I sometimes worry a little, about all the apologies that fly around the countryside these days. They float about like butterflies, hopefully dropping a little nectar of appeasement here and there, doing some good sometimes perhaps, though I do have my doubts.
Look at the latest manifestation of the apology, the one aimed, in parliament, at the people who were sexually assaulted as children, sometimes many years ago. To me, while it’s great that these dreadful occurrences should be acknowledged, and we should tell the victims how much we care, an apology from us, through the government, or any other source, doesn’t really cut it.
There is only one group who should be apologising — those are the animals and monsters who committed the acts in the first place, they should be hunted down wherever their identities are known and they should be forced to kneel before their victims and kiss their shoes, before being made to read something telling the subject all about the horrible lives they, (the perpetrators), have lived, describing their failures, but not their successes in great detail and in a very public place. That humiliation should only be the beginning for them — they should then feel the full weight of the law, and be put away somewhere for many years, so they can never offend again. This rule should apply to those perverted priests of the Catholic Church too — they should be afforded no protection from their own organisation!
I feel similarly roused by the present eager desire to apologise to our Aboriginal brethren. I simply fail to see what necessity there is for us to do this, regarding something that happened nearly 200 years ago, and was consequently nothing whatsoever to do with us. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Aboriginal people should be, and should have been, fully accepted as Australian citizens from the start, afforded all the benefits that white people enjoy, and expected to carry the same responsibilities as well. It annoys me that for some reason, we Australians seem, in the eyes of the rest of the world, to be the only people who need to apologise to the original owners of the land, except perhaps the Americans who are now making the same reparations to the Native Americans.
Yet, why is no one insisting that France should apologise to England because William the Conqueror beat the Saxons in 1066. Or for that matter, the Italians because the Romans conquered most of Europe and the Middle East; or the Vikings’ descendants, the present people of Norway because of the way the people of northern England were treated; or the present-day English, because the Crusaders sacked Jerusalem? I could go on forever, mentioning all the races who should apologise for the actions of their ancestors over other races, but that would just be boring and wouldn’t really extend my argument at all.
The point I am trying to make is that these sorts of things — call them conquests, or call them enlightenment — have been going on throughout the whole history of the human race, while one country envies and desires what another country has and I doubt it will ever change! It’s even going on now. Look at the way Russia has recently taken over the Crimea, or the way the Israelis and the Palestinians are forever trying to steal land from each other, with many innocent people being caught in the middle.
No, I contend that the only true apology, for anything can only come from the people who committed the act in the first place; anything else is just political back slapping, feeling better because a few meaningless words have been spoken to an audience who can hear nothing else. If government genuinely wants to make things right for all the victims of abuse, then the best thing they can do, accepting that the perpetrators may now be beyond the law, is to compensate the victims in some worthwhile manner, giving them land, money, housing or some other valuable, up to a prescribed sum. This would most likely be worth a million words of apology to those people.