Apologies for Brendan (Good News Week 18/2/08: Strange but True)

Controversy has erupted over Brendan Nelson’s qualified support for an apology to the stolen generations. Well, he’s a doctor, he should be able to flout his qualifications. / With all the things the Liberals represent that are worth apologising for, some would say he’s overqualified.

Several Liberals didn’t turn up for the apology at all. They were outside, sharing tea with a mysterious figure in a green-and-gold tracksuit …

Most of the boos were actually because Nelson took more than half an hour blahing on as if he’d actually DONE something.

Most of the boos were actually because Nelson took more than half an hour to say “me too – even though it wasn’t my fault”.

Nelson figured while the eyes of the world were on him, he’d better talk about the Liberals’ Northern Territory intervention, the world wars, and his daddy. He decided at the last minute to cut the bit about the GST. / Work Choices. / terrorists. / September 11. / tax cuts. / inflation figures. / the plight of Tasmanian devils.

Nelson did have a difficult job satisfying both bipartisan support for the apology and disapproving members of his own party. So he cleverly wove a middle ground that managed to leave everyone unhappy.

After the speech, he went home to quietly hang himself.

Brendan Nelson was sincerely sorry – sorry that he’d been forced to make this uncomfortable half-apology he really didn’t believe / sorry that he’d been dragged into this at all / sorry that there were still so many aboriginals around / sorry that there were still so many half-castes around / sorry that he’d ever stood up for leadership of the Liberal Party.

Nelson said he was sorry for the stolen generations. Sorry they’d ever been born.

Brendan Nelson’s apology included the admission that “government policies evolved from the belief that the Aboriginal race would not survive”. If only. Then there’d be no-one left to have to apologise to.

Brendan Nelson’s apology included the admission that “government policies evolved from the belief that the Aboriginal race would not survive”. If the plan had worked, there’d be nothing to apologise about, because they’d all be dead.

Nelson admitted the policy sprang from the feeling that the Aboriginal race would not survive “and should be assimilated.” See? The children were taken for their own good. / Apparently the government had gotten the idea from Star Trek.

The PM’s apology was far from universally endorsed, with some online polls finding a majority of people opposed to the apology. Then again Wilson Tuckey did have a lot of time on his hands. / The Opposition Leader later complained of RSI in his mouse-hand.

Nelson apologised, with qualifications, for things that might have been done with the best intentions, but were also done to wipe out the aboriginal race, which was going to be wiped out anyway, but we’re really sorry, except we’re not, but we are, but it was good, but it was bad, I don’t know, I’m so very tired.

Brendan’s copping a lot of unwarranted criticism. After all, Pauline’s gone, Howard’s gone, someone’s got to stand up for Australia’s bigots.

A key aspect of Nelson defeating Malcolm Turnbull for the Lib’s leadership was that Nelson opposed an apology. Unfortunately he’s discovered that now that he’s the leader, he has to speak for Turnbull too.

After the official speeches were over, Nelson went to have a good strong cup of tea, was halfway through making it when he changed his mind, deciding to make a weak coffee instead, thought he should add some sugar, but not too much, decided to add milk, as the coffee was going to end up milky anyway, thought that maybe tea was better after all, but an extra sweet one, and ended up with half a cup of tea, half a cup of coffee, all mixed together with a spoonful of aspartame, a spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of honey, in a cup of some shit that not even members of his own party would drink.

After the official speeches were over, Nelson went to have a good strong cup of tea, realised that it didn’t have full support of his party and started making a weak milky coffee instead, but had to end up making a half-coffee-half-tea that just left everyone thirsty. The iced vovos were good though.

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