Opinion: Apology, no apology

It must have been during those philosophy or English literature lessons at sixth form many years ago that I learnt the original meaning of “apology”. For a long, long time – centuries until Shakespeare decided to use the word otherwise – an apologia was an argument in defence of someone.

The most famous “apology” in history in this sense is definitely Plato’s Apology of Socrates. It is one of many tracts that describe Socrates’ defence against the accusations of corruption and impiety.

In our literature lessons I would come across Wilfred Owen’s ‘Apologia pro poemate meo’ – a moving defence of his grim poetry dealing with the Great War’s worst atrocities.

Apologias—or apologies, as I was saying—were defences of ideas or arguments. Then, one day, Shakespeare chose to use the word in the sense we all know today.

It would become a statement of repentance, an admission of guilt accompanied by regret while presumably requesting absolution.

Robert Abela, the master of empty words has resumed talk of apologies. A few weeks back, he had already given us an idea of what I had called “rehab for political junkies”.

As the EU elections approach, speculation is rife about the benefits of re-laundering his corrupt predecessor and moving him back into the political arena.

Of course, that one does not come with an apology, at least not one in the modern sense.

There are, however, other members of the corrupt and twisted ex-Labour MP constellation who are lining up for a return. Abela has reiterated the possibility that someone such as Rosianne Cutajar could make a comeback as long as she apologises. So their sins are such that they do not merit an eternity in limbo away from the political world (where everyone pigs out).

Now we are told what the penance that will be meted out from Robert’s political confessional is: an apology. Say sorry, Rosianne, and all will be forgiven.

The High Priest of the Temple of Labour has spoken. Repent, and you will be absolved. Now, here is the catch: Repentance is usually preceded by confession. For what are you sorry about if you have done no wrong?

Unless Robert Abela means an apology to Labour for the damage at the polls caused by her misbehaviour, Cutajar is undoubtedly being asked to apologise for a wrong. That wrong made her unfit for politics in the first place.

Her apology would necessarily include a confession, and with that confession, her dues to society at large would be far from paid. And things may be righted with Robert Abela’s Labour to the extent of reintegration into the fold,

That, my friends, is the crux of the matter. It is the question you will face in the coming months.

It is whether you accept to live in a society where the rules of what is lawful and unlawful, contrary to public policy or in accordance with public policy, are not made through custom and law but rather through the whims and fancies of party leadership.

Abela refused to apologise after the standards commissioner found him to be in breach of ethics, which resulted from an abuse of public office. In this case, Abela failed to recognise the power of apology and absolution. It seems to be his prerogative to pick and mix.

Meanwhile, his acolytes and disciples lecturing the world about their new interpretation of the rule of law have been spreading the word that the ultimate absolution will come from the electorate.

No apologies will be needed if this government celebrates another landslide victory. Absolutions and redemptions will be available at a price – to be decided arbitrarily by the men in power.

They will ride roughshod over everything, without a single word of apology.


Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
28 days ago

Not to mention that an apology without reparation is absolutely useless. In Abela’s case it would be a privately funded video promisimg that his seemingly unstoppable raft of lies will end immediately.
In the case of Rosianne, it would be a decalaration that her work as MP will be gratis to make up for her past piggeries.
To lend substance and gravity to both their apologies, Abela & Cutajar could set up an NGO which rehabilitates all straying MPs (PL and PN) who are falling foul of the requirements of legal, moral and political integrity.
Now that would be a game changer.
‘Mad’ politicians do not take life seriously. If they’re getting bored playing the role of ‘thief’, what’s to stop them playing the role of ‘missionary’?

Last edited 28 days ago by Chris

Related Stories

Opinion: Just another Labour weapon
Just imagine if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the
Opinion: salami slicing
There isn’t a single moment when a particular administration

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo