Sunday, 2 February 2014

A is for Apology

No, I haven't started that challenge early!  (Those who read yesterday's blog will understand.  If you haven't read it, just get on with your life.  There are more important things to worry about, like whether or not to cut your toenails.)  But before I start apologising, there is something I want to tell you.  The problem is, I've already forgotten what it was.  So it's back to the thought for the day.

Have you noticed - or maybe it's just me - that apologising seems to be the "in thing"?  I don't mean that English habit of being over-obsequious (I've been trying to find an opportunity to use that word for ages.  Sorry.) and apologising when somebody bumps into one.  I do it and it annoys me every time, but it's just an English-sort of habit.  It's not even as if it's good manners to apologise to somebody for something they have done.

What I'm talking about is the sort of thing some (Labour) politicians were calling for this week: an apology from the Conservative Party for actions taken by the Government led by Margaret Thatcher during the coal-miners' strike in 1984.  Yes, 1984!  For goodness' sake, none of the members of that Government are still in positions of authority and if anybody should apologise - and I'm not even suggesting that apologies are necessary - then it should be the surviving members of that Government, not the Tory/Lib Dem coalition that would appear to be the target of the demands (rather than just the Conservative Party - or maybe I've got that all wrong.  Sorry about that.).  It's like some of the emergent African countries demanding apologies from the United Kingdom for colonising the land a hundred or more years ago.  Or Afro-Americans demanding apologies from countries which were engaged in the slave trade.  Just pointless words that do no good to anybody.

And another thing.  Alan Turing was a master code-breaker whose work is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by two years.  In 1952 he received a criminal conviction for his homosexuality and he later committed suicide because of this.  He has recently been granted a Royal pardon.  Much good has it done him.  But what about all the other men convicted of similar acts under the same Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885?  There has been no suggestion that they might also receive Royal pardons.  And one may well ask, why should they?  Or Alan Turing?  At the time of his conviction, his actions were illegal.  The fact that they would not be illegal today makes no difference, in my view.

Apologising for wrongs committed by others many years ago - or granting pardons for acts that were illegal then but are not now - is quite pointless, like trying to turn back the clock.  We might as well do a King Canute and try to stop the tide coming in.


I've turned the page on the kitchen calendar and this is the picture the Old Bat selected for February.  Taken in the woods in our local park early last spring.


#1Nana said...

So, did you decide to do the A to Z? I'm looking forward to it...probably because it is still a month off and I'm not feeling any pressure to write yet.

Brighton Pensioner said...

No, it's not really a me-type thing. I'm too much a free spirit.