Is sorry the hardest word? Only if you mean it, you posturing scum

Posted: 16-November-2009 in Rants
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In my current job I drive around in an an ancient van for the first half of the day. I have a functioning radio, so I’ve got something on in the background all the time. But as I have to get in and out constantly, I don’t want to have my phone or MP3 player broadcasting the entire time because that’s a waste of battery. This would be fine if I was anywhere, really, other than Lewis. Being up here means that I’m very, very limited in what radio station I can listen to. I’ve got Isles FM (aka The World’s Worst Radio Station), Radio Nan Gàidheal (I don’t understand Gaelic), Radio Scotland (just… naw), Radio 4 (daytime stuff is dire), Radio 3 (I can’t afford to crash because I’ve fallen asleep),  Radio 1 (I’m not constantly popping ecstasy, so it doesn’t appeal) and finally Radio 2 which is a decent compromise between inoffensive pop and slightly older stuff. It’s not perfect, but it will do.

The only blight on the 5 hours or so that I’m driving up to lunchtime, is the incomparable nincompoop that is Jeremy Vine. Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce beforehand are like having a bath in warm treacle. Then the lunchtime discussion comes on and it I want to crash  into the nearest wall. Every day, as soon as he comes on, I start changing channels to see if I can find anything, anywhere, worth listening to, and, every day when I get back to the show – having failed – some moron somewhere is making a point that is just mind-bogglingly stupid. Every day I think, I’ll remember that and write something about it when I get home for lunch, and every day I come home and look at pictures of kittens.

However, this morning I got up early enough to spend a little time on the laptop before work, and caught sight of the big apologies story going round, and later heard the first snatch of the debate or phone-in discussion on the radio, before, unfortunately, changing to radio one. My mind is still bleeding. Anyway, Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown are apologising for the sins of the past. Not, in either case for their own sins or even their respective governments’ sins. They are apologising for previous government’s mistakes. It is therefore entirely futile, empty and meaningless. You cannot apologise for a mistake someone else made in the past. You can, however, express your sorrow and sympathy. In fact, many of the people affected and shipped off to Australia are still living and do deserve our sympathy for what was, undeniably, horrible treatment. I believe these people should gain some sort of compensation for their treatment, and should have all possible help in contacting any remaining relatives over here.

But, I say again: we cannot apologise. Brown – if indeed the man is capable of emotion – can say he is saddened and sorry that this happened, but as Longrider said in the first (but by no means only post) I read today:

This practise ended forty years ago. How old was Gordon Brown then? Was he in government? The answers being that he was a teenager when this finished and he was not in government. Therefore, he has no right to apologise and neither has Kevin Rudd as neither of them was involved in the offence. An apology, to mean anything at all, must be proffered by the person or people who caused the original harm. You cannot apologise by proxy. To do so is empty gesturing.

In the Telegraph, Ed “Dumpling-faced Gurning Moron” Balls says of Brown’s planned apology, that

the government was talking to the victims’ organisation to work out how to frame the apology

The whole thing is getting emptier and emptier as the whole saga unfolds. If, for example I stole someone’s car and then asked the owner to sit down with me and help me write out a sorry note to explain how sorry I was that I had stolen his car, I have no doubt he would think it a rather empty gesture. But it’s even hollower that. In a comparable hypothetical situation, my cousin stole someone’s car and then several years later, when my (hypothetical – don’t send any sympathy, all my cousins are fine) cousin had died, then I went and asked the owner to sit down and help me to write a note of apology on behalf of someone from whom no recompense is possibly forthcoming. That’s how useless this apology is.

Also, to ring true, an apology should be, at least in part, spontaneous. Not mumbled through in a monotone by a humourless, expressionless Cyclops.

Oh, and as a final aside, it turns out the Prime Minister thinks that

“the time is now right” for the UK government to apologise for the “misguided policies” of previous governments

nothing to do with wanting to look good just before a general election then? Of course not, that’s just me being cynical.

And no mention of apologising, even in the most hollow, empty way for the “misguided policies” of the current government, for the misguided handling of… well… nigh-on everything.

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Comments
  1. alexander says:

    i am convinced that eddie mair (pm on radio 4) is the funniest man on the airwaves

  2. cath says:

    Come on, come on, more posts please! Surely you must at least have a nice fluffy kitten picture to show us?

  3. […] as I was on my last delivery of the day. I was listening to Jeremy Vine’s show, and before turning off in disgust I heard a caller, in support of the Unelected one, say that it was a private conversation, and it […]

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