Troy Bramston in The Australian writes
Rudd was a far from perfect prime minister; he made many mistakes and misjudgments. But his national apology to the Stolen Generations was his finest moment as prime minister.
Hemingway said courage was
Grace under pressure
While Kennedy wrote in Profiles in Courage
And these are the stories of the pressures experienced by eight United States Senators and the grace with which they endured them – the risks to their careers, the unpopularity of their courses, the defamation of their characters, and sometimes, but sadly only sometimes, the vindication of their reputations and their principles.
Does anyone really think that Rudd’s apology was courageous? That it was difficult or challenging?
No, the apology was an insignificant event which pandered to a noisy lobby group. There was no courage; it did not achieve anything and it failed to improve the wellbeing of Australia’s aboriginal people. Where it counts, Rudd continued the failed policies that have cemented welfare dependency among many of our fellow Australians.
The apology was for a non-event: the ‘stolen generations’ are a post-modern myth as Keith Windshuttle has demonstrated many time. It was an act of symbolism without meaning and without significance.
When presented with an opportunity to assist aboriginal Australians by moving them off welfare dependency, Rudd was missing in action. The events of the past five years proves that Rudd’s apology of 13 February 2008 deserves to be forgotten. It is not for the present generation to apologise for actions or non-actions of the past.
If Bramston is right that Rudd’s finest hour was this apology, Rudd achieved nothing except the destruction of Australia’s wealth.
Thanks to sdog for pointing out this article on False Apology Syndrome. It is well worth a read.