10/8/08. Psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple laments the fashion of public apologies for distant events and calls this pattern of political breast-beating the False Apology Syndrome:
"The habit of public apology for things in which one bears no personal responsibility changes the whole concept of a virtuous person, from one who exercises the discipline of virtue to one who expresses correct sentiment. The most virtuous person of all is he who expresses it loudest and to most people. This a debasement of morality, not a refinement of it. The end result is likely to be self-satisfaction and ruthlessness accompanied by unctuous moralizing, rather than a determination to behave well."