Written by Ann Farmer
A man who ‘broke into Windsor Castle on Christmas Day armed with a crossbow is facing a treason charge’; the Crown Prosecution Service said 20-year-old Jaswant Singh Chail ‘was “near to the person of the Queen, wilfully producing a loaded crossbow with intent to injure the person of Her Majesty”.’ Chail, who ‘is thought to be the first to be charged under section two of the 1842 Treason Act for more than 40 years’, was ‘also accused of making threats to kill under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and possession of an offensive weapon under the Prevention of Crime Act 1953.’
He faces a lesser penalty than that for high treason under the 1351 Treason Act, after Prince Albert ‘asked Parliament to find an alternative to the death penalty for people intending to alarm or wound the monarch’, after ‘attacks on Queen Victoria early in her reign.’
Following the incident Chail, now in custody and set to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 17, ‘was sectioned under the Mental Health Act as a video emerged of a masked and hooded man aiming a black crossbow at the camera.’
Chail allegedly ‘threatened to kill the Queen to avenge the Amritsar massacre of 1919 when British troops opened fire on Indian protesters, killing several hundred and wounding many more’ (“‘Crossbow intruder” accused of treason bid to harm Queen’, Daily Express, August 3, 2022).
This is a shocking story, which would have been even more shocking had he succeeded; we can only be thankful that he did not.
It might be suggested that his motive was at least justifiable, but how killing the Queen – or anyone not personally responsible for the atrocity – could serve to ‘avenge’ anything or anyone, is anybody’s guess.
And as eminent historian Robert Tombs has pointed out in response to a recent Netflix drama entitled ‘RRR’ (‘Rise, Roar, Revolt’), the Amritsar Massacre, ‘when a squad mainly of Gurkhas commanded by a British officer opened fire on an illegal demonstration’, killing ‘several hundred people’, was in fact ‘regarded at the time as a unique and shocking atrocity. Churchill condemned it in parliament. The officer responsible was sacked. But priests of the Golden Temple in Amritsar (the holiest Sikh shrine) thought he had done the right thing, and made him an honorary Sikh.’
Prof. Tombs says: ‘RRR panders to the reactionary and violent Hindu nationalism that is coming to dominate Indian culture and politics, fanned by the Modi government. Those who suffer from this are not the British, but Indian minorities, above all Muslim but Christian too, and indeed any liberals who stand up against extremism, persecution and bigotry. In reality, RRR does not record the nastiness of 1920s British rule, but it does reflect the growing nastiness of today’s India.’(link).
It is surely time to ask whether the relentlessly anti-Western ‘woke’ narrative, which holds current generations responsible for historical atrocities and injustices like slavery – while ignoring Britain’s role in abolishing that evil, and the role of other powers in perpetuating it (link) – is serving any other purpose than to demoralise the West and provide the mentally and morally unbalanced with a grievance with which to justify the pursuit of violent vengeance.
And who can doubt that the rise in neo-Nazism in this country (see e.g. here) – the country that went to war against Nazism – has been influenced by academic attacks on Sir Winston Churchill’s reputation, smearing him as a racist, as well as ‘anti-racist’ attacks on his statue (see e.g. here, here and here).
Such attacks lack a firm basis in history, but such attacks can only grow in size and severity, in the absence of an accurate and balanced teaching of the subject, compounded by an ‘entertainment’ industry doing obeisance to a ‘woke’ view of history in which Great Britain was not so great and the British never did anything right, and every other country never did anything wrong. We would expect every country to teach its own history from its own perspective; but why should Britain be the only country that teaches its history from every other country’s perspective but its own?
The ‘woke’ cultural Marxists claim that the use of various outdated words leads to hate, while arraigning long-dead historical figures, who cannot defend themselves, on the charge of hatred, ‘weaponising’ history to attack their political and cultural enemies without offering any alternative, viable social system. They would have us believe they are merely highlighting a history of hatred, but in reality they are promoting their own one-sided anti-British view of history – not in order to make the world more peaceful, just and equal, but to create even more hate.
They should know that before too long their condemnation of all (our) history will itself be consigned to the history books – at which point it will become yet another item on their list of historical hatreds; although sadly it is unlikely that they will launch a protest against themselves.