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The apology

Sorry, around the webI think one of the reasons I’m so pleased the apology is that it’s so rare for politicians to admit that they (individually or collectively) were wrong. That alone makes it a historic day.

Furthermore, we’ve got a lot of reasons to be proud of our country, and it seems only right that we should also recognise its failings. Being able to do so is a reason to be proud.

Given I was on the move at Apology Hour (9am), I tried to listen in on the radio, using my mobile phone, which unfortunately only gets FM stations. I thought Triple J was going to be carrying it… instead I found a news bulletin, followed by music. (Their web page said “from 10am” — WTF?) So I flicked around and found I had just missed it on Nova, and their hosts were talking about how moving it had been. Dammit.

In the I settled for TripleM, who played From Little Things, Big Things Grow by Paul Kelly (played later in the day outside Parliament by …was it Kev Carmody with John Butler?), then Treaty by Yothu Yindi. And then Jump by Van Halen. Ummmm… okay. I switched off at that point, and listened and watched later.

But no matter, the important thing was it happened. And it’s great to see so many people getting behind it.

PS. Brendan Nelson is a goose.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “The apology”

I get to work earlier than you and someone put the TV on in the staff room. It was pretty historic viewing.
PS Dare, I say, so much for mobile phone technology!

I suggest that if you had managed to listen to Kevin Rudd’s and Brendan Nelson’s speeches, you wouldn’t be saying either of them were geese. Both delivered brilliant addresses.

To all the people who say “why do we have to be sorry for”? I hope you guys don’t celebrate Australia Day or ANZAC Day.

Give Nelson a break- you clearly havent heard his speech! He got almost all of his party to support this motion, and his speech was one of the finest I’ve heard from a politician- certainly better than Rudd’s. It actually wasn’t afraid to address controversy and that seems to be why the hardcore lefties were up in arms. The speech was negative in parts but the fact is that there are more negatives than positives in indigineous affairs.

Even if you missed the live broad/telecast, the mood, emotion and sheer drive of the occasion can certainly be something we all draw on. From Little Things Big Things Grow is worthy of national anthem status!

I’ve heard Nelson’s speech. There’s some good stuff in it, but for this occasion, the emphasis is all wrong. He talks too much about non-indigenous culture. He talks too much about the problems of Aboriginal living, highlighting crime in such a way as to de-emphasise the inherent failures of the system. And he inserts caveats and exceptions into the apology, and the description of what was being apologised for. Too much of it is standard politician-speak, and I’m not surprised that many of those listening expected better.

They’re saying that Australia’s speech of “sorry” should prompt Canada for a more complete and comprehensive “sorry” to our native peoples. It’s truly sad to see the sorry state so many of the native people are in. Truly a third-world situation in our own country :( So depressing, and sad. It truly needs to be addressed in a massive way. If we don’t want future generations to be alcoholics now is the time to act. Even dry communities here don’t seem to work :(

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