We have a choice when it comes to poppies. We have rights to freedom of expression because our ancestors campaigned for these rights (not because they were handed down to us by the establishment). We can maintain those rights only if we continue to exercise them, despite the massive social pressure to follow the establishment line. The language of "not political" is only one more aspect of the pressure to conform.
So it's November and the beginning of November has always been synonymous for me with the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal. Normally I am working and the appeal just drifts around me. I buy my poppy and I might watch the Remembrance service from the Royal Albert Hall or the Cenotaph if I'm free.
90% of people killed in war are civilians. But apparently civilians don't count. Remembrance is only for armed forces personnel from the UK and allied states.
The Peace Pledge Union have this year sold more white poppies than any time since 1934. When they bother to consider the reality, people are thinking differently about war.