Tag Archives: how to speak like a politician

The non-apology apology

Annabel Crabb has picked up on one of K-Rudd’s favourite current communication tools. The unapologetic apology.

These are traditionally expressed in the form of “I make no apology for x” – where x is something good.

She gives the following lesson for those looking to emulate the PM.

First, you take a principle or proposition of which the listener is odds-on to approve.

Caring for puppies, let’s say.

Then you profess to uphold that principle “unapologetically”.

“I am an unapologetic supporter of puppies.”

This first endears you to the listener, and affirms their own views. But the use of the term “unapologetically” does something else, too.

It implicitly suggests that the listener is part – along with you – of a small but courageous minority.

If you can successfully master this little trick the results are a foregone conclusion…

“By the time you are finished, you and your listener are brothers-in-arms, visionaries swimming bravely against the tide of a brutal orthodoxy.”