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Apologies?

Australia's new government will issue a formal apology to Aborigines for the abuses they suffered in the past, prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd has promised.

Mr Rudd, whose Labor Party swept to power in an election on Saturday, said the apology would come early in his first parliamentary term.

Outgoing Prime Minister John Howard had repeatedly refused to say sorry.

...

But Mr Rudd signalled his administration's change of direction soon after Labor's election victory.

"It will be early, early in the parliamentary term," Mr Rudd said of his planned apology.

"However, we would frame it in a consultative fashion with communities, and that may take some time," he added.


Link.

Comments

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ohilya
Nov. 27th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
I've been told that the reason Howard's gov't would never apologise (even though he apparently has) is that it would make the gov't liable for a massive lawsuit.

Legit? Or not so very?
angriest
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
I can see the potential for that, since it would be an official and public admission of fault by the Federal government.

The question is: should that matter?
ohilya
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Ideally, no. But financially, I'm sure there are people who think otherwise.
angriest
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
I strongly suspect any official apology next year is going to be tied to a pre-arranged compensation payout that will avoid most of the lengthy court battles.
benpeek
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
yeah, i agree.
benpeek
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
i'm not a lawyer, but there's probably a truth to it. at the very least, the government will be looking at giving out some kind of cash compensation.

the problem is the apology side of things is tied into the broader relationships with aboriginal communities, in which we can see indicidents such as the government seizing control of communities earlier this year. for the indigenous communities, it was a signal that they aren't yet considered equal, and are a different kind of citizen in the eye of the government. if the rudd government hamstrings the agreement by riding a lot of legal clauses on it that render it nothing but a set of words spoken, like grant says below, it'll run the risk of rendering the apology as a hollow, and meaningless thing. after all, part of the apology is that the country admits what has been done, and takes responsibility for it. you can't take responsibility and get an out of jail free card, you know?
ex_chrisbil
Nov. 27th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
As I said yesterday, it's a start. They can either make it a good thing from here, or they can fuck it up royally from here. As for the money, well, I guess they owe it, when all is said and done.

I hope they do the right thing here, whatever their motivations. There's a good chance they can, because they want to look radically different from the departing party. Even if that's their reason, then cool.

Oh, and Ben? Ilya? I demand that you meet for coffee. Jesus, you're two of my favourite people and you live in the same city. DON'T MAKE ME COME OUT THERE!
benpeek
Nov. 28th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
but he's not a cute girl! and neither am i! you see our deliemma?
ex_chrisbil
Nov. 28th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
But Ilya *is* a cute girl magnet! (well... I dunno, he's kinda a cute guy? Apparently!)
ohilya
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC)
Especially once the long hair is done away with.


And I have so much wine in my flat.
ex_chrisbil
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Didn't you leave the wine job? The long hair is going? But... but it's the source of all your powers.

(seriously, guys, grab a Gloria Jeans... and once you have your coffees, ask them about their weirdy-beardy crazy beliefs!)
ohilya
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
What - do we both have beards? I have never seen this Ben Peek fellow!
ex_chrisbil
Nov. 28th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
ohilya
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
I leave fully this week, and do barely part time next week. Just enough time to get some wine for family and then get gone.
ohilya
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC)
Fuck's sake mate, put on a wig! Problem solved!
mattdoyle
Nov. 28th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
seems rather fuzzy..."abuses in the past"? that could mean anything. shouldn't the government apologise for specific actions...stolen generation would be the best, given that it has actually affected people who are still alive and the institutional framework that committed it is more or less the same today.
benpeek
Nov. 28th, 2007 10:38 am (UTC)
well, we'll see, i guess. at the moment the fuzzy language doesn't bother me, but this is the same guy who supported the intervention in NT a few months back...
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