It actually brightened my day a bit to see that the Australian PM has apologised to the Aboriginal people for their abuse at the hands of previous governments. Here’s the money quote:

“We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.”

I really hope we see more of this kind of thing. I really wish the British royal family and government would do the same with regard to Ireland. Particularly for the penal laws and the famine they caused by taking all the grain grown in Ireland while the Irish people starved due to the failure of potatoes. There is still a lot of resentment of the English bubbling away under the surface here in Ireland. As an immigrant I didn’t understand this at first but each time I ask why I get the same answer, that the English did terrible things here for which they have never apologised. My argument would have been that no one alive today actually did any of these terrible things. However, the institutions that did are still with us, and the leaders of those institutions need to apologise for the past sins of the institution they represent. This is particularly true in the case of the monarchy which is a hereditary system. Within an aristocratic system the great deeds of ancestors entitle you to privilage, so, if you inherit the glory you should also inherit the sins.

I very much doubt I’ll live to see the English apologise, but it would be nice.