This morning, reports are in that a major BBC news-reader has been arrested as part of Operation Opium, an investigation into the wearing of poppies by public figures. Police sources refused to name the newsreader, but say that a 36 year old man is helping them with their enquiries. He is alleged to have removed a poppy from his lapel after the end of a news programme, in contravention of the new laws that poppies must be worn during October and November.
The recent Poppy Remembrance Bill has not been without controversy, as thousands of protesters were arrested and sent to a detention centre in the Isle of Wight, after demonstrating in Trafalgar Square without wearing poppies. Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work and Pensions, defended the £25 Poppy Tax and re-iterated that benefit payments were sufficient to allow the purchase of the compulsory poppies and added that "any benefit scum who do not wear the regulated poppy would be removed from society".
Jolyon ffortescue-Brown, Junior Minister at the Home Office, made a short statement at his club, reminding reporters that "my ancestors sent a great many young men to the front to die for our country. They made these difficult decisions so that we might enjoy these freedoms today. Those who do not wish to wear the poppy in celebration of those freedoms will lose those freedoms. This is a free society, and we cannot allow these nay-sayers to corrupt us any longer."
The Banbury Man, a blogger living in hiding in London, said "the poppy used to be about remembering the sacrifice of those who died for us. Instead of obsessing about who is, or is not wearing the poppy, let us gratefully remember the dead in all the wars of the last hundred years, and do everything we can to ensure those wars will not be repeated".