No Place For Polite People

Apologies are in the news in the United Kingdom. Four women has accused a Liberal Democrat politician of inappropriate behaviour. I am not sure precisely what the politician is alleged to have done; this seems to be shrouded in secrecy but from what I gather it is merely alleged to be inappropriate behaviour as opposed to criminal behaviour.

The politician has denied the behaviour and an investigation by the Liberal Democrat party has not found any evidence of inappropriate behaviour that would satisfy a court of law. Nevertheless the politician has been told to apologise by his party. He refuses to apologise because he says he has not done anything wrong. It seems that he will now be disciplined for refusing to apologise for something he denies.

You could not make it up. The world is becoming obsessed with the giving and receiving of apologies. London is a polite city. If while travelling on the underground you accidentally stepped on someone’s toes (this is easy to do on the underground) you might find that before you can get your apology out of your lips person upon whose toes you have trodden will apologise, even though that person has done nothing wrong. It is the way of London and a gentle and kind way of the city.

The apology that the politician is asked to make is not of the kind where an accidental bump or contact has resulted in no harm. The politician is asked to apologise for wrongdoing which he denies. I cannot conceive any reason why any person should apologise to something that the person denies doing. Surely such an apology cannot help the parties who believe themselves to be injured because it cannot be meant as an apology.

Obviously, there is an agenda by those who seek apologies which goes substantially beyond the obtaining of an apology itself. These are political waters are indeed dark and murky and no place for polite people.

The oddest thing about this incident is that the politician wants to be part of the party; frankly, if the party has treated him so badly by telling him to apologise for something he did not do, he should, if he has a brain in his body, has nothing to do with such an organisation. It is probably beyond redemption.

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