People are giving Peter Costello rather too much credit for the word “sorry”.
Apologies come in a number of strengths.
It’s a pity I’m such a nice person
“I’m sorry I wasn’t told”
“I’m sorry I trusted the wrong people.”
It’s a pity everyone else is so thin-skinned
“I’m sorry if I was misunderstood.”
“I’m sorry if anyone was offended.”
It’s a pity the world is the way it is
“I’m sorry it was necessary.”
“I’m sorry it happened” (tsunamis happen; stuffups are somebody’s fault)
The only form of apology that involves any element of sacrifice of image is the one you never hear –
It’s a pity I did the wrong thing
“I’m sorry I made a mistake.”
Let’s wait for that one before becoming overwhelmed by his nobility.