Friday, August 18, 2006

Apologies and Apologies

So Howard now agrees with the notion that it's proper for the head of the Australian Government to apologise for the wrongdoings of previous Australian Governments?

Great, well let's see a rethink of this slip-slide evasiveness:

It does not, as a resolution, impose a blame or a guilt on present generations for past misdeeds...

...I don't think there'll be much sort of support in the Australian community for a continued debate about words and about what ought to have been or might not have been or should have been or could have been...

....in phrasing something like this, you must pay regard to the sensitivities of many people who in the past thought they were doing the right thing in being involved in policies and practices affecting indigenous people which, by today's standards, are no longer acceptable and indeed are regarded as quite unacceptable.
And as we can now see, in the Prime Minister's eyes there are past attitudes that are so unacceptable that we say sorry, and there are attitudes that really aren't all that unacceptable so we sort of express regret but that's it.

'Quite' unacceptable, as he qualifies it, whistling his reservations.

Attitudes that treated Aborigines like animals are in the not-so-bad category, compared with 'left wing' (to use his words from last night's news) unpleasantness towards Vietnam vets.

Well I'm glad to see the Vets get their apology, their treatment has been appalling. But the contradictory positions he's taken on these two issues, both of which warrant an apology, demonstrate clearly that the justification he has provided for refusing to apologise to the Stolen Generations is false.

Howard has no problem with apologising in his role as head of the Government for its past misdeeds, nor with judging previous attitudes through the lens of his own hindsight.

He just won't do it for blackfellas.

What's more, if the 'right' has been so good to the Vietnam vets all this time, remind me how many terms of Government it took them to get this far? Aren't the vets still upset about missing out on a number of medals? Wasn't a Liberal Government with Howard as Treasurer in power shortly after the war ended? What did Howard do for the vets then, when apologies, recognition, and assistance might have made a real difference to so many lives that have gone down the drain since?

2 comments:

phil said...

He really is such an execrable piece of shit it's hardly worth the bother to comment, however:
- neither the diggers nor the blackfellas are going to get any extra money out of the government;
- but he needs the diggers and not the other lot so they get one of his typically whiny pieces of obfuscation dressed up as apology.

Utter scum.

kate said...

He apologised for the treatment of Vietnam vets by lefties, not for their treatment by the government (including Veterans Affairs), or indeed, the RSL (that bastion of Marxism).