Don't get me wrong: I'm not knocking the Poppy Appeal itself. Quite the opposite. Despite a brief youthful dalliance with the white poppy crowd, I'm a firm believer in this expression of remembrance for those who served their country in the past, and gratitude to those who are still doing so, particularly in the frontline of the difficult fight against Islamist terror in Afghanistan. It's just that I think extending the period when poppies are worn runs the risk of cheapening the occasion, rather like (if you'll forgive the trivial comparison) those Comic Relief red noses you used to see on cars months after the event.
So let's reclaim this important national ritual from the look-at-how-serious-and-patriotic-I-am brigade and resolve, while donating generously to the appeal, to wear our poppies only in the few days leading up to Remembrance Sunday, thus preserving its sombre uniqueness.