When Diane Abbott apologised for “any offence caused” over her racist comments, it was not a real apology - which is worse than none at all.
Last month, Left Foot Forward criticised Nazi-theme party attender/organiser Tory MP Aiden Burley for his non-apology over the issue.
Alex Hern wrote:
The MP has apologised – twice – albeit choosing his words carefully.
His first apology came in the original article:
“There was clearly inappropriate behaviour by some of the other guests and I deeply regret that this happened.
“I am extremely sorry for any offence that will undoubtedly have been caused.”
He made a similar statement on Twitter the day after. It may simply be that he doesn’t know that “I’m sorry” and “I’m sorry other people were bad and that you were offended” are different, but as apologies go, it leaves much to be desired.
Well, Diane Abbott has pulled a similar trick with her non-apology, following her twitter comments last night that ‘White people love playing divide & rule’
“I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people.
“I do not believe in doing that. I apologise for any offence caused.”
Something is either OK or is wrong. If it is OK, there’s no need for an apology but if it’s wrong, one is needed.
What Diane Abbott said was wrong and she needs to apologise for it – not any effect it had. Politicans need to learn that a weasel-worded apology is worse than none at all.
Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
• Nazi Party Tory is sorry you were offended – Alex Hern, December 12th 2011
• Action must be taken whenever racism rears its ugly head – including in sport – Sabby Dhalu, December 13th 2011
• Too many on the Left are continuing to promote Islamic extremists – George Readings, November 12th 2011
• Four old acquaintances that Livingstone should forget – Daniel Elton, May 3rd 2011
• The dehumanising rhetoric undermining the student movement – David Barclay, April 17th 2011