Sunday, 15 November 2009

Apology Fatigue

I would say sorry but I can't speak cat

After all this lefty "apology" nonsense for bad stuff that happened long ago, perpretrated by folk who in the main have long since gone the way of the dodo, it seemed likely that there would be something of a backlash against the idiocy, insincerity, mendacity, hypocrisy and futility of these political publicity stunts. Some of the blogs have had a pretty good crack at it today but I especially like this one from the ever-unapologetic Gerald Warner that's just popped up over on the Telegraph's website.

Gordon Brown is set to make a public apology for the Norman Conquest. Last night close aides and Downing Street insiders categorically denied that any such move was being considered, fuelling the growing consensus that a fulsome apology is imminent. One source who requested not to be named said: “Gordon has always felt strongly about the Norman Conquest and its disastrous legacy of hereditary privilege and a class-based society.”

Another Labour insider commented: “The main concern is the trauma still being endured by people of Anglo-Saxon extraction. They lost their language, their social cohesion and their political autonomy as a consequence of this foreign invasion. While England has a long tradition of welcoming asylum seekers and the oppressed, arrogant Norman aristocrats on horseback are quite another proposition. A glance at the Bayeux Tapestry shows the kind of thuggish behaviour in which they indulged. When a King of England is struck in the eye by an arrow it is clear that a coach and horses is being driven through health and safety laws.”

He hastily added that there was no reason whatever why a man with one eye should not rule England successfully for many decades, but repeated his strong condemnation of the Norman invaders: “The Battle of Hastings was an early spree by Bullingdon Club louts.” Climate change campaigners also suggested that man-made global warming may have begun with the Norman Conquest: “All those forges producing chain mail and steel weaponry, not to mention thousands of imported French horses breaking wind – the effect on England’s ecological system must have been devastating.”

Kev Engels, Professor of Historical Studies and Social Inclusion at the University of Brixton, claimed: “Exclusive, class-based terminology such as “serf”, “vassall” and “churl” date back to the events of 1066. You get social alienation due to people with “De” in their names discriminating on racial grounds against the indigenous population. A Marxian interpretation would identify this as the start of colonialism, which also laid the foundations of the class struggle.”

The question that was preoccupying the Westminster village last night was the scale of compensation that would be offered to victims of William the Conqueror. A spokesman for a left-leaning think tank said: “To apologise without allocating adequate resources to victims is meaningless.” He estimated a minimum investment of £3 billion would be needed, to fund resources for outreach, counselling and rehabilitation services.

Political observers agreed that, having ruled out a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, an initiative hostile to Normandy, the nearest outpost of the EU to England, might be a popular stance for Gordon Brown to adopt in the run-up to a general election. A spokesman for the Football Association welcomed the likelihood of an apology, saying: “Hastings was a disaster. Our lads were knackered after a mid-week friendly at Stamford Bridge. They had horrific injury problems and should never have been asked to take to the field that day.” On a more optimistic note he added: “The Norman Conquest was a game of two halves.” Downing Street is still refusing to comment.

Warner clearly has asked himself, "Where will this all end?" The answer to that question is that it's very hard to say, but his witty reductio does give us some clue. Idiot lefties like Brown and his Australian counterpart idiot lefty, Rudd, are capable of just about any level of hypocrisy if they think it will go down well with their socialist constituencies. I just wish they wouldn't do it "on behalf of the British/Australian people." I'm not bloody sorry.

So just where will it all end? My view? Well, you have to follow it through to its logical conclusion. Given all the leftwing hand-wringing about the impact of humanity on global ecology, I suggest that the next official retrospective apology should be to plant and animal life everywhere. The shameful period of human evolution that resulted in us inheriting the status of Top Dog of the Biosphere is a stain on the history of the world, if not the universe.

I've already said sorry to my cat.


  1. And your cat should of course apologise to the birds and mice he has eaten. You see, WE ARE ALL GUILTY.

  2. This collective apology bollocks is nonsense, what's next on the list...Dresden? The Belgrano?

    I wish he'd apologise for his very being and just piss off!

  3. I agree, we can't go around apologising, given the things that we have done all over the world, or there wouldn't be time for anything else.

    If Brown feels a need to apologise, why could he not aplologise for all the harm he has done. The selling of gold in a fire sale; the robbing of people's pensions; the failure of his government to do anything about Equitable Life; the banking fiasco; the fact that no one except Prince Charles can afford a house any more (oh except MPs adn Lords, but that's coz we bought them). For the love of God, the man doesn't have too far to look for enough things to keep him in apologies for the next 20 years. There's a couple of wars he failed to finance....

    I'm sure all these kids who were sold into slavery by the British Government, and lied to and cheated of a childhood will feel piles better that this incompetent old fool has said that he is sorry. Like anyone cared what he thought. The cheek of the man.

    I'm not entirely certain that the whole thing is particularly left wing though. The Pope, rather a conservative kind of dude, if ever there was one, has apologised for the Vatican's part in the nazi campaign or was it the Greek Church for stealing something.... well, it was something....and didn't the rather conservative Queen Elizabeth apologise for the way that her great grandmother treated the Maouris. She's another one I would find a bit hard to describe as a lefty.... LOL

    Good post though.

    SORRY that my reply was so long and garbled... oh and sorry for the First World War too....:)

  4. Tris, you and Bob are right, of course. These ridiculous empty gestures and false expressions of regret are merely displacement activities of the lowest form, particularly on Brown's part.

    Adam, I 've had a word with the cat. All he said was 'meeow' and then scratched the wallpaper again (he does that when he's hungry, ie: all the time). I think he won't be saying sorry for his many crimes against small creatures any time soon. All that tells me is that he may a genocidal maniac, but at least he's not a hypokit.

  5. I think Rudd's apology was necessary, I felt tremendous relief & acknowledgment...I am no longer a non-entity.

    I am a former child migrant, sent from England to Australia in 1953 - I was 8 years of age.

    I suffered really badly (chamber of horrors) for many years as a result of abuse, deprivation etc.

    Fortunately (through the grace of God) after many years of counselling, I made a complete recovery.

    Sadly many former child migrants (from my experience) don't really come to terms with their history

    God bless you

  6. Michael, thank-you for your measured, polite comment. It must have been difficult for you to drag up those unhappy memories.

    It's pretty chilling to hear what you went through at the hands of evil people as a direct consequence of government negligence. I realise now I should have made it clear in this rather scattergun post that I'm opposed in principle to official, state "apologies" for events that happened so long ago that no one is left alive to accept it. You are, so the apology is valid. But it would have been better if they'd spoken to directly, and, perhaps, provided compensation for your suffering.

    In the way Rudd and Brown have handled it, they have admitted guilt in some vague way without admitting liability. I am therefore slightly surprised that you have accepted it quite so willingly. Me, I'd be taking the government to court - and expecting to win.

  7. Michael. I feel a bit crap about what I said now. I had no idea that an apology would make someone in your situation feel better.

    I kinda took the view that as neither Brown nor Rudd had had anything to do with the horrors, it was not their business to make that apology.

    I'm sorry if what I said added to your suffering and I am truly glad that you found some comfort in the words of your prime minister.

    Frankly I'd be of a mind to sue then, since they appear to admit liability, but maybe you've been through enough.

    I am glad you have found some peace.


  8. Tris, in my eyes you have nothing to apologise for. Your comment was well-intentioned, it was a response to my post, and it should certainly represent no reflection upon your clear personal sense of decency (which is, after all, what this is really about).

    I'm the one who should apologise for being a bit too cocksure and a bit too flippant in the way I framed my initial post - and I'm happy to do that.

    I still maintain, however, that what Rudd and Brown have managed to do in this instance amounts to an admission of, if not guilt, then some sort of retrospective national responsibility to the living vitims of this terrible example of executive negligence. Compensation - preferably in an out-of-court settlement - should therefore be forthcoming to people like Michael.

    I will add, however, that the substantive point about political apologies for past national 'crimes', with which I think you generally agreed, remains valid, even though in this case, thanks to Michael's moving comment, I now realise that there are some subtle distinctions involved that I hadn't fully thought through and expressed - and I regret that.

  9. It seems a bit strange apologising on a thread about apologies. I just felt rotten that maybe my words had been hurtful to Michael.

    I guess I didn't think the whole thing out.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

  10. I get the impression that Michael is fine now (thankfully) - but he should be compensated for his suffering.

    However, on a lighter note, the irony you point to (I didn't even spot it!) is pretty impressive, isn't it? And it's probably more revealing than than any number of comments on the issue itself.



Any thoughts?