11 February, 2009


The apology culture

The godawful freesheet thelondonpaper* goes for the mildly risqué headline
'Sorry for being such bankers...'
last night, reporting the apologies trotted out before the Treasury Select Committee by a posse of ex-bankers. This is all very nice, but what exactly does it achieve? Do they, through this act of ritual public contrition, wipe away their incompetence and dereliction? Do they kiss the resultant financial collapse better somehow, so that they can go back to fucking things up and we can all go back to maxing out our plastic on Chinese gewgaws?

This recent culture of symbolic public apologies, more often made by some supposedly representative public figure on behalf of long-dead people who would have told them precisely where to stuff their apology, is an irritating sentimentalist and populist distraction which should be quelled, like the recent practice of setting up impromptu floral shrines, often maintained for many months, at the scenes of fatal accidents or fatal crimes.
* The cartoon strip The Omnipresent is not bad, to be fair, and the sudoku passes the time nicely.

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