Monday, July 30, 2007

Howard Government not sorry. (Again.)

'What do you expect them to do? Fall on the ground and grovel? Eat dirt? I mean -- get real.'

These were the sensitive and diplomatic words of Foreign Minister Alexander Downer when asked on the teeve tonight about the possibility of an apology to Dr Mohamed Haneef. He did not add, but might as well have, 'I hold the rule of law, the doctrine of the separation of powers, the Australian judiciary, and the whole notion of justice, natural or otherwise, in complete contempt.'

The contrast with the gentle dignity of Dr Haneef could not have been more jarring.

We all know that there's a certain kind of person who would rather be carried out in a straitjacket on a stretcher, babbling and frothing, than utter the words 'I made a mistake', 'I'm sorry', or 'I was wrong.' The question is, are these the people we want in charge of the country?

When -- and why -- did the ancient concepts of reparation, reconciliation and redemption become nothing more than a contemptible sign of weakness? They are, after all, at the basis of Christianity, of the greatest classical tragedies, and of most of Shakespeare -- all things that this government would have us believe they value, and that they feel must be saved from The Evil Postmodernists at any cost. If it were not so soul-destroying it would be very funny.


WhatLadder said...

Wow. You just made the Australian government sound SO MUCH like the US government. The only thing Downer didn't do was say "I don't recall".

Makes me doubly glad I don't live in either place anymore.

tigtog said...

It's not just the government but the apologists as well. Harry Clarke's over at Hoyden talking about how it was all just judicial process as normal and the Howardhaters are just going nuts again.

ThirdCat said...

Who'd be in the coalition government?

I thought when he was saying that last night he looked extremely uncomfortable. Like we could see the struggle of the political pressure to say it versus the (personal) moral pressure to not say it. I hope so anyway.

Not that that really means anything. Ruddock had that look every now and then for a while, and look how that turned out.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I dunno, 3C -- I agree that he looked pissed off and uncomfortable, and I know that we didn't see what happened or what was said immediately before or after that edited grab. But still, I dunno.

*Edits out entire paragraph in a fit of Adelaide paranoia*

ThirdCat said...

i had one of those paragraphs too!

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Is Downer an Adelaide "type"?

I mean - I have a niggling notion that that "style" of hectoring is to be found often in Adelaide.

lucy tartan said...

he's just teasing. Aren't you fx. Aren't you.

Pavlov's Cat said...

'I have a niggling notion'

Hmmm, and what would that be based on, fxh?

Not true. It is, however, largely true that we are all very sorry for Melburnians, many of whom persist in making that type of oiklike city-ist remark.

*Looks down nose*

Zarquon said...

There's one more 'R' word the government is trying to avoid - responsibility
No one in the government will take responsibility for their actions and this is what they call 'leadership'

Verification word 'vexgeat' I'll change my name to Grendel

phil said...

Downer used up his quota of not recalling things in the AWB effort.

I cannot wish sufficient bad things upon him, subsequent to his defenestration as supposed Foreign Minister.