Translating a non-apology

Yesterday, British PM Boris Johnson issued one of the most transparently unsubstantial apologies ever committed to paper to the families of the victims of the Ballymurphy massacre in 1971. The event itself needs no explanation here. Let us instead explore and explain the absolute insults hidden within the subtext of this document, which has been crafted to a surgical degree of accuracy to do nothing more than avoid taking any responsibility or ownership of this historical slaughter of innocent civilians.

“I unequivocally at this point have no choice but to publicly accept the findings of the coroner.

Those who died we murdered over that terrible period were innocent of any wrongdoing. The events at Ballymurphy should never have happened been committed wilfully and covered up by us.

You should never have had been forced by our blood-soaked husk of a self-delusional former empire to experience such grief at the loss of your loved ones and such distress persistent barriers to investigation, justice, and peace of mind presented by us in your subsequent quest for truth.

The duty of the State is to hold itself to the highest no standard whatsoever and that requires us to recognise deny , confound, obuscate and invalidate the hurt and agony caused when we fall short of those standards. can get away with it long enough for most of our victims to have died of old age

For what happened we did on those terrible few days in Ballymurphy, and for what the families have gone been dragged through by us since you began your brave and dignified campaign almost five decades ago, I am truly sorry that this all blew up on my watch

I recognise that no actual words of apology can make up for the lasting pain that you have endured, so frankly i’m not going to issue any. Thank you for the dignity and strength you have shown.

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