Poppy appeal bosses were today locked in behind-closed-door meetings, rumoured to be planning their most contrived, yet undeniably righteous, guilt-trip publicity stunt ever, say sources, as the public mood swings ever toward support for our heroes.
Details remain unconfirmed, but it is thought that the stunt will centre around a tabloid campaign to make public figures wear full-face rubber poppy masks for the duration of Armistice Day, November 11th or risk being denounced as unpatriotic, pro-terrorist cowards.
A Poppy-Masks-for-our-Heroes spokesman said that "sincere support and fund raising are now secondary to our ability to bully people into ideological purity. What counts is affirming out position as the premium charity brand in a crowded market space".
Unsuccessful attempts to harry FIFA into accepting a last minute change to the England soccer strip has only redoubled the Poppy cult's ambitions to portray anyone who seeks to deploy their charity spend elsewhere as an insidious traitor and siding with Osama Bin Laden.
Former 'Going For Gold' host Henry Kelly confided that if he doesn't wear the rubber mask that day - when he's due to open a Lidl in Chessington, Surrey, he worries that he may become a pariah on the supermarket circuit, despite all the good work he does for lost dogs and lepers.
Martin Blake, a shame equity consultant, whispered "The Poppy Appeal has a unique power to command a 'with us or against us' market position in a way that Cancer Research or Dr Barnardos just doesn't. Nobody assumes that someone without a pink ribbon is in favour of breast cancer, yet we have managed to convince almost every echelon of society that a poppyless man is a soldier-hating bastard cunt, and that's the kind of brand momentum you can't afford to lose."