Today's letter from the Editor
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i Editor's Letter: Know when to say sorry
Some readers have scolded me for using the phrase "gold-plated" public-sector pensions. And, you know what? You were right. So, Joy Vann, Mike Godden, Martyn Pearce, Verity Smart, James Peak and co: I am sorry. It is a small minority of public servants that have such pensions. It was lazy.
There, I said it. Clearly, it's easier for us lily-livered plebeian media types to apologise than it is for public-school Thrashers. Yes, of course, Andrew Mitchell should just come clean, and put the whole "sorry" affair behind him. And, if he had just admitted what he said and been fulsomely apologetic, he would not still be in the headlines a week later.
That said, sometimes you can apologise too fast, too fulsomely. Witness the BBC's OTT grovelling to the Queen for the Frank Gardner slip (Archie Bland, p14). If anything, Gardner should apologise to her for revealing a source.
Some people find saying sorry difficult; others bandy around apologies with impunity, but seldom integrity. Many journalists come from the “never complain, never explain” school – as epitomised by pre-hacking News International. Not me.
At the weekend, jokingly, I told off my daughter and some teammates for constantly apologising for mistakes during their match. I know, I know – touchline parents, who needs 'em? But survival in many walks of life, from politics to journalism to sport, depends in part on learning when to press on regardless and when to stop and admit you were wrong. If only our children could see more adults getting that judgement call right, more often.
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow