Judging from the tone of Dennis Shanahan’s column in today’s Oz, one could be forgiven for believing that outside some sources in the federal Labor government, Dennis is the only other Australian to have seen the text to Kevin Rudd’s ‘Sorry’ speech due to be delivered next Wednesday.
He waxes lyrical on the near statesman-like qualities of Rudd in regard to closing the gap between black and white Australia, and makes no mention of the political overtones in this process. Kudos to Brendan Nelson in standing his ground, despite coming away from a party room meeting with an announcement couched in terms which sound as if the coalition has ‘fallen into line’.
This is dangerous ground for Nelson, and Labor knows it. Clearly, the coalition are split on the issue of saying ‘Sorry’, despite yesterday’s announcement of general acceptance of the principle in the process. Interestingly Tony Abbott, the man who thinks he’d be good at the job of Leader, and still won’t declare the Howard legacy dead & buried, is speaking in terms which tend to not completely agree with Nelson’s stance, as guarded as Nelson has made his statements sound.
I totally agree with Brendan Nelson’s stance and believe that all Australian’s are entitled to read and absorb the text of the Rudd government ‘Sorry’ before it’s uttered in Parliament next Wednesday. Despite what might be claimed to the contrary, I cannot see any way, shape or form in which this apology to the stolen generations can be construed as being anything other than an apology by the government on behalf of all Australians. It’s only fair and ethical that the text be released before the words are spoken.