Unless you have been hiding under a stone this week you can’t help but have seen the terrible trouble Jared O’Mara, Labour’s Momentum MP for Sheffield has managed to get himself into. He ousted Nick Clegg at the last election. I won’t bore you with the details but his homophobic, misogynist and just about every other ‘ism’ rants on a website a few years ago have left his plump little cheeks as red as his lovely hair.
Quite rightly he has had to apologise, except he didn’t quite manage it. Firstly, his story about having been ‘on a journey’ and ‘trying to improve’ falls away when it turns out some of this abuse was only made a few months ago. He himself has suggested that if he was a Conservative he wouldn’t be forgiven because well – they are not into equality. His apology therefore goes on to upset the millions that voted Conservative who presumably Labour will want to bring around to their side at the next election. Fortunately he has had the sense to resign from the Women and Equalities committee, but Mr Corbyn is still standing by him – well he shouldn’t. It’s all a complete mess.
Mr O’Mara should resign as an MP, spend some time on reflection, behave better and then maybe he could be rehabilitated. I am prepared to bet my house that won’t happen.
Why is it so difficult to get it right when saying sorry? The emotions of contrition are complex and deep rooted. We can all relate to making a child say sorry for some misdemeanour, we can all probably remember being made to apologise when we were younger, except we probably never meant it. No one ever wants to admit being in the wrong. If it was the wrong thing to do then, why do it? Few of us are brought up to say and do bad things but we do. It’s human nature. If we were all so perfect this planet wouldn’t have all the wars and conflict happening that it currently does.
Insincere apologies stand out a mile, you can even buy ‘Sorry’ greetings cards to save you the effort of speaking to someone face to face. My favourite is “I’ve been asked to apologise on behalf of….” It seems that unreserved apologies, never actually are and if I had a pound for all the corporate apologies I had received over the years I would be able to retire.
So, here’s some tips for Mr O’Mara, Mr Weinstein and all those other souls caught out:
- If you have lied then you only make it worse by continuing with other layers of untruths.
- Apologising swiftly shortens the conflict.
- Don’t even think of saying sorry if you don’t mean it.
- The saying ‘sincerity is the test of truth’ is rubbish, truth is truth. Insincerity is sniffed out a mile off.
- Never ever say: “I am sorry you feel that way.” It’s the route to being punched!
- If someone apologises to you then accept it, IF YOU WANT TO, if not still be mad as hell if your mental strength can cope with that.
- Saying sorry is NOT about words only, it’s also about changing your behaviour (the most difficult part of an apology).
- Look up the definitions of Accountability and Responsibility, enough said.
If this blog has gone on too long then I’m sorry…. but then again I might not be!
(image courtesy of The Guardian)