The furore over the Sun’s publication of some ancient embarrassing footage of the Queen in 1933 has brought forth some expected comments from some making accusations against the Queen in the comments sections of the national newspapers websites covering this. There is a term for this and the people who practise it: Trolling and Trolls.
Before continuing any further, let us face some FACTS:
1. The Queen was SEVEN at the time.
2. All those who were adults at the time are now dead.
British Gazette Comment:
We have to start with a question to Buckingham Palace: Why Oh Why was this footage not incinerated in the palace boilers years ago???????
Those monarchists concerned that this may weaken support for the monarchy should rest easy. Trolls and trolling are part and parcel of life nowadays and militant republicans seizing on it are not going to affect the situation [support for the monarchy] materially. In fact any politician attempting this will do damage to the republican cause.
On the other hand, the pathetic attempt by Daily Express to explain away the Queen’s actions as “waving” can only hinder things.
This reminder from the past however does require comment to put things into perspective. In previous articles, this organ has drawn the Reader’s attention to the fact that things change – radically – over time. It is also a fact that many people will rush to judgement and make these judgements viewed on the perspective of the present – July 2015 at the time of publication.
One particular aspect that many modern judges will pass comment on will be the seeming incongruity of the Nazi salute and the associated political uniforms worn by Hitler and his associates.
In 1933 however they were two decades away from 1913 – a very formal world and one where the wearing of civilian uniforms as prevalent in many fields. Hitler and his brown-shirts would not have appeared so incongruous to a Society where a middle or upper class couple would deem it normal behaviour to “dress for dinner” – something a seven year old today would deem bizarre and puzzling.
An interesting aside: The wearing of political uniforms was criminalised in 1936 in an attempt to hinder the British Union of Fascists:
The Public Order Act 1936 c. 6 (Regnal. 1_Edw_8_and_1_Geo_6) Section 1: Prohibition of uniforms in connection with political objects.
(1) Subject as hereinafter provided, any person who in any public place or at any public meeting wears uniform signifying his association with any political organisation or with the promotion of any political object shall be guilty of an offence
This legislation is still extant.
The British Gazette asks this question:
Could this Act be applied to the clothing worn by Islamic extremists at their demonstrations? Could not the sight of a thousand women uniformly garbed from head to foot in burkas be regarded as intimidating to an onlooker as a group of men dressed in black shirts and trousers?
Far from such women committing a Public Order offence, it is far more likely that your Editor has himself committed a public order offence by asking this question.
As we say. Times they have changed.