Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Bush admitted the Mission Accomplished banner on the aircraft carrier was `a mistake.’ But that apart this was a speech inspired by Edith Piaf’s Je Ne Regretted Rien hit. Even when it came to Hurricane Katrina he came out fighting. `Don’t tell me the Federal response was slow,’ he snapped.

The usual political apology consists for not saying sorry for what you said, but rather saying sorry that it offended the listeners. Senator John Kerry, in his campaign for the presidency implied America’s servicemen were of low intelligence.

His apology ran, `I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform.’ In other words: it was not my fault.

Prince Harry was forced to apologise after calling a fellow cadet `paki’ in a video.
But the apology from St James’s Palace had all the hallmarks of the politician’s cop-out.

‘Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause. However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon. There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.’

Another trick is to imply that the need to apologise has not been totally proved. Richard Nixon managed to give the impression that it was still debatable whether he had done wrong over Watergate. At the heart of the Nixon Frost interview lies the attempt to get a clearer admission of guilt than this oblique reference in his resignation speech.

`I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.’

In fact, he suggested, getting it spectacularly wrong was quite heroic. `I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena `whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed.’

Tony Blair graciously conveyed to the public his `apologies to you for the times I have fallen short.’ but then chose Sinatra over Piaf to add, `Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right.”

Boris Yeltsin managed a better tone, `I ask you to forgive me for not fulfilling some hopes of those people who believed that we would be able to jump from the grey, stagnating, totalitarian past into a bright, rich and civilized future in one go.
I myself believed in this. But it could not be done in one fell swoop. In some respects I was too naive.’

Politicians forget that it is not necessary to win over everyone with an apology, but it should satisfy at least a good proportion of the public. In 2007 Louisiana senator David Vitter was caught in a sex scandal. All he could manage in an attempt to rescue his career was:

`Several years ago, I asked for, and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counselling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there, with God and them.’

As a role model, who better to emulate than serial apologist Boris Johnson? Having outraged the entire population of Liverpool, he turned overseas.

`For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party.’ The Papuan High Commissioner complained, Boris immediately said sorry, and reached for his favourite weapon, humour, suggesting he should perhaps set off on a global apology tour.

`I would like to thank the High Commissioner very much for her clarification. I meant no insult to the people of Papua New Guinea who I’m sure lead lives of blameless bourgeois domesticity in common with the rest of us.’

Hardly grovelling but Boris, like Bush, knows saying sorry is not always the answer.
Sabung Ayam
Women. Love in Papua | Planet Doc Express

The Tolai women of Papua New Guinea perform courtship dances to men of other clans choose the woman he will marry.

This is the call that heralds the beginning of a new dance in a Tolai village in Papua New Guinea.
From the end of the harvest until the first rains come, new suitors perform courtship dances.
Dances will last several weeks and move from village to village, as the Tolai are exogamous: they cannot marry within the same clan.
Tolai women put on their best clothes and decorate themselves with symbols of their clans so as to be better identified.
At the end of the courtship period, suitors have chosen their potential wives.
But their choices have to pass one final step: the blessing of parents and of the council of elders, which will specify both the dowry and the payment period.



Sabung Ayam