The Hardest Word

It’s a great thing that our Prime Minister has officially said Sorry. It truly is. I am wholly in support of him in this matter.

It’s just…

…is it enough?

And by this, I don’t mean, is there more to be done, but rather, is there more apologising to be done?

Because it seems to me that it’s not enough for the Australian Government to apologise to the traditional owners of the land. After all, it wasn’t an Australian government that made the decision to settle here. That was the decision of a British Government – and their heirs are still extant, and thus still owe an apology.

And not just here, but to everywhere they have colonised. (As do the other colonial powers and their heirs.)

And not just for colonialism, bad as it was, but the practice of transportation, and for open and unprovoked warfare.

The Normans need to apologise to the Angles, Jutes and Saxons.

The Angles, Jutes and Saxons to the Celts and Romano-Britons.

The Romans to the Celts and Picts.

The Celts to the Picts.

The Picts to whoever came before them.

All of these cultures to the other cultures they swept aside on their westward marches across Europe.

And each of those cultures, in turn, to whomever they displaced or invaded or assimilated or annihilated.

There are a million examples. Genocides, atrocities, wars of aggression or religion, random murders, rapes and other crimes. And so on, all the way down the evolutionary line until we reach back to a point where our hominid ancestors are too animal to be considered culpable. There’s very few people whose ancestors never did anything bad to anyone else’s ancestors.

In fact, really, if blood tells for anything, don’t we all need to apologise to each other, every last one to every last other, once and for all?

To wipe the slate clean, to clear our consciences or karmas?

I think we do. I really do.

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