bigger, well known charities to see how they organise themselves and here’s what I found:

Amnesty  International organises itself as Amnesty International Scotland, Amnesty International Wales, Amnesty International NI and Amnesty International.  The British Heart Foundation is BHF Scotland the BHF.  Christian Aid is Christian Aid Scotland, Christian Aid Wales and Christian Aid.  There is a Citizens Advice Scotland and plain old Citizens Advice.  There is a MIND Cymru and just MIND that only operates in England.  There is a National Trust Scotland and the National Trust.  Oxfam has an Oxfam Scotland, Oxfam Wales and plain old Oxfam.  The YMCA is organised as YMCA Scotland, YMCA Wales, YMCA NI and the YMCA.

This poses a bit of a dilemma.  Charities (genuine charities, not taxpayer-funded lobbyists) perform a very important function, providing services that would otherwise be out of reach of vulnerable people and financially supporting those in need.  But there’s an important matter of principle at stake here – the deliberate and insulting ignorance of England.  I mean, in what alternative reality is it acceptable for the Poppy Appeal to merge with Poppyscotland, give them a share of the money they collect in England and allow Poppyscotland to keep all the money they collect in Scotland?

I won’t be buying a poppy this year – I’ll make a donation to Help for Heroes instead if I see one of their collectors out and about.  I won’t be donating to any of the charities named above either if I see their collectors (although I wouldn’t have donated to the religious ones anyway).  It might seem harsh but if charities want English money then they should stop insulting English people.


  1. Stephen Gash (2 comments) says:

    I agree entirely and I won’t be buying a poppy either. I’m fed up with this onslaught against England and the English. The Scot, Liam Fox, Minister of Defence for the UK, abolished the English regiment the Coldstream Guards because it had the English flag on its cap badge.

    If the Poppy Appeal cannot be bothered with England and insults English soldiers in such a disrepectful, indeed callous manner, I too will look for other alternatives.

    The more this blatant British Anglophobia grows the more I detest the Union.

  2. Andi (82 comments) says:

    I didn’t realise that these charities were organised in this way, and I’m very surprised (and more than a touch disappointed) in Poppy Appeal for this. This will be the first year that I don’t wear a poppy.

  3. Geoff, England (22 comments) says:

    I wonder if the Legion’s taking orders from that lowlife Fox? By the way, isn’t it time Fox tried to get himself a job in his native country, instead of carpetbagging in England?

    Re: your last sentence, Wonko. I don’t think it harsh that you withhold your money from charities that treat English people as unimportant. I’ve made my last contribution to the Legion.

    Why anybody, but especially English people, would want to serve in HM Forces is beyond me. The British state isn’t worth a damn, never mind the chance you might lose your life for it.

  4. Wendreda (1 comments) says:

    I won’t be buying a poppy either and I used to be a volunteer organiser! I shall be putting the relevant excerpt from Wonko’s piece in my window to allow any of my fellow villagers from being rebuffed.

    I shall also make a donation to Help for Heroes.

    While I support wonko’s reference to religious charities he should know that unlike religious charities of other faiths, which only support their own, Christian Aid supports those of any religion and none, often to the disadvantage of Christians once it gets into the hands of local majority non-Christians.

  5. Geoff, England (22 comments) says:

    How closely is Help for Heroes linked to the establishment? The Legion’s patron is HM the Queen, so its establishment links couldn’t be clearer. Does HfH help according to need, rather than nationality or location within the ‘Union’?

  6. David B. Wildgoose (25 comments) says:

    I queried our local British Legion about just this point, (at a local Festival last August). One of the helpers present confirmed that this was also his understanding and that he was pretty disgusted by it.

    For the first time that I can remember, I won’t be buying a poppy. I will donate to Help for Heroes instead.

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