Dear Editor, Coun Osborn’s letter (Post November 18) has me baffled for a number of reasons. (Second World War was about self-defence – not a fight for freedom)

My first reason is revealed in your headline, as it seems obvious that freedom can sometimes only be achieved or retained by defending yourself.

Coun Osborn was writing to you to comment about an article by Dr Chris Upton in your issue of November 11 (Poppy display not obligatory) in which he had expressed his concern that some people appeared to be obliged to wear a poppy by their employers.

He cited the BBC, whose, presenters all seemed to be obliged to wear a poppy. This blanket imposition disturbed him, as he thought it should be a matter of personal choice – people should be free to make the decision for themselves.

The worst aspect of Coun Osborn’s letter was his statement that Dr Upton refused to wear a poppy. Dr Upton had done no such thing, and to suggest otherwise seems positively libellous. He is a respected historian and a senior lecturer in history at a University College here in Birmingham. The councillor should be a little more careful.

Stanley A Holland