Apologising for Amritsar
There are about 50 million lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals in the UK. That is why every Government policy is now tested for any potential detriment to this cohesive community; why the social bedrock of the nation is being redefined to accord with their pleas for equality; and why they must be represented in the Cabinet, in the General Synod and on every soap opera.
It is also why HM Government apologised to Alan Turing in 2009, almost 60 years after he was outrageously prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Gordon Brown said that Turing - a genius mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist - suffered 'appalling' treatment simply for being gay. This included chemical castration, which almost certainly contributed to his suicide. Appalling indeed. Government apology wholly justified.
There are only about 500,000 Sikhs in the UK. That is why no Government policy is tested for any potential detriment to this community, and when it is, they invariably play second-fiddle to the Muslims, who tend to shout a bit louder. David Cameron once promised them their own distinct ethnicity, but he reneged on that pledge. There are no Sikhs in the Cabinet, none in the General Synod, and (to His Grace's sparse knowledge), none in any soap opera.
It is laudable for the Prime Minister to visit Amritsar and pay his respects in memory of the hundreds (or thousands) of Sikhs who were slaughtered there by the British Army in a six- (or 20-) minute massacre in 1919. Whether it was panic or malice on the part of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, we cannot know. What we do know is that these protestors were all unarmed and their aspiration was for a peaceful transition to national independence. If they had been protesting today in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt or Syria, we would be siding with the 'rebels'; even sending in British troops to assist their political objectives.
So, why no official Government apology to the Sikhs of Amritsar? It has been almost a century: surely the perspective of history has established beyond doubt that those who gathered in protest around the Golden Temple were treated at least as outrageously as Alan Turing? Their deaths were a moral outrage; the crime remains a deep scar on the soul of Empire.
His Grace is no fan of vicarious apology, but HM Government not infrequently expresses deep remorse for the sins of its fathers - either when it is the right thing to do, or (more likely) when it is deemed to be of tactical electoral advantage to the sons. Why is winning the votes of the LGBT community of greater significance than those of British Sikhs?