I haven’t seen a poppy seller yet, but when I do I will be donating and getting one. It is a cause I am happy to support and don’t feel that doing so legitimises recent wars that perhaps we shouldn’t have got into.
Every year the news media get the opportunity to make a fuss over particular organisations and their stance toward the poppy. Sometimes there are good issues why staff might not be allowed the traditional setup with the pin, fast food restaurants for example. On the flip side I can see why the BBC are quite keen for their staff, especially newsreaders to have them on, given the pressure they are under from news outlets on the right that are always happy to try and paint them as subversive.
Other times the issue is more complex, Northern Ireland being one of those places. As I understand it, this years big fuss has been over Poundland, who have now gone back to allowing them at the staff members discretion, which is in my opinion the right thing to do. You can easily see however given the history of the British Army in Ireland and the identification of the poppy with them and the unionist community why the republicans might have a strong opinion on the matter. It is always a matter of concern to companies when something they or their staff may be doing might put people off from spending money with them.
So while I think that companies should keep out of whether their employees should wear a poppy or not, there are often reasons why they think otherwise. I also suspect the the vast number of people on facebook copy and pasting badly typed, horrifically punctuated all-caps status updates have no place in stating what is or isn’t considered a sectarian symbol the other side of the Irish sea.