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February 20, 2013

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chris y

What we need is a Department of Retrospective Responsibility. The civil servants would trawl the histories of the home nations for atrocities, beginning, shall we say, with Sir John Hawkins selling a bunch of (stolen) slaves in S. Domingo in 1555, and draft suitable apologies following one of half a dozen EU approved templates (not many member states who wouldn't need to participate in this). The Secretary of State could then fly to the appropriate country and formally deliver the apology.

Demands for apologies for atrocities prior to 1550 would be the responsibility of a Minister of State, while incidents involving road accidents in which nobody was seriously hurt could be delegate to the PUSS.

ajay

That's a very Old Britain approach, chris. Surely it would be better to set up a website with canned podcast apologies, sorted by country, and delivered under studio conditions by the relevant minister? So if you woke up one morning feeling particularly angry about the Battle of Magdala, say, you could simply navigate to apologies.gov.uk/africa/ethiopia/c19/embarrassingly_onesided_defeats/nutters/magdala.htm, and listen to the Minister of State being appropriately contrite to you personally.

More likely, though, is a PFI, under which Capita will undertake to provide a minimum of 25,000 outsourced apologies per year, delivered by convincingly regretful and Equity-carded spokesmen, in exchange for a flat fee.

Barry Freed

"Dudes, we had a little bit too much fun that afternoon, but let's face it, there's nothing like a massacre to give a righteous independence movement a good kick up the arse. And now here we are, talking turkey and no hard feelings..."

Swap "dudes" for something suitably British and Imperial and that sounds rather Harry Flashman. (Who, IMHO, would make a fine Ambassador-at-large for this sort of thing.)

ajay

"I've been asked to express the British government's sincere apologies for the deaths of... hang on a minute, Your Excellency, your face looks familiar... did your mother used to work in Calcutta by any chance? Bengali girl, junior shippin' clerk, huge bumpers? She did? Gad, there's a coincidence..."

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